Illinois Military Service (USERRA) laws & HR compliance analysis

Illinois Military Service (USERRA): What you need to know

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 4301et seq.).
Illinois has enacted such a law.
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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 Illinois law is less protective than USERRA, then the rights given by USERRA will apply and not the less protective Illinois law. In addition, if Illinois law is more protective than USERRA, then the Illinois law will apply.
The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment based on an individual's status on active duty in or status as a veteran of the armed forces of the United States, status as a current member or veteran of any reserve component of the armed forces of the United States, including the U.S. Army Reserve, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, U.S. Navy Reserve, U.S. Air Force Reserve, and U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, or status as a current member or veteran of the Illinois Army National Guard or Illinois Air National Guard. (775 ILCS 5/1-101et seq.).
Covered employers. The Act covers all public employers and private employers with 15 or more employees in the state of Illinois .
The Illinois Military Leave of Absence Act has been amended to specifically state that a violation of the leave law is a civil rights violation under the Human Rights Act (5 ILCS 325/1.01).
Exception. Unfavorable discharge may be a valid employment criterion when authorized by federal law or regulation or when a job involves “fiduciary ...

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