Much like the federal government, which has enacted the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), many states have enacted laws to protect the employment status of the men and women who serve in the armed forces (38 USC 4301 et seq.). Louisiana has enacted such a law, called the Military Service Relief Act (LA Rev. Stat. Sec. 29:401 et seq.). The law covers all employers, both public and private.
Remember that USERRA, a federal law, preempts any state law that is less protective of the employment and reemployment rights of uniformed service people. That is, if Louisiana law is less protective than USERRA, the rights given by USERRA will apply and not the less protective Louisiana law. In addition, if Louisiana law is more protective than USERRA, the Louisiana law will apply.
The Act prohibits hiring, reemployment, promotion, and other employment practices that discriminate against workers or applicants because they are members of the “uniformed services,” defined by the law as the U.S. armed forces, reserves, National Guard, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and any other category of persons designated by the president in time of war or emergency. The law also prohibits an employer from taking adverse employment action against any person because the person exercises his or her rights under the law or assists another person in doing so, regardless of whether the person is a member of the military.
The Act requires that any person who is absent from employment as a result of his or her service in the uniformed services is entitled to reemployment in the former position or a position of like seniority, status, and pay, within ...