BLR News


Military Leave a Tricky Issue for HR Managers

Old Saybrook, CT – June 9, 2005 – With citizen soldiers fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the nation’s human resource managers are finding it difficult to comply with military leave under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act., “Making State HR Compliance Easier”, reports that a small but significant number of firms are in non-compliance on two key areas of military leave – posting notice, and continuation of health care benefits.

Most firms (92%) in BLR’s online survey conducted in May 2005 reported that they are in compliance with the new posting requirement from the Department of Labor, effective since March 10, 2005. But 57 companies, or 8%, have not provided employee notice of their rights under USERRA, and are, therefore, in violation of its notice requirements.

Employers, which previously were required to offer continuation of health care benefits for up to 18 months, now must offer it to those on military leave and dependents for 24 months. Most (88%) reported that they offer the right to continue in the group health plan for up to 24 months. But 12% are not in compliance with USERRA on this issue.

Susan Prince, senior legal editor at Business & Legal Reports, which operates, commented on the results: “It’s clear that the involvement of our citizen soldiers is having an effect on HR professionals as they attempt to understand and comply with USERRA.” “It also”, she continued, “highlights the overall complexity of military leave compliance as it interplays with FMLA and state leave laws”. More than 750 HR professionals responded, representing businesses of various sizes and industries across the United States.

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Fully 73% of respondents reported that the issue of military leave has gained more importance to them in the past year.

The survey also reported on the number of employees out on military leave, pay issues, and military leave discrimination claims. BLR offers a free download, “An Employer’s Guide to Military Leave”, which includes both state and federal military leave law at

About BLR

Old Saybrook, Conn.-based BLR produces plain-English compliance and training resources for HR, compensation, safety, and environmental managers. For more information, call 800-727-5257 or visit