New Mexico Military Service (USERRA) laws & HR compliance analysis

New Mexico 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 4301 et seq.).
New Mexico has enacted such a law. The law applies to both public and private employers. Remember that USERRA, a federal law, preempts any state law that is less protective of the employment and reemployment rights of uniformed service people. There is additional information.
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Employers are prohibited from discharging or otherwise discriminating in employment against any person because of membership in the National Guard. Employers are further prohibited from preventing employees who are National Guard members from performing any military service they may be called to perform. Employers who willfully violate this law will be guilty of a misdemeanor (NM Stat. Sec. 20-4-6).
Permanent employees who leave a job to enter the U.S. armed forces, National Guard, or reserves are entitled to a leave of absence for the period of their military service.
Employers must reinstate individuals honorably discharged from the military to their former position or a position of like seniority, status, and pay, provided that they:
• Apply within 90 days of their release or within 1 year of service-related hospitalization
• Are still qualified to perform their previous job
Private employers must reinstate these individuals unless circumstances make their reinstatement impossible or unreasonable.
Benefits. Employees who have been on military leave are to be treated as if they have been on a leave of absence. They ...

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