Good Morning (or Good Afternoon). My name is (insert name – title, background, etc). I am the volunteer from the Military Outreach Directorate of the MD ESGR Committee. Today’s briefing will be on ESGR – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and how it applies to you and your family as you prepare to go on Active Duty.
Today I will brief you on the actions you and your family need to accomplish before and during your active
Our mission is (Read Mission Statement). MD ESGR consists of 60 volunteers, former military and non-military and 3 full time staffers serving over 15 thousand Guard and Reserve members in Maryland. Mr. George Doetsch is our State Chair. He is the owner of Apple Ford in Columbia. Our Vice Chair is Col (Retired) Ben Jablecki. Ben served in the MD Air Guard for over 35 years and now works in the Army civilian personnel office at APG. We have 3 full time staff members located at the 5 th Regiment Armory. ESGR has four areas we provide services. 1 – Employer Outreach – we provide employers with briefings, sample personnel policies, employer resource guides and other material to assist them in the management of their employees that are reserve component members and to comply with the USERRA law. 2 – Military Outreach – that is what I am doing today. ESGR provides annual unit briefings, Pre-Mob and De-Mob briefings. We will set up a table at your unit family or employer day event. #3 – Ombudsman Services – we provide certified Ombudsmen to resolve disputes and issues between an employer and the service member. And #4 Employment Assistance for the military member and spouse. We can direct you to several agencies that can assist you in finding a job. There is no cost for job placement assistance.
Here is what you need to do during your pre-mobilization period. To be eligible for rights under USERRA, you must be employed by an employer, you must have left your employer because of military service. You must provide prior notice to your employer that you will be performing military service. (Handout sample letter) Notice may be verbal or in writing. Written notice is preferred: letter to your employer with orders attached or email with a scanned copy of your orders. Hand out sample Employer Notification Letter
It is recommended that you provide your employer with your contact information. This can be your personal email or your military email address. Maintain contact and keep the channels of communications open at all times. Use email. Let your employer know when you will be returning back to work, or an estimated return to work date.
Hand out – plastic Card RC members who meet the requirements for reemployment rights are entitled to the following USERRA protections. Military Leave of Absence . Employers are required to grant employees a military leave of absence to perform military service. Prompt Reinstatement . Service for 1-30 days, reinstatement will normally be the next work day. Service for 31 days or more, reinstatement will usually be no more than 2 weeks from the date of application. The position you are reinstated into will usually be the same job you left or if you were away for 91 days or more, a position of like seniority, status and pay. Accumulation of Seniority . Also referred to as the ‘escalator principle’, this entitles you to the same seniority-based rights and benefits (including pensions) that you would have attained had you remained continuously employed. For pensions, RC members have 3 times the amount of time they were deployed (up to 5 years) to pay any missed employee contributions to their pension plan. Protection Against Discharge . For a limited period of time after returning from 31 days or more of military service, you cannot be discharged except for cause. Reinstatement of Health Insurance . Health benefits are reinstated immediately upon reemployment - no waiting period and no exclusion for pre-existing conditions. If service is 30 days or less RC members can elect to continue coverage at the same cost prior to activation. If service is 31 days or more, RC members can elect to continue coverage at a cost of 102% of the total employer cost. Training and Retraining . If you are no longer qualified due to technological advances, your employer must provide the necessary training to update your skills or retrain you into a new position. Protection against discrimination. USERRA protects past members, current members, and persons who apply to be a member of any branch of the uniformed services from discrimination. If an individual’s past, present, or future connection with the military service is a motivating factor in an employer’s adverse action, the burden of proof is on the employer. The employer must prove that they would have taken the same action regardless of the individual’s connection with the military.
To be eligible for rights under USERRA, you must be employed by an employer, you must have left your employer because of military service and you must meet the following requirements; Serve under honorable conditions . Your period of military service performed must be honorable or under honorable conditions. Dishonorable, bad conduct and other than honorable discharges, dismissal and dropped from the rolls forfeit USERRA protection.
With the end of the draft in the early 1970s, defense planners concluded that some employers might not be supportive of their workers serving in uniform ‘voluntarily. Therefore, in 1972, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) was established by presidential decree as a Department of Defense 9DoD) agency to help educate, inform and partner with our nation’s employers to help gain and maintain employer support for the Guard and Reserve. The mission of ESGR is to gain and maintain active employer support for the Guard and Reserve. We carry out its mission with over 3,500 volunteers in all 55 states, U.S. Territories and Europe. We assist service members in recognizing employers through our volunteers and ESGR web site, and provide free education, consultation, and if necessary, mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees.
