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View Full Version : USERRA/Airline Training


FlyingBulldog
03-06-2018, 07:27 AM
Does anyone know if and how USERRA protects servicemembers in regards to training at the company? For instance, if said member called their company to see if it would be possible to fully complete initial simulator training prior to departing for a deployment in the coming months, could the employer legally respond that they would stop ALL training for the employee until they returned from deployment?'

It seems as though it would violate USERRA because it constitutes an "adverse employment action," which would hold the employee back in their career at the company, and which would not have been taken in the absence of military service. The employer would have to prove "that the action would have been taken in the absence of such membership, application for membership, service, application for service, or obligation for service," and since it was in direct response to a phone call regarding a deployment, the contrary has already been proven.

Now, a defense may be that it would be an "undue burden" on the company, but that seems very vague and I'm not sure how often that works as a defense.

Can anyone on here give some guidance on the matter, and what steps should be taken if this were happening to an employee/servicemember?


FlyingBulldog
03-06-2018, 07:30 AM
Actually, undue burden is not listed under "§ 4311. Discrimination against persons who serve in the uniformed services and acts of reprisal prohibited". It is only in regards to reemployment rights, so it doesn't look like that would even be a viable reason for such an action.

Otterbox
03-06-2018, 07:42 AM
Does anyone know if and how USERRA protects servicemembers in regards to training at the company? For instance, if said member called their company to see if it would be possible to fully complete initial simulator training prior to departing for a deployment in the coming months, could the employer legally respond that they would stop ALL training for the employee until they returned from deployment?'

It seems as though it would violate USERRA because it constitutes an "adverse employment action," which would hold the employee back in their career at the company, and which would not have been taken in the absence of military service. The employer would have to prove "that the action would have been taken in the absence of such membership, application for membership, service, application for service, or obligation for service," and since it was in direct response to a phone call regarding a deployment, the contrary has already been proven.

Now, a defense may be that it would be an "undue burden" on the company, but that seems very vague and I'm not sure how often that works as a defense.

Can anyone on here give some guidance on the matter, and what steps should be taken if this were happening to an employee/servicemember?

1) Always put things like that in writing so there’s a record of it.
2) A lot boils down to individual FOMs... at some companies if you go on mil leave during probation, your probation is extended upon your return. You’ll have to dive into the Policy documents of your company once you’re on property to see what the best way to approach it is but the company paying you but not sending you through training doesn’t sound like too a bad of a deal...


rickair7777
03-06-2018, 07:55 AM
Don't tell them you're leaving until you finish consolidation... that's in your own best interest so you have a solid foundation when you return.

They could probably pay to to sit at home, reason being they're going to have to train you when you return anyway, it's not unreasonable that they don't want to do that twice (you're a lot cheaper than the instructors and the SIM time). You're not necessarily entitled to a free type rating if they don't even know if you'll return after the mob.

Some airlines keep new hires at arms length, ie you're not actually an employee until you finish training.

Ski Bird
03-06-2018, 08:14 AM
Tricky spot to be in.

I assume this is to establish a date-of-hire?

BeatNavy
03-06-2018, 08:20 AM
Once you start indoc your DOH is established. No need to complete sims or a type. Can’t legally fire you or take away your seniority/longevity for dropping mil leave a week after showing up, although it may rub some people the wrong way.

FlyingBulldog
03-06-2018, 09:34 AM
Tricky spot to be in.

I assume this is to establish a date-of-hire?

No, just don't want to be "benched" for a couple months as retribution for deploying, which is what it seems like.

FlyingBulldog
03-06-2018, 09:36 AM
Once you start indoc your DOH is established. No need to complete sims or a type. Can’t legally fire you or take away your seniority/longevity for dropping mil leave a week after showing up, although it may rub some people the wrong way.

Not trying to do that at all. Did indoc quite some time ago, but training has been very slow.

Otterbox
03-06-2018, 10:25 AM
No, just don't want to be "benched" for a couple months as retribution for deploying, which is what it seems like.

I think I know where you work based on a previous conversation...

If you complete sims and don’t consolidate you have to go back into sims. Right now some sim pairings are taking 2-3 months from start of sims to LOE... there’s plenty of folks waiting in the Que to get through training so it doesn’t cost them anything to wait to start you. If you told them you’re going out on leave or absence before you’re able to complete training, what’s the point of spending sim time on you that’s going to have to be redone? They’re willing to invest all the resources into you once you start even if you’re taking longer than footprint, as long as you’re making progress.

