Kansas employees who are also members of the state or National Guard or reserves might have to leave their regular civilian jobs for military service. If you are called to active duty, you might be absent from your private sector job for months. But while you are gone, federal and state laws protect your job rights.
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
USERRA is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against employees who are in the U.S. Armed Forces, have served in the military, or take leave to serve in the military.
USERRA provides valuable additional protections as well. It requires employers to reinstate employees who take up to five years off for military service, with all of the promotions, raises, and other benefits they would have received had they worked through their time off. And, it prohibits employers from firing employees without cause for up to one year after they return from service. (For more information on USERRA, see Taking Military Leave.)
Kansas Laws Protecting Employees on Military Leave
USERRA protects employees who serve in the United States military, including those who serve in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Reserves, Army or Air National Guard, and Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service. If you work in Kansas and you need time off for service in one of these branches of the military, you are protected by USERRA.
Kansas law also protects employees who are members of the state’s military forces. These employees are entitled to leave when called into active duty by the state. Once their service is over, these employees must be reinstated to their former position or to a position that is comparable based on seniority, status, and pay. Reinstated employees may not be discharged without cause for one year.
Kansas also protects employees who need time off work to attend annual muster and camp of instruction for the Kansas National Guard. These employees are entitled to take five to ten days of leave each year for this purpose. An employer who fails to allow an employee to attend camp or who penalizes an employee for attending is guilty of a misdemeanor.
If you have faced discrimination because of your military service, or you have been denied the reinstatement and other rights available to you under USERRA or Kansas law, check out servicemembers.gov, the Department of Justice's website devoted to enforcing USERRA and other laws that protect the rights of those who serve in the military. You'll also find helpful information at the website of Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve.