When Minnesota members of the National Guard or Reserve are called in for training or duty, they may be required to leave their regular jobs in order to fulfill their obligation to the government. While in peacetime, this obligation usually consists of training drills that take place one weekend each month in addition to a full two-week program annually. During war, it could be an indefinite period of time. To protect these people from negative consequences associated with their service, the federal and Minnesota governments have taken steps to ensure these workers are properly treated.
According to the United States Department of Labor, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act prohibits any act of discrimination based upon a person’s involvement in the military, whether past or present. It also protects service members and those who have applied for membership in uniformed service from not being hired, being fired, being passed over for promotions or losing their civilian jobs when they are called for duty or training purposes. Essentially, military members must be treated the same as any other workers, and if they do not receive the same treatment and benefits of employment, their employers are likely guilty of discrimination or retaliation.
Minnesota laws are not as broad as USERRA, but do offer some protection to military members. This includes the prohibition of firing employees based on their service, threatening current employees with job loss if they should enlist and interfering with an employee’s service in any way. Those in the Minnesota naval forces and military are protected under these laws in addition to regular U.S. service members.