From a training prospective, it’d be pretty lame to get paired up with you and have you bail half way through sims and having to ride through every event with a second instructor as a seat filler.

I don’t think anyone is reasonably going to look at your extended paid vacation with flight benefits etc while you’re probation clock is running (until you go on mil leave IIRC), your seniority is increasing and a company that’s happily willing to send you through training upon your return as “retribution”.

I thought you were previously considering leaving due to the training delay? It’s kind of odd that you were talking quitting due to the delays and now you’re trying to legalese a USERRA case for “retribution” around previously discusssed delays...

FlyingBulldog
03-06-2018, 10:34 AM
I think I know where you work based on a previous conversation...

If you complete sims and don’t consolidate you have to go back into sims. Right now some sim pairings are taking 2-3 months from start of sims to LOE... there’s plenty of folks waiting in the Que to get through training so it doesn’t cost them anything to wait to start you. If you told them you’re going out on leave or absence before you’re able to complete training, what’s the point of spending sim time on you that’s going to have to be redone? They’re willing to invest all the resources into you once you start even if you’re taking longer than footprint, as long as you’re making progress.

From a training prospective, it’d be pretty lame to get paired up with you and have you bail half way through sims and having to ride through every event with a second instructor as a seat filler.

I don’t think anyone is reasonably going to look at your extended paid vacation with flight benefits etc while you’re probation clock is running (until you go on mil leave IIRC), your seniority is increasing and a company that’s happily willing to send you through training upon your return as “retribution”.

I thought you were previously considering leaving due to the training delay? It’s kind of odd that you were talking quitting due to the delays and now you’re trying to legalese a USERRA case for “retribution” around previously discusssed delays...

As far as I know, you don't have to complete the ENTIRE sim program if you don't consolidate, just one or two sims plus another checkride. That would be much less of a time waste than doing nothing until the deployment.

Side note: you said earlier that probation freezes with military leave, which I think is true, so why shouldn't consolidation also? Not really the point of this thread, just something I noticed.

As far as leaving due to delays, I decided not to, of course, but why take a further penalty delay for deploying?

Otterbox
03-06-2018, 10:49 AM
As far as I know, you don't have to complete the ENTIRE sim program if you don't consolidate, just one or two sims plus another checkride. That would be much less of a time waste than doing nothing until the deployment.

Side note: you said earlier that probation freezes with military leave, which I think is true, so why shouldn't consolidation also? Not really the point of this thread, just something I noticed.

As far as leaving due to delays, I decided not to, of course, but why take a further penalty delay for deploying?

I believe consolidation requirements are set by the FAA for the airline vice internally by the company.

Best advice I can give is talk to the Union Rep that deals with the Mil leave stuff, and see what they have to say. They may have an adequate solution for your specific situation that makes everyone involved happy.

FlyingBulldog
03-06-2018, 10:51 AM
I believe consolidation requirements are set by the FAA for the airline vice internally by the company.



Best advice I can give is talk to the Union Rep that deals with the Mil leave stuff, and see what they have to say. They may have an adequate solution for your specific situation that makes everyone involved happy.



Thanks for the advice. I’ll talk to them and see what can be done, if anything.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

sailingfun
03-06-2018, 11:58 AM
Don't tell them you're leaving until you finish consolidation... that's in your own best interest so you have a solid foundation when you return.

They could probably pay to to sit at home, reason being they're going to have to train you when you return anyway, it's not unreasonable that they don't want to do that twice (you're a lot cheaper than the instructors and the SIM time). You're not necessarily entitled to a free type rating if they don't even know if you'll return after the mob.

Some airlines keep new hires at arms length, ie you're not actually an employee until you finish training.

You are required to notify your employer when you become aware of a military duty requirement. Failure to do so could result in a loss of protections under the law.

FlyingBulldog
03-06-2018, 12:53 PM
You are required to notify your employer when you become aware of a military duty requirement. Failure to do so could result in a loss of protections under the law.

I've heard that comment a few times in various conversations about USERRA, but after reading the actual statute, it appears to be unfounded. I do agree that it is considerate to notify your employer as soon as practical after becoming aware, but it doesn't seem to be required. The law only says "advance written or verbal notice of such service to such person's employer," which technically could be as late as the day before leaving. It doesn't really apply in this case (because they already received notice), but if you can point out otherwise in the law somewhere, I'd really like to see it.

