Rhode Island Military Service (USERRA) laws & HR compliance analysis

Rhode Island 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.). Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island law is less protective than USERRA, then the rights given by USERRA will apply and not the less protective Rhode Island law. In addition, if Rhode Island law is more protective than USERRA, then the Rhode Island law will apply.
Employers may not discharge or otherwise discriminate against individuals because they are members of the state military forces or the U.S. reserves, nor hinder or prevent an employee from performing military duty when ordered to do so. Anyone who violates these provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor and will face a fine of up to $500 or a prison term of up to one year, or both (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 30-11-2, Sec. 30-11-6, Sec. 30-11-9).
U.S. armed forces. Employees who leave employment to serve in the U.S. armed forces are entitled to reinstatement upon their honorable discharge. To qualify, an employee must request reinstatement within 40 days of being honorably discharged. If the employee is still qualified to perform the duties of his or her former position, he or she must be reinstated to that position or to a position of like seniority, status, and pay, unless the employer's circumstances have so changed as to make it impossible or ...

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