"Whoever willfully deprives an officer or enlisted person of his employment, or denies him employment, or prevents him being employed by another, or obstructs or annoys him or his employer in respect of his trade, business or employment, because of his connection with the armed forces of the commonwealth, or because of his necessary absence from business in performance of his duty as such, and whoever dissuades any person from enlisting in the said armed forces of the commonwealth by threat of injury to him in respect of his employment, trade or business, or of other injury, if he shall so enlist, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than six months or both." (M.G.L. c. 33, s. 13)
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 1941 (SCRA) provides employment protections to Guard and Reserve Members who are public servants called to, or volunteering for military service in an emergency, so long as they are not dishonorably discharged. There are also civil protections for all persons who serve in terms of litigation, and official documents. In that this law is more generous than the federal SSCRA in terms of extensions for certain proceedings, it supercedes the federal law. It does not apply to proceedings if you are a defendant-executor or administrator.
If you are in the Massachusetts National Guard, you receive extra protections. No employer public or private can discriminate against you under Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) c.33 s.13. If you work for the state you get paid your state salary while you are on certain types of duty in the Commonwealth at the order of the commander-in-chief. This applies to counties and municipalities, if they adopt MGL c.33 s.59. These duties include annual training, emergency assistance, repelling invasions or suppressing insurrections, controlling riots or mobs or protecting persons or property during catastrophes or natural disasters.
Public or Private Sector
If are called up to active duty, from either the public or the private sector, you are guaranteed your job and additional rights when you return to your job, under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, ( USERRA,) Title 38 of the U.S. Code 4301. So long as before activation you give advance notice to the employer, you are not gone for more than five years, you receive an honorable or general discharge, and you promptly return to work, you are protected. Essentially USERRA provides that you have the same job and benefits as when you left. It is as though you never left. For more information, please call Paul Desmond at the U.S. Department of Labor in Boston at 617-626-6699.
Under state law, if you are a public employee who resigns to serve in the military, you are considered on a leave of absence, and can be reemployed so long as you return within two years of military service. You are entitled to all seniority rights so long as you return to public service within two years. Your employee pension is protected and your military service is credited to it.
(N.B. In that these time provisions are more generous than those provided in USSERA, above, they supercede it.)
Certain Municipal, District, County Employees
Certain elected municipal, district and county officers' positions are protected by temporary substitutes.
Public sector employment Inquiries
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Human Resources Division
One Ashburton Place, Room 301
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 727-3555 (HRD Main Office)
(800) 392-6178 (Toll Free Number)
(617) 878-9762 (TTY)
U.S. Department of Labor
Paul Desmond, State Director
U.S. Department of Labor, Regional Offices
JFK Federal Building
Boston, MA 02203
Public and private sector employment inquiries about USERRA
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) (ESGR is a national program operated by the Department of Defense)
ESGR's Local Massachusetts Contacts
Ellie Cash, Program Support Specialist
Bill Hebert, Program Support Technician