Thanks

Ski Bird
03-06-2018, 02:03 PM
No, just don't want to be "benched" for a couple months as retribution for deploying, which is what it seems like.

I see.

Personally, I would delay the initial school until returning from the deployment (although you certainly wouldn't be required to).

So pretty much, the options are:

1) Accept/schedule the training. Attend sim training, not finish due to deployment/activation, then come back and restart this training as if you hadn't started in the first place.

2) Accept/schedule the training. Attend sim training, finish, then immediately deploy. Upon your return, you pick up where you left off. (It looked like this timeline might have been possible ... but maybe not probable)

3) Inform your employer that you have an upcoming period of active duty that will cause a scheduling conflict, and that you will have to reschedule the training dates until after the activation.

Nothing is outright wrong with any of these, but they each have different pros and cons that will have to be weighed.

Option #1 — This one might come with a little bit of unofficial stink eye from the company. Not a great look for a new guy.

Option #2 — This one sounds like the worst case scenario actually ... it sort of paints you into a corner. Let's say you do complete the initial sim training then bounce (I don't know how long the activation is, but I'm assuming it's at least a few months).

Well, now you come back. You are rusty as heck in the company airframe and get whatever recurrent sim is currently on offer ... then you go into your IOE with a huge — and totally avoidable — gap between the school that qualified you for the seat and the 'if-you-dork-this-part-up-you-are-terminated' line work that will take your training wheels off.

(This all assumes that you are a new guy that actually has to be taught what you are being taught in the ground school. You know your situation better than anyone else. If this ground training / sim event is just a box-checker event ... then it's not as big of a deal.)

Option #3 — This is sort of the best road forward (in my opinion). No unofficial stink-eye for the new guy. No huge gap between training and initial flights.

I bet your guard unit (or reserve unit) can even float you a few days in the run up to the activation. Particularly if making yourself available for this activation will hit you in the wallet.

rickair7777
03-06-2018, 03:44 PM
You are required to notify your employer when you become aware of a military duty requirement. Failure to do so could result in a loss of protections under the law.

No. You're required to notify them in a timely manner, which is not clearly defined.

On somebody's spreadsheet list of people who are going on Det? That's not official.

Been notified of MOB by CO or personnel command, but don't have orders in hand? That's a WARNO.

Have orders, but haven't completed pre-mob medical screening? You still have a good case that it's not a done deal. Also if it's voluntary orders such that you can back out prior to execution than you can always claim you were undecided about going through with it.

I ALWAYS notify pretty late in the game. My annual drill sked is a draft and subject to constant change... don't want to do a bunch of paperwork and then have to change it all up.

Unless you painfully short-cycle the employer without good reason, reasonable notification will hold up in court. Reasonable depends on your job, how long you'll be gone, and how hard you are to replace. If you notify an employer early, you can lose out on promotions, good-deal assignments, etc. You also risk awkwardness if the MOB cancels and they've already hired/assigned and trained a temp to cover for you.

Give them time to cover for you, but don't create a lengthy "no mans land" where you're there but not really fully in play (that's more for 9-5 types, or small 135/91 ops). 30 days is typically plenty for airline pilots.

If you're great buds with the boss, then sure let him know up front.

SaltyDog
03-06-2018, 04:48 PM
[QUOT2544380]You are required to notify your employer when you become aware of a military duty requirement. Failure to do so could result in a loss of protections under the law.[/QUOTE]

Im with rickair7777 again. plus...
Don't confuse DOD/ESGR/Service Component/Company directives/policies/suggestions/requests to notify as far in advance as possible for USERRA statute requirements.
USERRA has protections for notification (even if after departed for service).

Not required when you become aware. Recent history with funding not even certain, orders could be cancelled, modified etc. Then in a crack if notified and now want to change with employer. Its own set of challenges.

Some companies cannot even process notifications to far in advance as suggested by everyone. Additionally, if have a contract, management may even deny contractual benefits based on 'to far in advance notification' saying military notification supersedes contract protections. It is done so be wise.
Always be a good diplomat for your service component, your fellow pilots and your company. DOL VETS allows companies to say just about anything, if USERRA doesnt require it, DOL VETS assumes you know your protections. You can agree to do things not required by USERRA and thats on you. If you want to do something you don't have too under USERRA, your prerogative. Don't recommend it though. Know USERRA.
https://www.dol.gov/vets/usc/vpl/usc38.htm

SaltyDog
03-06-2018, 05:02 PM
....which would hold the employee back in their career at the company, and which would not have been taken in the absence of military service.

