A Re-examination of USERRA and Our Government’s Commitment to Reservists

In 1994, the government entered into a covenant between military reservists and private employers in the form of a law (USERRA) which ensures that those who chose to serve our country and at the same time who work for private companies are not penalized for such a dual commitment. Many companies faithfully honor this obligation which is morally right and has the force of law behind it. However, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals – which is one step below the U.S. Supreme Court – has ruled in one case that a pre-employment arbitration signed by an employee/reservist can be honored despite the law that allows reservists to return to their jobs after periods of active-duty service.

 

The specific case involves an active duty military reservist named Kevin Ziober who worked for BLB Resources. Ziober was fired by BLB Resources on his last day of work before deploying to Afghanistan. (The company denied that it fired Ziober because of his military service.) Prior to his termination, Ziober signed an arbitration agreement that eliminated his right to sue his employer. The court ruled that the arbitration agreement that Ziober signed did strip him of his right to sue under USERRA. However, the court did not challenge the validity of USERRA itself. To that point, Ziober, his attorney and Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, have expressed the need for USERRA to be strengthened in a manner that gives service members the right to sue despite their having been an arbitration agreement in effect prior to their termination.

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About Skip

eMarine PX is an online retailer of U.S.M.C. specialties run by a group of Marine Corps Veterans. The idea to create eMarine PX came from our own experience with trying to find affordable Marine Corps products. As a member of the 26th Marines during the Vietnam War, we complained about not being able to find products for the 26th Marines and when we did find something they were extremely expensive to purchase. Hence eMarinePX.com was born. eMarine PX is the Official National PX for the 3rd Marine Division Association. eMarine PX products are sold exclusively online and through a printed catalog to be able to offer quality U.S.M.C. products at affordable prices. The management team has extensive experience with retail management which translates to fast and friendly service to our customers. The eMarine PX warehouse sits on 5 acres in the Tahoe Forest in Nevada City, California offering the ability to ship anywhere in the world including FPO/APO address'. Plans are already in place to expand the warehouse to better serve all Veterans, active duty Marines and their families. eMarine PX is licensed with the USMC Trademark Office in DC. eMarine PX are proud members of: Vietnam Veterans of America (Life Member) 1st Marine Division Association (Life Member) 3rd Marine Division Association (Life Member) Disabled American Veterans (Life Member) Veterans of Foreign Wars (Life Member) Marine Corps League (Life Member) American Legion Marine Corps Association BPOE

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