The simple answer is “probably, but maybe not.” Under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), an employer must re-employ an employee if he/she (1) gives advance notice of the service; (2) has 5 years or less of military service with that employer; (3) returns to work in a timely manner; and (4) was not separated from service with a disqualifying discharge or under other-than-honorable conditions.
If these conditions are met, an employee is generally entitled to reemployment. Multiple New Jersey laws also provide employees with reemployment rights. For instance, the Law Against Discrimination prohibits discrimination on the basis of liability for service in the armed forces. Keep in mind, however, that USERRA and state laws often make it difficult to know precisely what employers’ and employees’ obligations and rights are. In fact, there are situations in which employers are not required to hold a job for someone in the military. So, it is always best to ask a question than to assume. —Timothy D. Cedrone, Esq., Apruzzese, McDermott, Mastro & Murphy, P.C.