The "escalator clause" is to return you as if you had never left.
I wont go in detail, will share the fast read:

“Escalator” Position
See https://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/userra/USERRA%20Pocket%20Guide.html

20 CFR 1002.192

"The reemployment position with the highest priority in the reemployment schemes reflects the “escalator” principle that has been a key concept in federal veterans’ reemployment legislation. The escalator principle requires that each returning service member be reemployed in the position the person would have occupied with reasonable certainty if the person had remained continuously employed, with full seniority.

The position may not necessarily be the same job the person previously held. For instance, if the person would have been promoted with reasonable certainty had the person not been absent, the person would be entitled to that promotion upon reinstatement. On the other hand, depending on economic circumstances, reorganizations, layoffs, etc., the position could be at a lower level than the one previously held, it could be a different job, or it could conceivably be in layoff status. In other words, the escalator can move up or down."

Keep records of what is the current movement in a career at your employer. PM sent

Flying Enoch
03-07-2018, 12:25 AM
Don't tell them you're leaving until you finish consolidation... that's in your own best interest so you have a solid foundation when you return.

They could probably pay to to sit at home, reason being they're going to have to train you when you return anyway, it's not unreasonable that they don't want to do that twice (you're a lot cheaper than the instructors and the SIM time). You're not necessarily entitled to a free type rating if they don't even know if you'll return after the mob.

Some airlines keep new hires at arms length, ie you're not actually an employee until you finish training.I second this. Or, instead of "not telling them" you're leaving, maybe it's better to not start training until you have the timeline to complete the training and consolidation period. Again, this is for your own benefit as rickair pointed out. I understand wanting the seniority and job security, but the risk of being unsuccessful due to breaks in training isn't worth the risk. A 121 unsat or failure is far worse than the reward that the additional seniority gives you by taking a leave through training. Just like all other ratings, retention weighs big in the overall success.

Also, although USERAA protects service men and women, almost all 121 carriers have the probationary clause that says "one can be terminated for ANY reason, without cause, during their first 365 days of employment". When a leave is requested, regardless of which type of leave, employers weigh out if one would need remedial training and the time/cost associated with it. One may need to be completely retrain (a huge expense), or simply just need 3 takeoffs/landing upon returning. Again, USERRA will protect you against the leave regardless, but don't be surprised that a termination may be in line for a plethora of other reasons, as you are on still on probationary status for a year.
The best practice is communication in these cases. Find out the ramifications prior to treading this water.

This is coming from a former hiring panel guy at a 121 regional carrier. I've seen it happen before.

Thank you for your service.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

FlyingBulldog
03-10-2018, 06:13 AM
I see.

Personally, I would delay the initial school until returning from the deployment (although you certainly wouldn't be required to).

So pretty much, the options are:

1) Accept/schedule the training. Attend sim training, not finish due to deployment/activation, then come back and restart this training as if you hadn't started in the first place.

2) Accept/schedule the training. Attend sim training, finish, then immediately deploy. Upon your return, you pick up where you left off. (It looked like this timeline might have been possible ... but maybe not probable)

3) Inform your employer that you have an upcoming period of active duty that will cause a scheduling conflict, and that you will have to reschedule the training dates until after the activation.

Nothing is outright wrong with any of these, but they each have different pros and cons that will have to be weighed.

Option #1 — This one might come with a little bit of unofficial stink eye from the company. Not a great look for a new guy.

Option #2 — This one sounds like the worst case scenario actually ... it sort of paints you into a corner. Let's say you do complete the initial sim training then bounce (I don't know how long the activation is, but I'm assuming it's at least a few months).

Well, now you come back. You are rusty as heck in the company airframe and get whatever recurrent sim is currently on offer ... then you go into your IOE with a huge — and totally avoidable — gap between the school that qualified you for the seat and the 'if-you-dork-this-part-up-you-are-terminated' line work that will take your training wheels off.

(This all assumes that you are a new guy that actually has to be taught what you are being taught in the ground school. You know your situation better than anyone else. If this ground training / sim event is just a box-checker event ... then it's not as big of a deal.)

Option #3 — This is sort of the best road forward (in my opinion). No unofficial stink-eye for the new guy. No huge gap between training and initial flights.

