Federal Law Now Allows Hostile Work Environment Claim Under USERRA
January 7th, 2012 by JBWK
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act of 1994 (USERRA) has long prohibited firing employees based on their military or reserve service. Although USERRA’s protection of servicemembers went above and beyond many federal employment laws, one thing was missing.
Until the end of last year, employees had no cause of action for a hostile work environment based on service-related harassment (much like sexual harassment, but based on the employee’s service). But prompted by a federal Court of Appeals decision dismissing a claim for service-related harassment, Congress amended USERRA to allow for hostile work environment claims.
The amendment became effective November 21, 2011. Probably one of the least understood federal employment laws, now is a good time to brush up on its requirements.
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