My husband is in the Illinois National Guard. His boss has been giving him a pretty hard time about taking time off. Regardless if it is for vacation, drill, advance training, etc. There is a conference that comes around every 18 months which he and another manager have gone to in the past. He was told he was unable to go because of all the time he is missing from work. Him and this other manager just won a contest where they get an all expense training experience. Again he is not being allowed to attend. Both the conference AND contest are training / educational venues. Is this being discriminatory and not letting him do what he would normally be allowed to do if he were not in the IANG?
State/Country relating to question: Illinois
Don't know where to start - this is my first try.
Hello,It would be unlawful for your husband's employer to treat him differently simply because he is in the Guard and has taken time off under military orders. If his company is large enough to have an HR, then he will first need to file a formal complaint of Discrimination or retaliation under USERRA with them. If they cannot resolve the issue, then he will want to follow the complaint process discuss by the U.S. DOL which he can find at: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/vets/userra/mainmenu.asp
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Do the rules for Illinois play any differently? I would hate for him to go to HR and them come up with something that would totally backfire in his face.
No, Federal law trumps State law. In other words, State law cannot override Federal law that covers a particular issue, especially a discrimination issue.Marsha411JD41011.9347892014
If he starts this process in HR, and ends up being fired for it. Do we have anything to stand on? I know Illinois is a no-fault state. Also, if not fired and he is harassed to we have any recourse?
Yes, retaliation whether for taking time to serve or because someone is a servicemember or because the servicemember asserts their legal rights under the Act is unlawful. It would be wrongful termination under the Act if he was terminated for asserting his rights. Again, any adverse actions that are taken because he is a military servicemember or because he asserts his rights would be unlawful. Please go the link I provided and your husband can read at length about his rights under the law. Best of luck to you.
Licensed attorney and former Navy JAG serving ashore, afloat and at the OJAG
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