I bet your guard unit (or reserve unit) can even float you a few days in the run up to the activation. Particularly if making yourself available for this activation will hit you in the wallet.

Thanks for the insight, Ski Bird. That’s some great advice. I’m honestly leaning toward option 2 (and of course giving them proper notification). I’m confident that I can come back from deployment ready to pick back up, especially if I get the couple sims I’m told I’d get to warm back up and have the month of time off (still on orders) to study prior to that. It’s now looking like the timeline for this might be probable actually...

SaltyDog
03-10-2018, 06:32 AM
…..Also, although USERAA protects service men and women, almost all 121 carriers have the probationary clause that says "one can be terminated for ANY reason, without cause, during their first 365 days of employment".
USERRA protects you if the reason can be demonstrated as related to military service, so cannot terminate you for “ANY’ reason, an employer would have to prove cause, so its stated “without cause” meaning you can only be terminated for cause , such as repeated missing work, etc,
Essentially, if they could terminate another employee (pilot) for same cause, a military member could be rightfully terminated, IF on probation, the employer must follow USERRA, not the collective bargaining agreement (CBA aka “contract”). Federal law supersedes CBA. Must be valid reason, with cause, not “ANY”.

If regionals were headhunting Military service members for reasons of military service then I would hope they filed a complaint with DOL VETS. https://osc.gov/Pages/USERRA.aspx
Additionally, If any employer terminates a military service member, at any time, after military service, and an employee suspects that it was due to military service, then have significant recourse.

If have a union, you may have resources on the process even if union is limited in your representation. If union does not assist, or in a non union position, call ESGR or file the complaint with DOL VETS to cause an employer to consider the DOL VETS and possible DOJ Office of Special Counsel action.

For all USERRA issues and enforcement:
Source: The enforcement (litigation) arm of USERRA at the Dept of Justice-Office of Special Counsel

“The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency. Our basic authorities come from four federal statutes: the Civil Service Reform Act, the Whistleblower Protection Act, the Hatch Act, and the Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
USERRA Overview: https://osc.gov/Pages/USERRA.aspx
If click here: https://osc.gov/Pages/USERRA-EmployeeRights.aspx

See the following;
“Once a service member is reemployed, USERRA provides guidelines on what position she is entitled to. Generally, the employee must be given the position she would have held had she remained continuously employed. (This is often referred to as the “escalator principle.”) This may result in a promotion or other advancement. If an employer thinks that a service member is not qualified to perform this job, the employer must provide training or other experience to boost the employee’s skills to the required level. If the employee cannot be trained through reasonable efforts, she is still entitled to her former position.
In some cases, where the employee was absent for more than 90 days due to military service, the employer may choose to reassign the employee, but it must be to a job of similar seniority, status, and pay as the employee’s former position.
Returning service members are also entitled to receive benefits and seniority as though they had remained continuously employed. For instance, if an employee works at a company for two years and then completes one year of military service before returning, her employer must treat her as though she had worked continuously for three years when calculating the following benefits:
• Paid leave (although no leave is accrued while the employee is absent)
• Salary
• Credit toward completing probationary periods
• Eligibility for promotions
• Anything else that is tied to the employee’s longevity at the workplace
In addition, returning service members have added job security. If they were absent for 31-180 days, they are protected against being terminated without cause for six months. If they were absent for more than 180 days, they are protected against being terminated without cause for one year. However, all returning service members can be terminated for cause at any time. USERRA does not protect service members if, for instance, they improperly miss work for reasons not related to their military service.”


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PROBATION ISSUE:
DOJ OSC website even supports “credit toward completing probationary periods”
Many airline contracts stipulate that an employee must be on property for 365 days. Once again, airline contracts cannot supersede USERRA Statute. (State law also cannot supersede USERRA Statute.)
USERRA states you cannot be harmed for military service for longevity regarding benefits. Probation is the gray zone, even with DOJ OSC statement, most airlines impose the 365 days probation, arguably, not really a significant event as pay, longevity, year two pay should all occur as if never left the property. In other words, extending probation does not have a significant impact on a military service employee at an airline as a pilot.
If company decided to terminate the pilot on probation (or after probation) , as pointed out above, they have a special USERRA bar to pass muster. If with cause as mentioned, missing work etc . Would not matter if on/off probation. They have cause. Otherwise, management must prove not related to military (extra training allowed / protected by USERRA)
The extended probation makes sense for some fields, you’re a new apprentice electrician/plumber journeyman. Completing probation after military service makes sense because integral to the continuing path to qualification needed to ensure the journeyman can complete the tasks of increasing skill sets required for the job to become a master electrician/plumber that an employer requires after abc length of time.

