On August 10, 2021, a federal appeals court said employers must provide servicemembers with pay during military leave if they also pay employees on “comparable types of leave.” The case is a class action under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act of 1994 (“USERRA”).
The court said that “USERRA does not allow employers to treat servicemembers differently by paying employees for some kinds of leave while exempting military service.” Rather, “USERRA entitles employees taking military leave to the ‘other rights and benefits’ their employers give to employees taking similar kinds of leave,” including pay during leave.
The court did not decide what constitutes “comparable types of leave.” However, comparable leaves could include paid sick leave, paid jury duty leave, and paid bereavement leave--in other words, common reasons why employees are given paid leave.
According prominent lawyers, this decision may create new rights for employees and may give rise to class actions for employees who have been improperly denied paid leave.
If you are a service member and you may have been unfairly denied paid leave, please feel free to contact us for a free, confidential case evaluation.
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