Hand out MBIAPA nomination forms w/pens. Have every svc mbr fill out a MBIAPA form and return to you. Employer awards help to strengthen employer support for the Guard and Reserve by recognizing the supportive efforts of an employer. The ‘Patriot Award’ is the first level of award an employer can receive. It is awarded to any employer, civic or government leader who has been supportive of the Guard and Reserve. Any RC member can nominate their employer for this award by going to the ESGR web site at www.esgr.mil. Military leaders at all levels should encourage their troops to go online and nominate their employer for this award. The Patriot Award consists of a Department of Defense (DoD) certificate of appreciation with the employers’ name on it and a patriotic lapel pin. The Above and Beyond Award recognizes employers who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements required by USERRA for granting leave and providing support for military duty. The Pro Patria Award is awarded annually to the most supportive employer in the State. The Freedom Award is the top award for employers from ESGR. It is awarded annually by the Secretary of Defense to the most supportive employers in America. Past Maryland Winners – SODEXO (Gaithersburg); Central Atlantic Toyota (Glen Burnie); Ford Motor Co; CSX Transportation
Hand out return to work sample letter. Here is what you need to do during post-mobilization (when you return from active duty). You must notify your employer that you will be returning to work. Use sample letter. (Handout sample letter) Notice may be verbal or in writing (email). You have a limited number of days from the last day of your orders to request a return to work. (see plastic card) <30 days – you must report back to work the next day; 31 to 180 days – you have 14 days to request your job back; 181 days or longer you have 90 days to request your job back. Remember – during this period you are not getting military pay and no civilian pay. But if you need the time to take care of your family – take it. If you return and do not have a job – we will assist you in finding a job via the Heroes 2 Hires program or via the MD National Guard Employment Assistance Officer – Steve Greathouse – at the 5 th Regiment Armory.
Here is how you or your family can contact ESGR to answer questions or to resolve any employer issue: Note To Briefer : As a reminder, this presentation is intended to provide basic information. If you are asked a question and do not know the answer, DO NOT GUESS! Simply refer the member to the contact information listed above. If you tell the member you will get back to them, be sure to do so and follow-up in a timely manner.
Required end slide per HQESGR – “ We all serve together to support the men and women in uniform and their families.”
Maryland PRE-DEPLOYMENT BRIEFING “Building Relationships Between Employers and Today’s Military”03/27/12 www.mdesgr.org 1
Pre-Deployment Briefing What you need to do BEFORE and DURING your deployment or mobilization Developed by: Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve03/27/12 www.mdesgr.org 2
MD ESGR CommitteeMission: ESGR is a Department of Defense agency that seeks to promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees. We recognize outstanding support, increase awareness of the law, and resolve conflicts through mediation. State Chair – George Doetsch – Owner Apple Ford Vice Chair – Col (USAF Ret) Ben Jablecki – CPO APG Employer Outreach Military Outreach Ombudsman Services Employment Initiative 03/27/12 www.mdesgr.org 3
Pre-DeploymentÐ Notify your employer o To ensure your job is protected, you must provide your employer with prior notice l Notice may be verbal or in writing (or email) r Written notice is preferred: letter to your employer with orders attached03/27/12 www.mdesgr.org 4
During Deploymentt Talk to your employer l Provide your employer with your new contact information as soon as possible o Maintain regular contact Tell your employer when you will be returning and your reemployment intentions03/27/12 www.mdesgr.org 5
During Deploymentt Know your job is protected You have rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) e Military leave of absence f Prompt reinstatement m Accumulation of seniority s Protection against discharge s Immediate reinstatement of health insurance a Training and retraining r Protection against discrimination03/27/12 www.mdesgr.org 6
During Deploymentt Serve Honorably t To ensure you are eligible for USERRA rights, you must serve honorably while on active duty o Your period of military service performed must be honorable or under honorable conditions e Dishonorable, bad conduct and other than honorable discharges, dismissal and dropped from the rolls forfeit USERRA protection03/27/12 www.mdesgr.org 7
Support Networkp ESGR – your support network o A DoD agency established to gain employer support for the Guard and Reserve G Comprised of over 3,500 volunteers in all 55 States, U.S. Territories and Europe T Assists service members in recognizing employers and resolving employment related issues03/27/12 www.mdesgr.org 8
Employer Recognitiont Recognize your Employer m Do you have an employer who has already been supportive of you? u Submit an ESGR award nomination form on line at www.esgr.mil w First level award; ‘Patriot Award’, includes a DoD certificate and a lapel pin a Other awards include; Above and Beyond, Pro Patria and Secretary of Defense - Freedom Award03/27/12 www.mdesgr.org 9
Post DeploymentH Notify your employer o When you return - notify your employer of the date you want to return to work r Provide your employer with prior notice l Notice may be verbal or in writing r Written notice is preferred: letter to your employer with orders attached03/27/12 www.mdesgr.org 10