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Thread: Are civilian employers showing bias against National Guard and Reservists?

  1. #11

    Cool Re: Are civilian employers showing bias against National Guard and Reservists?

    In my experience with the LAPD, if you are in the Reserves, try not to mention it too often or it is the kiss of death to your career. Everyone likes vets, however police are "at war" 24/7 and need people too. Your work should stand on it's own without telling war stories as an ace in the hole. However if you are mobilized you have to make up for lost time when you get back.

    This last year the LAPD won the ESGR freedom award for supporting Reservists. They matched pay, refund medical insurance premiums and have
    even have a full time Officer dedicated to helping Deployed Reservists.

    If you are a Marine, you have a home at the LAPD. The problem is when you do get back from your deployment, you have to compete with Officers (civilian types) who never left. You need to put yourself out there again build your reputation and try to get promoted. When it comes to promoting, I have been told behind closed doors to "keep the military" out of your interview and you will get promoted a little easier.

    "Keeping the military" out of an interview after you have been gone for 2 years leaves you discussing accomplishments you made 2 years ago in comparison to your peers who have moved on to specialized units.

    The only solution I can see is to suck it up, be squared away, get promoted and help other Reservists once you get higher up the foodchain. If you are not in a civil service job, you are subject an employer who would rather eat the attorney fees after they let one go then keep a Reservist.

    I am not sure If anymore laws can help since they place the burden on the indivdual who doesn't want to make waves and is generally a team player.
    This is what some active duty folks don't understand.

    Wait until it's your turn to get out, your vet status will only mean something to vets on the job so please have a little more patience with Reservists.
    Good luck

  2. #12

    Re: Are civilian employers showing bias against National Guard and Reservists?

    I am a Vietnam Veteran but I have seen first hand in two cases here in Ohio. One was linked to a suicide of the service member in the Columbus Health Department. Another happened in Canton, Ohio. It is the reason why I have done the research into the state laws that run concurrently with USERRA. I wanted to know just how states help or hinder service members in reemployment rights. The matter is a very complicated issue some states like New York, Illinois, Washington and Maine are doing well. I have posted all the state laws on one website

  3. #13

    Re: Are civilian employers showing bias against National Guard and Reservists?

    Yes. I was told directly by a member of the board of directors of the company that hired me to lead it not to mention my reserve status in interviews. After I was hired, I brought it up to plan for future possible mobilizations. I was told that the board would like to fire me, and I responded that USERRA made that impossible and requested a meeting with my ESGR representative to iron things out. At the next board meeting, the board members voted to dissolve the company. It was an arts company, and I am a successful arts professional who happens to spend time defending the freedoms that the arts must have to thrive... I can assure you that anti-reservist sentiment runs high in at least one former nfp company's corporate stewards. Don't worry about me, though, "adapt and overcome," I'm on to a bigger and better gig, and about to deploy with the new company's blessing and support. "Sweet are the uses of adversity" - William Shakespeare

  4. #14

    Re: Are civilian employers showing bias against National Guard and Reservists?

    I'm in the AGR program in Indiana and have applied for numerous part-time evening postion around central Indiana. ALL of these positions I would be more than qualified for, yet I haven't received one single phone call for an interview. I have a job, but for our Brother and Sister Soldiers that don't, that are traditional Soldiers, what can be done? We can't make employers hire us, we can't lie on applications, will our State and Federal Governments help us out, who knows. If this trend continues something will have to be done. Maybe anyone feeling the effects of this trend should start contacting their Congressman, if we speak up, someone will eventually hear us. STRENGTH IN NUMBERS!

  5. #15

    Re: Are civilian employers showing bias against National Guard and Reservists?

    My State Senator John Boccieri has just returned from Washington, DC where he made a presentation on Veteran Issues. This is what was reported in the local newspaper here.

    [QUOTE]In the next year, Boccieri added, the council will look into problems in the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act. USERRA was passed to prohibit discrimination against persons because of their service in the Armed Forces. USERRA prohibits an employer from denying any benefit of employment on the basis of an individual's membership or application to the military. It is also designed to protect the rights of veterans, reservists and National Guard members to reclaim their civilian employment after being absent due to military service or training.

    "The majority of time we see employers who honor veterans and their service," Boccieri said. However, on occasion we've seen gross violations of this federal law which has loopholes large enough to fly a C-130 through." Boccieri is a major and C-130 pilot in the Air Force Reserve.

    Boccieri fears that changes in the service of reservists and National Guard will see USERRA violations increase.

    In the past, a reservist or National Guard member could only be called to active duty two out of five years. "Now it is unlimited, Congress has basically federalized the reservists and National Guard."

    The Guard and Reserve troops have to speak up when they are not on duty and tell their side of the story. You are correct. I am gearing up my website to hear from you Guard and Reserve Troops and I really do want to hear from you Guard and Reservist. I am trying to get good state law past here in Ohio and in other states. The only way that is going to happen is if the Guard and Reserve know about their rights under USERRA and speak up by writing legislators. They should read the GAO Report on USERRA that came out.

