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New York Employment Lawyers

Protecting the Rights of Veterans & Active Military Members

At Bonnaig & Associates, LLC, we are deeply grateful for the sacrifices made by our active duty and veteran military members. We want to do everything we can to protect their rights and ensure their comfort in the workplace. With more than 30 years of experience, our New York employment lawyers know how to take action on your behalf when it comes to workplace conflicts. At our firm, your needs are always at the forefront.

If you believe you are being treated unfairly at your job, call a New York employment lawyer at (646) 374-4819. We recommend hiring an attorney prior to speaking with your HR representative.

Regaining Your Job after Serving on Active Duty

If you are sent to active duty while serving a reservist or a member of the National Guard, you are entitled to fair and comparable re-employment at the same company that you left. To regain employment after more than 31 days of absence, you will need to re-apply to your former job.

Prior to leaving for military service, you must give written or verbal notice of your absence to your employer. If you serve more than five years on active duty or if you are dishonorably discharged from service, your employer is not required to rehire you. It is important that you apply for your job in a timely manner after the conclusion of your service.

Protecting Your Rights under USERRA

USERRA, or the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, is a federal law outlining the fair treatment of military members in civilian workplaces.

Under USERRA, qualified uniformed service members and veterans have the right to:

  • Retain their civilian employment and benefits
  • Obtain or retain jobs without fear of discrimination due to their service
  • Receive accommodation for disabilities stemming from active duty injuries
  • Benefit from employee-provided medical coverage for up to 24-months of active duty

If you feel you have been treated unjustly, please call us. As a litigation boutique, we carefully design strategies tailored to your problems and circumstances. Come forward and assert your rights with courage. Learn what our firm is all about by reading our stellar reviews. We are proud of our ability to put smiles on our clients’ faces and focus on satisfactory outcomes.

Dial (646) 374-4819 or contact us online to speak with a New York employment lawyer from our team today.

The New York City Human Rights Law

On August 23, 2016, legislation was introduced proposing to amend the New York City Human Rights Law, to make veterans a protected class in New York City.

New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio has stated:

“Veterans across the country routinely face obstacles in employment, housing, and public accommodat­ions. We don’t tolerate that in New York City. These brave men and women put their lives on the line for our country and they deserve respect and dignity.”

According to the City, veterans and active service members are vulnerable to differential treatment from employers who believe they may be deployed at any time or unfairly believe they may have mental health trauma due to experiences during their service.

Nearly 14,000 veterans in New York State are currently unemployed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Public Advocate Letitia James announced, “By guaranteeing our veterans safeguards under the City’s Human Rights Law, we will ensure that all uniformed service members, retired and active, are protected from discrimination. New York is a city that will always stand by those who have served to protect us.”

The Mayor has signed the amendment to the City Human Rights Law adding current or prior service in the uniformed services as a protected class under the law. The amendment took effect on November 19, 2017.

“Uniformed service” is defined as including current or prior service in the:

  • United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard (including the Reserves);
  • Army or Air National Guard;
  • Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Services;
  • organized militia of the state of New York or any other state, territory or possession of the United States; and
  • any other service designated as part of the “uniformed services” under federal law.

Employers, employment agencies and labor organizations will be prohibited from discriminating against any person on the basis of his or her current or past uniformed service by:

  • representing that employment or a position is not available when it is in fact available;
  • refusing to hire or employ or barring or discharging such person from employment or labor organization membership; or
  • discriminating against such person in compensation or in the terms, conditions or privileges of employment.

The amendment further provides that it would not be an unlawful discriminatory practice to afford a preference or privilege based on uniformed service in employment, housing, lending or public accommodation.

While this amendment to the City Human Rights Law does not address accommodations for service members, both USERRA and state law provide for certain leave, benefit maintenance, and reinstatement rights in connection with military service.

Vindicating Your Rights Is Our Business

“For me, it comes from the heart. I care about justice and doing the right thing. It is my privilege to fight by your side.”

- Denise K. Bonnaig
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