mature male veteran

Know your rights

Whether you’re currently serving or have served in any of the military branches, you’ve earned a range of rights and benefits. The following recaps a number of federal and state laws that are important for you to know as you pursue your civilian career.

Federal Law

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 is a federal law intended to ensure that persons who serve or have served in any branch of the military, including in the reserves or in the National Guard, are:

  • Not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of past, present or future military service
  • Promptly reemployed in their civilian jobs upon their return from duty

Minnesota Law

Minnesota Statute § 192.34 prohibits employment discrimination based on military service

Minnesota law protects members of the military from being fired for taking part in required military duties. It’s also illegal for an employer to threaten negative consequences against an employee who wants to enlist in the military.

Minnesota Statute § 181.535 prohibits an employer from asking about reserve or National Guard status if the employer’s intent is to discriminate against the applicant

Minnesota prevents employers from asking about military status specifically if the employer would use that information in deciding not to hire or promote the person being interviewed. This doesn’t apply to government employees asking for this information to determine whether a veterans preference applies.

Minnesota Statute § 197.455 requires preferential hiring and promotion of veterans for Minnesota public positions

Most current or former military members are eligible for a hiring preference over nonveterans in hiring and promotion for most Minnesota public employment positions. Public employment means a position in state, county or local government.

Minnesota Statute § 197.4551 allows private employers to grant preference to veterans in hiring and promotion

Private employers may have a hiring and promotion preference for veterans, provided that such a preference doesn’t violate any local or state equal employment opportunity laws. Minnesota law also allows private employers to grant a preference to spouses of deceased or disabled veterans.

Minnesota Statute § 197.46 offers additional protections for veterans employed in Minnesota public positions

Minnesota law provides public employment protections to veterans of military service, including additional protection from termination for veterans separated from military service under honorable conditions.

Minnesota statute § 192.325 prohibits employment discrimination against immediate family of service members

Minnesota law prohibits employers from firing or taking other adverse employment action against an employee because that employee’s spouse, parent or child is a member of the military. The employer must also provide unpaid time off for an employee to attend departure and return ceremonies and family readiness or other official events held on behalf of an immediate family member who is in the military.

Here are some additional resources to help support your career development success: