Saturday, August 04, 2007

Post-deployment reemployment

An opinion piece that exposes the lack of teeth in USERRA. Violations are difficult to prove, rarely enforced, and now the records and statistics on reemployment challenges that the military keeps are being kept under wraps. Way to go in supporting the troops!

Maybe all the optimism about retention and reenlistment is simply the flip side of the coin when folks know it will be hard for them to get jobs, especially as reservists.

I was invited to an interview at one well-known company last year in November, but was concurrently scheduled for a 2 week train-up with my Reserve group that was preparing for deployment in late January. My reserve commander decided not to release me for the interview, even though what we were doing during those 2 days that I requested was essentially worthless. I asked the company to allow me to interview an alternate date, but they indicated they needed to do the interviews and make a decision in a short time frame, and were not willing to schedule a separate interview for me when all the other candidates were interviewing on the original interview date.

And the company with which I signed an offer sheet is now saying they'll have to request headcount for me for next year because I didn't start in June- I was deployed.

I think for me it will all work out- I have been tremendously blessed in that respect, but I know there are plenty of holes in USERRA that folks fall through.

And frankly, right now, jobs stateside are an interest, but they are not life and death issues- the life and death issues are here. So I'll stop the "winge-ing" as my Aussie friends here say.

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