Veterans Re-employment Rights Synopsis

By Kathleen Pohlid Founder & Managing Member, Pohlid, PLLC | March 31, 2013

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act 1994 (USERRA) was enacted to provide service members with reinstatement rights in their civilian jobs and to protect them against discrimination because of their uniformed service. The goal of USERRA is to ensure that service members do not suffer a loss or incur discrimination in their civilian jobs because of their service. USERRA also seeks to put the employee back into the place they would have been in their civilian job “but for” the interruption due to their service. Employers must be aware of their obligations and employee rights under USERRA.

USERRA provides employment, reemployment and anti-discrimination rights to employees who serve in the uniformed services. It also imposes certain requirements upon employers. USERRA applicability is based upon whether the individual has served or sought to serve in the uniformed services or exercised a right under USERRA, whether the employer is a “covered employer”, whether the employee has satisfied their requirements to invoke USERRA protections, and whether an affirmative defense applies.

Uniformed Services

USERRA protections and rights apply to “service in the uniformed services,” which is defined to include reservists serving in the military, active duty military, members of the National Guard under Federal authority, specified service by members of the National Disaster Medical System, and service in the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service. It also applies in times of peace and war and irrespective of whether the individual is serving voluntary or involuntary.

Covered Employers

All public (to include states and their political subdivisions) and private employers, regardless of size, are covered by USERRA. Additionally, USERRA coverage also applies to foreign employers doing business within the United States (to include its territories and possessions). U. S. companies operating in a foreign country are also required to comply with USERRA, unless doing so would violate the law of that foreign country.

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.