Part 121 pilots in particular are an interesting subset. You were hired with FAA credentials for the job. You are not an apprentice, Your skill sets were set and checked by the federal government or designee and your employer to ensure you meet the basic standard. If hired, then trained and released to the line, you have arguably met the standard for the job. It is a pass/fail release to the line as a pilot and frequently you have a new type rating. You are qualified to fly the aircraft.

When a leave is requested, regardless of which type of leave, employers weigh out if one would need remedial training and the time/cost associated with it. One may need to be completely retrain (a huge expense), or simply just need 3 takeoffs/landing upon returning. Again, USERRA will protect you against the leave regardless, but don't be surprised that a termination may be in line for a plethora of other reasons, as you are on still on probationary status for a year.
The best practice is communication in these cases. Find out the ramifications prior to treading this water. This is coming from a former hiring panel guy at a 121 regional carrier. I've seen it happen before.

Interesting implied threat against military service “but don't be surprised that a termination may be in line for a plethora of other reasons, as you are on still on probationary status for a year”. If management takes this line, say that, act that, that is violating the law. That is a threat to prevent military service.

Finding out ramifications is fine, but…..Simply stated, protect your USERRA rights, it is a backbone of our nations all voluntary military. An employer may violate your rights out of ignorance or believe they are in their right to terminate or pursue any number of policies in violation.

You will likely be your first best advocate by reading the statute, talk to ESGR, talk to knowledgeable people away from APC (myself included )
Read Capt Sam Wright USNR (ret) material at the Reserve Officer Association Law Review website. The ROA and Captain Wright do all military service members a huge service by their advocacy. Capt Wright was one of the writers of the Statute and a huge source of knowledge and expertise. Subject Index - ROA (http://www.roa.org/page/Subject_Index)

Spike from flyi
03-15-2018, 03:01 AM
Make an appointment to speak with the Staff Judge Advocate at a nearby installation. He/she will give you solid advice, not internet conjecture. Cases tried under USERRA are referred to lawyers at the Department of Labor. They may also provide you with some insights.

I got great advice from the JAG before I went on Mil Leave.

rickair7777
03-15-2018, 07:03 AM
Make an appointment to speak with the Staff Judge Advocate at a nearby installation. He/she will give you solid advice, not internet conjecture. Cases tried under USERRA are referred to lawyers at the Department of Labor. They may also provide you with some insights.

I got great advice from the JAG before I went on Mil Leave.

Definitely worth a shot, although AD JAGs vary in their level of experience. Several folks posting internet info here are current/former unit leaders who have handled these kinds of issues in an official capacity.

Spike from flyi
03-21-2018, 01:52 AM
Definitely worth a shot, although AD JAGs vary in their level of experience. Several folks posting internet info here are current/former unit leaders who have handled these kinds of issues in an official capacity.

Don't ask a lawyer, get some dubious advice from random internet slugs!

rickair7777
03-21-2018, 09:35 AM
Don't ask a lawyer, get some dubious advice from random internet slugs!

Don't ask the regular active duty, they typically don't know or care. They also have trouble understanding the PRACTICAL application of USERRA, because they don't understand how civilian employment even works.

Ask a reservist, lawyer or unit leadership. Both have been down this road many times.

Spike from flyi
03-22-2018, 04:48 AM
Rick,

Your knowledge of typical JAG expertise is truly inspiring. The fellow I spoke with before I took military leave was a retired (active duty) O6 who was working as a Department of the Army civilian at the SJA office. He was extraordinarily familiar with USERRA, and gave me the ammunition to slam the company when they tried to push back. The company wanted me to sign a document with six stipulations on it before going on leave.

I brought it to him, and he said, "You are not obligated to sign this in any way; however, this document is innocuous. Let's add a seventh stipulation." He put the document in his typewriter, and added a comment siting USERRA and the applicable US Code, chapter and verse.

