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What workplace protections do I have as a servicemember?

It is hard to believe that some employers would discriminate against military servicemembers who served our country. Unfortunately, however, it happens.

Fortunately, there are both California and federal laws that provide workplace protections and benefits to help servicemembers. Below are two primary laws that provide such protection.

Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) “It is … unlawful … [f]or an employer, because of the race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, reproductive health decisionmaking, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status of any person, to … discharge the person from employment …” Government Code § 12940(a)

USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act)
Congress created this law to protect miliary reservists by minimizing the disruption to them who must leave their job when called into service. USERRA provides the following rights to military reservists:

Right to reemployment If you leave your civilian job for military service, your employer must reemploy you in your former position (or a similar position) when you return from service, provided you meet certain eligibility criteria.

Non-discrimination Employers are prohibited from discriminating against you based on your military service or obligations.

Health benefits Employers must generally continue your health insurance coverage during your military service.

Protection from discharge Generally, employers cannot terminate your employment or discriminate against you based on your military service.