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Employer Policies to Support Reserve and Guard Employees


Employers know the benefits of hiring members of the military. They gain their expertise, dedication, and sense of responsibility. As part of their military service commitment, members of the National Guard and Reserve are required to serve at least one weekend a month and two weeks a year for annual training. Deployments may also be required and can last for several months or even a year. It’s also important to note that National Guard and Reserve members may be called into full-time service at any time without much advanced notice, which can be difficult to navigate in a civilian workplace.

In August 2021, President Biden said employers who support this community “directly contribute to our military readiness and our national security.”

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994 established rights and responsibilities for members of the National Guard and Reserve and their civilian employers. USERRA protects employment, reemployment, employment benefits and retention in employment when employees serve or have served in the uniformed services. It is important for employers to stay current of the protections afforded to employees who are called to duty in the armed services. Their Human Resources managers should be knowledgeable about and understand the rules of military leave.

If you are an employer, there are several resources you can access to ensure you are doing everything possible to support your employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve. Additionally, resources also inform employers on how they can be supported. These include VA for Vets and additional training in USERRA. Other resources include handouts on Planning for Military Leave for Employees in the Reserve and National Guard and Example of a Military Leave Policy.

Members of the National Guard and Reserve offer unique talents and skill sets to the civilian workforce. Success in the workplace, for all parties involved, depends on receiving the proper education and supporting both the employee and employer.

For more information on how your workplace can support members of the National Guard and Reserve, please contact AAFMAA Member Benefits at 888-557-1906, option 2, then option 2 again, or [email protected].