BTW, I also sought advice from ALPA, they were totally clueless, and told me that I had no protections, since my activation was voluntary (WRONG!).

rickair7777
03-22-2018, 08:41 AM
Rick,

Your knowledge of typical JAG expertise is truly inspiring. The fellow I spoke with before I took military leave was a retired (active duty) O6 who was working as a Department of the Army civilian at the SJA office. He was extraordinarily familiar with USERRA, and gave me the ammunition to slam the company when they tried to push back. The company wanted me to sign a document with six stipulations on it before going on leave.

I brought it to him, and he said, "You are not obligated to sign this in any way; however, this document is innocuous. Let's add a seventh stipulation." He put the document in his typewriter, and added a comment siting USERRA and the applicable US Code, chapter and verse.

BTW, I also sought advice from ALPA, they were totally clueless, and told me that I had no protections, since my activation was voluntary (WRONG!).

YMMV. But a retired O6 is not what's normally available to walk-ins. I've seen this play out numerous times, and am sticking to my guns.

Spike from flyi
03-24-2018, 07:15 AM
YMMV. But a retired O6 is not what's normally available to walk-ins. I've seen this play out numerous times, and am sticking to my guns.

I made an appointment.

SaltyDog
03-24-2018, 01:21 PM
Spike,
Have seen a lot of bad advice/misunderstanding regarding USERRA on the internet and in these forums.
Have talked to several JAGS that frankly were not that familiar with USERRA. Most pilots don't really understand the depths of USERRA. Management teams know how to push the limits legally. DOL VETS assumes you know your rights. In your case, it worked, you found a knowledgeable JAG. Doesn't always pan out that way. Reason I give sources for pilots to reference and become knowledgeable if they care.

USERRA knowledge is vastly non standard throughout the spectrum.
Its a crap shoot. Even DOD does a poor job across the board in helping folks truly understand specifics.
On the whole, only a few posters on these forums have struck me as USERRA fluent, FWIW, rickair7777 is one of them. Knowing you, you have more savvy than most on USERRA as well.
cheers

HiFlyer992
03-24-2018, 11:30 PM
If I am able to go to a reserve unit I would need to take about 9 months mil leave. I hope to be fortunate enough to get hired by a major and start working on terminal and delay going to Reserve training for a few months. How long would it take from indoc to finish OE/Consolidation? Would probation take a pause or is it just 1 year with the company? Would year 1 pay pause or would time just continue to tick from the first day of indoc?

SaltyDog
03-25-2018, 02:09 AM
How long would it take from indoc to finish OE/Consolidation?

Airline/Employer (Corporate) dependent.
General planning..safe to say, 4-6 months for many from Indoc to consolidation complete.

Would probation take a pause or is it just 1 year with the company?

See my discussion above in this thread on probation. Application: Many employers of pilots extend probation in some manner. Does it harm you? Fast answer is no. Read about the "Escalator" clause/principle. (In next answer)

Would year 1 pay pause or would time just continue to tick from the first day of indoc?

Pay, longevity and opportunity to move up do not pause. When your non military new hire classmates get year 2 pay, you will return or be paid at year 2 pay with them. Arguably, FAA certificated pilots are not apprentices. If consolidated after employer required and FAA approved training at your company, then have same ratings and all training required to fly the type of operations certificated (91, 121. 135 etc) from ESGR FAQ's https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdal/file/477991/download

Does the reemployment position include elements such as seniority, status, and rate of pay?
Yes. The reemployment position includes the seniority, status, and rate of pay that an employee would ordinarily have attained in that position given his or her job history, including prospects for future
earnings and advancement. The employer must determine the seniority rights, status, and rate of pay as though the employee had been continuously employed during the period of service. The seniority rights, status, and pay of an employment position include those established (or changed)
by a collective bargaining agreement, employer policy, or employment practice. ln particular, the employee's status in the reemployment position could include opportunities for advancement, general
working conditions, job location, shift assignment, rank, responsibility, and geographical location. lf an opportunity for promotion, or eligibility for promotion that the employee missed during service is based
on a skills test or examination, then the employer should give him or her a reasonable amount of time to adjust to the employment position and then give a skills test or examination."

guppy69
04-09-2018, 07:51 AM
Hi All,

Long time lurker, first time poster and I want to be clear up front that I'm not trying to game the system, I just don't know what my timeline is at this point. I couldn't find an answer through the threads (maybe I just didn't look in the right place?). What benefits (health, financial, flight benefits) continue while on mil leave? I understand one comes back as if they'd never left but would flight benefits continue? I ask because I'm looking at a year or so to be on mil leave away from my family and would like to be able to get back to see them as often as I can on weekends.

