The Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004, Public Law 108-454, was signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 10 of last year. The Act is designed to improve and enhance education, housing, employment, and medical and other benefits for veterans. One item of significance for the employer community, however, is the Act’s provision requiring that employees be provided with notice of their rights, benefits, and obligations under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA).
Specifically, the law requires that the Department of Labor (DOL) make available to employers the text of a notice to be posted in all workplaces within 90 days of the date of enactment – which would be by this Thursday (March 10). The notice must be posted where employers customarily place such notices for employees. As of this morning, the DOL’s website, www.dol.gov/vets, directs users to visit the site on March 10 to obtain a copy of the final poster.
The new law also increases the maximum period that employees who are absent by reason of service in the uniformed services have the right to continue to participate in the employer’s health care plan. The maximum period for continuation coverage is now 24 months (up from 18 months). This provision became effective with the passage of the law.
Should you have any questions or require any additional information regarding the notice or other matters related to USERRA, please contact the Ogletree Deakins attorney with whom you normally work or the Client Services Department at 404-881-1300 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: This article was published in the March 8, 2005 issue of the National eAuthority.