    Job Discimination is illegal! :mad2: This angers me the most. Those who join up and who are part-time soldiers should have the respect and honor of the community but it seems that it is not so to some employers. I am reminded of an old chestnut saying that could be revised, remember now that I am a combat Vietnam Veteran and I have the highest respect for you all. .:thumbup:I say the following with tongue in cheek
    The philosophy of some of the employers seems to be that the all the Guardsmen has to say, "Please don't tell them that I am a Guardsmen or a Reservist when I am not here, my other job is a piano player in a house of ill repute." You will get hired!

  6. #16


    Yes there is. Been there done that. Have experienced it first hand. Now own my own business. We're a small business. At times I've offered work to Reservists/Guardmen. Now I won't. Even though I'm a vet, and been in the Reserves and Guard and been deployed twice.
    At one time people got deployed for at the most 279 days. Not anymore. Sure if a person works for the Gov or a big contractor with Gov contracts you're better off.
    Most employers have never served in the military nor do they want too nor will they let their children.
    Sure they wear an American flag on their coat. Sure they say, "Thanks", and they'll go see a parade. But that is where it ends.
    Sure, there are "laws" to protect you, but unless you have millions in the bank, don't bet the ranch on getting justice.
    So, if you are a Reservist or Guardsmen I suggest this. When you go talk to your boss or your supervisor or human resouce people, take a small tape recorder with you. Record your conversations with them. Yes, sadly keep the recorder with you at all times. Don't let them know you have it.
    Keep them recordings in a safe place. So, if you are deployed, and you loose your job or or not promoted you have real evidence to fall back on.
    Yup, sounds dirty, but let me tell you, if they have the potential to treat you badly and you don't have a big fat bank account to hire a lawyer, then you'd better CYA.

  7. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Are civilian employers showing bias against National Guard and Reservists?

    Beginning in 1990 with the first Gulf War, there has been increasing reluctance for civilian employers to hire NG/Reservists. Throughout the 1990's with Bosnia, etc, civilian employers became more and more hostile to NG/Reservists. With the first Gulf War, many employers kept called up employees with full benefits, even supplementing their military pay to equal their civilian pay. That's all gone now. And it will only get worse for NG/Reservists, many of whom are going back to Iraq for a second tour. This includes Reservists working for large corporations as well as small firms...even Defense Industry contractors.

  8. #18

    Re: Are civilian employers showing bias against National Guard and Reservists?

    I was talking to a few JAG officers the other day and they told me that there is a a fear of reprisal from the employer to the service member.Since the Guard and Reserve have been federalized many service members have returned home to no jobs even though they had one when they left. Many states have good law but other states do not. In Ohio where I am from, I have the opportunity to change law. I need help from those who have been damaged by coming home to no job. Many fear that if they speak up that another employer will not hire them or if they say something now the negotiation with their employer is going to fail. It is a catch 22 for these warriors.

    I need you people to speak up so that law can be tighten up. If you remain silent you will loose.

  9. #19

    Re: Are civilian employers showing bias against National Guard and Reservists?

    Even though I am a guardsman, I can't help but feel sorry for many employers who have to deal with this issue. The original Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act was passed during World War I, reenacted during World War II, modified during Operation Desert Storm, and then replaced with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act in 2003. With regards to the employment aspect, the initial plan was to cover servicemen who went off to war one time for an extended length. Employers could deal with that, especially when faced with World Wars 1 and 2.

    But now we have multiple deployments, shorter lengths, coverage for drill weekends, etc. We have numerous instances (at least in the Air NG and Air Reserve) where imany individuals are not volunteering to deploy out of patriotism. They are volunteering for multiple short AEF tours of 45-120 days to make tax-free money and earn retirement points. And don't even think of arguing this point. The ANG and Reserves deploy most of their aircraft capability and most support using volunteers for either a full 120-day AEF period or broken down into 45-day or shorter rotation periods. I have done this several times, many within my wing have and continue to do it, and conversations with other guardsmen from other states indicate that many do this. Orders will say "involuntary mobilization", but the method for most is that they volunteer to be involuntarily mobilized.

    I know that the majority of Army Guardsmen and reservists (and some Air) need these federal protections. They are not volunteering and will actually be in direct harm's way. But maybe employer resistance to National Guard service has a benefit by allowing civilians another avenue to protest military actions that do not have the support of the American people.

  10. #20

    Re: Are civilian employers showing bias against National Guard and Reservists?

    If your employer wanted you to waiver your USERRA rights in order to obtain the good job would you take it. If your were about to be deployed, walked in and told your employer this and was summarily fired. How would you feel. These are the War Stories I here at home. We have a standard of taking care of our service members. I could go on. There are good employers but there are bad ones too! The only way to help the service members is to speak up.

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