USERRA applies to any employer that either pays an individual a salary or wages to perform work or controls an individual’s employment opportunities. This broad definition includes an individual or organization to which an employer delegates the performance of any employment-related responsibilities. An entity that performs only “ministerial functions,” however, such as personnel file maintenance or, presumably, paycheck processing, is not considered an employer.
Consider the example of a security guard hired by a security company and assigned to a work site of another company. Both the security company and the site owner have USERRA obligations to the security guard employee. Even though the site owner is not the security guard’s employer per se, it would be subject to USERRA liability if it caused the security guard’s removal from the job because of the individual’s service obligations.
Excerpted from the Michigan Chamber’s 2014 Employment Law Handbook authored by attorneys from the Miller Canfield law firm.
View the on-demand "Hiring and Employing Military Personnel and Veterans: Legal Obligations under VEVRAA & USERRA" webinar with Celina Joachim and Robert Mignin.