Enforcement statistics released recently by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL-VETS) indicate that the number of new complaints filed by military service members under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 increased slightly to a total of 944, up from 930 received by DOL-VETS in FY 2016.
Although the slight uptick ends a five-year trend of declining USERRA complaint filings, overall filings are still down significantly since as recently as FY 2011, when a total of 1,548 complaints were filed with DOL-VETS.
Please keep in mind that under USERRA, a protected service member has the option of filing an administrative complaint with DOL-VETS or going directly to federal court. Notably, the annual judicial statistics reported by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO) do not track the number of USERRA-based lawsuits filed in federal court, suggesting that the number is not very high. Accordingly, the administrative complaint numbers are probably a pretty good gauge of annual USERRA discrimination allegations.
DOL-VETS’ USERRA FY 2017 Annual Report to Congress, which contains detailed enforcement data, is available here.
Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.