Your Right to Time Off Work FAQ

I'm in the National Guard, and I've been called to active duty. Am I entitled to get my job back when I return? Can my wife take time off now to make arrangements for my departure?

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I'm in the National Guard, and I've been called to active duty. Am I entitled to get my job back when I return? Can my wife take time off now to make arrangements for my departure?

You and your wife may both have rights in this situation: You have the right to be reinstated, and she may have the right to take leave to prepare for your deployment.

Your right to reinstatement comes from the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Among other things, USERRA gives you the right to return to the job you would have held if you hadn't taken time off for military service. This means you are entitled to any raises, promotions, or other benefits you would have received if you were continually on the job. See Nolo's article Taking Military Leave for more information.

If your wife is eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), she has the right to use this leave to handle "qualifying exigencies" arising from your active duty or call to active duty. Examples of qualifying exigencies are arranging child care and school activities, making legal and financial arrangements, attending family support programs, and dealing with issues arising from short-notice deployment. For more information, see Nolo's article Military Family Leave for Employees.

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