Summary: H.R.1578 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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House agreed to Senate amendment with amendment (10/06/1992)

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1992 - Amends Federal veterans' benefits provisions to revise generally provisions relating to the employment and reemployment rights of members of the uniformed services.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Government should be a model employer in carrying out the reemployment practices enumerated under this Act. States that a person's entitlement to rights and benefits under this Act will be terminated in cases of a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge or a separation, release, or dismissal under conditions other than honorable.

Prohibits the denial of initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any benefit of employment by an employer against a person who is a member, applies for membership, performs, has performed, applies to perform, or has an obligation to perform service in a uniformed service on the basis of such service or obligation. States that such employer will be considered to have engaged in such prohibited conduct if the person's membership, application for membership, service, application for service, or obligation is a motivating factor in the employer's action, unless the employer can demonstrate that the action would have been taken in the absence of such membership, service, application, or obligation. Prohibits an employer from discriminating in employment or taking any adverse employment action against any person who has acted to enforce a protection afforded by this Act.

Entitles any person absent from employment (other than temporary employment) by reason of the performance of military service to the employment and reemployment rights and benefits of this Act if: (1) the person has given advance notice of such service to the employer; (2) except under certain conditions, the cumulative length of the absence and any previous absences from employment by reason of military service does not exceed five years; and (3) the person reports or applies to such employer upon completion of service in accordance with requirements enumerated under this Act. States that no employer notice is required when precluded by military necessity or when otherwise impossible or unreasonable. Outlines certain conditions under which a person shall remain entitled to employment and reemployment rights and benefits provided under this Act even though the cumulative length of the person's military service exceeds five years. Requires a person to report back to an employer within a specified period after release from duty order to retain such rights and benefits. Requires a person, when applying for reemployment, to present appropriate documentation showing that the person's application is timely, that he or she has not exceeded the allowed period of service under a military absence, and that the person's entitlement to rights and benefits under this Act have not terminated. Outlines conditions under which the failure of the provision of such documentation by the person returning from service must be excused by the employer.

Entitles a person to reemployment in the following positions upon return from duty in the armed forces: (1) if not disabled, to the position in which the person would have been employed if the employment had not been interrupted by such service or a similar position of like status and pay the duties of which the person is qualified to perform; (2) if not disabled, but not qualified to perform the duties of such a position, to the position in which the person was employed upon commencing service or a position of like status and pay the duties of which the person is qualified to perform; or (3) if disabled, to a position under (1) or (2) above, or an appropriate lesser position that the person is qualified to perform, after the employer makes a reasonable accommodation for such person's disability.

States that an employer is not required to reemploy a person if the employer's circumstances have so changed as to make such employment impossible or unreasonable. States that an employer is not required to make accommodations or provide training for a person if such effort would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business. Gives the employer the burden of proof in such cases.

Entitles a person reemployed after duty in the armed forces to all seniority and other rights and benefits that such person would have attained if such person had remained continuously employed by such employer. Allows a person to be continued under the employer's insurance coverage for up to 18 months during such duty. Prohibits the imposition of an exclusion or waiting period for employer-sponsored health benefits for coverage of a health or physical condition for a person performing duty in the armed forces if: (1) the condition arose before or during training or duty; (2) an exclusion or waiting period would not otherwise have been imposed; and (3) the condition of such person has not been determined by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to be service-connected. Limits the employer's ability to discharge a person reemployed after military duty, except for cause, for one year, six months, or a period of time equal to the period of service performed, depending on the length of the duty.

Allows any person who leaves employment (other than a temporary position) for service in the uniformed services to utilize any leave during such service which the person could have utilized if the person had remained so employed.

States that a person reemployed under this Act shall be treated as not having incurred a break in service with their employer for purposes of determining pension or retirement benefits, with the period of military service considered service with the employer. Requires the employer to fund any employee benefit pension plan in the appropriate amount for such employee. Requires a person reemployed to make appropriate payments to any plan that requires employee contributions for eligibility.

Directs the Secretary to assist any person entitled to employment rights and benefits under these provisions in the pursuit of appropriate employment or reemployment, whether such employment is sought in the Federal Government or through a private employer. Outlines procedures for obtaining such assistance for reemployment by the Federal Government through the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Allows a person denied employment or reemployment under these provisions to appeal such decision to the Merit Systems Protection Board, after filing a complaint to, and investigation by, the Secretary and the Office of the Special Counsel. Permits appellate review of Board decisions.

Outlines provisions for the filing of claims for the enforcement of employment or reemployment rights with a State or private employer through the filing of a complaint with the Secretary and further referral to the Attorney General if litigation of the claim is appropriate.

Authorizes the district courts to take certain steps to enforce compliance or impose damages. Provides all appropriate remedies, including injunctions and restraining orders. Outlines civil penalties for employers who refuse to comply with provisions of this Act.

Allows the duly authorized representatives of the Secretary access to documents of any person or employer for purposes of carrying out an investigation of an employment or reemployment rights question. Gives the Secretary subpoena power for the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documents. Requires the Secretary to report annually to the Congress concerning the number of cases reviewed and referred under provisions of this Act, together with recommendations for appropriate administrative or legislative action.

Directs the Secretary to provide those persons performing military service qualifying under this Act, as well as their employers, with information relating to their reemployment and other rights, benefits, and obligations for purposes of this Act.

Exempts the reemployment rights and benefits provided under this Act from general minimum active-duty service requirements applicable to other Federal veterans' benefits.