Federal as well as Californian state laws provide complete protection from discrimination against those employees that are obliged to serve in military. These laws come under special section of military leave in California. USERRA (Uniformed Service Employment and Re-employment Rights Acts) protects employees who serve in National Guard, Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air force Coast Guard and Reserves. The Laws and whom they are applicable on are as follows:
1) Leave of Absence and Reinstatement Right: Californian National Guard members have a right to be reinstated to their former or equivalent seniority position after they leave for military service. Employees must inform the employer through verbal or written communication, prior to being assigned to military duty. In case of special secret circumstances, informing employee is not necessary. Under this law employer must give employee complete paid leave without loss of retirement or other benefits. The paid leave holds true for a maximum of 5 years of military service. Upon being discharged from military service, employee must apply for reinstatement within 40 days.
2) Right to Seniority and Benefits: If the military service person returns to employment within 90 days, then employer must reinstate him to his current position. In case of an absence greater than 90 days, employer will reinstate employee to either same position or a senior position that could have been achieved had the employee continued working. All accrued benefits and payment increase must be provided to the employee. If employee is disqualified for the current job, then employer must endeavor to provide necessary trainings. Provided trainings do not work or in case of disability, an employer does not have to reinstate the returning employee.
3) Right to Job Protection: An employee has a right towards job protection. An employer may not terminate a reinstated employee within 1 year of reemployment. This is subject to the condition that employee must have worked for same employer for more than 180 days. Employees that have served between 30 and 180 days are liable to receive 180 days job protection only. In case of a just cause, an employer has the right to terminate employee.
4) California State Law for Private Employers: Employees who work for private firms, organizations and company; and are associated with U.S armed forces reserves, Navy Militia or National Guard have a right for 17 days temporary leave of absence without pay. This leave shall be given in case of special drills, exercises, trainings and encampments.
5) California State Law for Public Employers: Employees who work for public sector organizations are entitled to a total of 30 days of temporary absence leave provided they are required for duty in special drills, exercises, trainings and encampments. This protection is only provided if the employee has been a member of public organization for more than one year. Leave days cannot exceed more than 30 for one fiscal year.
Final Note: Strong State and Federal provide laws that protect against discrimination due to military leave in California. If you believe you have been discriminated against and denied your military rights, then check with a reputed law firm or servicemembers.gov website.