Also, at what point in training would I have to get through to be able to jump seat? I'm looking at making my transition to a regional in a month or so and I'm waiting to find out when my mil training will be scheduled. I'd like to get through training and get out on the line but I just have no idea when my mil training would start. It could start in as little as a month, or as long as 6 months.

Thanks in advance.

rickair7777
04-09-2018, 08:15 AM
Hi All,

Long time lurker, first time poster and I want to be clear up front that I'm not trying to game the system, I just don't know what my timeline is at this point. I couldn't find an answer through the threads (maybe I just didn't look in the right place?). What benefits (health, financial, flight benefits) continue while on mil leave? I understand one comes back as if they'd never left but would flight benefits continue? I ask because I'm looking at a year or so to be on mil leave away from my family and would like to be able to get back to see them as often as I can on weekends.

Also, at what point in training would I have to get through to be able to jump seat? I'm looking at making my transition to a regional in a month or so and I'm waiting to find out when my mil training will be scheduled. I'd like to get through training and get out on the line but I just have no idea when my mil training would start. It could start in as little as a month, or as long as 6 months.

Thanks in advance.

The benefits which legally MUST be continued are those benefits which the company provides to other employees on other types of leaves. But that typically is little-to-nothing, most often travel benefits.

Some companies may choose to offer additional benefits, mine will make up the pay gap for example. So it depends on your company, both what they offer to anyone on any type of leave, and any special perks for military.

As far as the JS, that depends. Some cut you off pretty quick, 30 days or less, others may let you keep it longer. There are TSA rules and it seems airlines interpret them differently.

I wouldn't plan on much other than non-rev benefits, with no JS.

As far as initial JS eligibility, that can vary by airlines, but most get that knocked out before the end of GS. But again, it will likely get turned off at some point on mil leave.

baseball
04-26-2018, 07:23 AM
Also, at what point in training would I have to get through to be able to jump seat? I'm looking at making my transition to a regional in a month or so and I'm waiting to find out when my mil training will be scheduled. I'd like to get through training and get out on the line but I just have no idea when my mil training would start. It could start in as little as a month, or as long as 6 months.

Thanks in advance.

1. Don’t mention orders to your employer that you don’t have in hand.

2. Jump seating happens when your employer issues yo an ID and loads you into CASS. You should get a KCM ID tag as well on, or about same time. Jump seat access may be revoked depending on the length of your leave.

wwood
04-17-2019, 04:53 AM
Question for you all about returning from military leave. The airline I am at has said in the past after returning from military leave that since I am not available the first day of the month, I cannot bid for that month.


So hypothetical, on mil leave all of August until September 2nd, I am now not allowed to bid for the entire month of September. The airline will now build a reserve schedule for me, even though I could have placed a bid and held a line.



Does this sound correct?

navigatro
04-17-2019, 05:30 AM
Does your contract address this specifically?

If not, then basically you have to be treated the same as people returning from other leaves e.g. long term medical

thrust
04-17-2019, 07:02 AM
Could you advise them of your September mil leave after you’ve bid for your September schedule?

rickair7777
04-17-2019, 08:31 AM
Does your contract address this specifically?

If not, then basically you have to be treated the same as people returning from other leaves e.g. long term medical

You could make a legal case I think that they cannot punish you for the whole month because you're out for two days. I think if you don't need any refresher training it would be easier to make the case. I'd definitely talk to union and management, not sure if it's worth taking it further than.

I had a similar deal once, they ran a standing bid while I was out on long-term leave and awarded a bunch of junior guys a base I had been waiting for. I actually prevailed on that one, but I did have a standing bid in the system before going on leave, which they had ignored.

wwood
04-17-2019, 07:05 PM
rickair7777, the standing bid issue is probably something that holds a little more weight in following up on. Not looking to make a legal case but I am hoping to get it changed.

I asked management and the union and both basically said it follows what other leaves do, as navigatro had said.

I am going to address this further with the union and see if they can't push the company to make a change because it does feel almost like punishment as this is going to happen a couple times a year when placed on 30ish day orders.

It would be one thing if we were able to bid a specific reserve schedule but we are at the whim of however the company wants to build the entire month of reserve.

rickair7777
04-17-2019, 08:07 PM
rickair7777, the standing bid issue is probably something that holds a little more weight in following up on. Not looking to make a legal case but I am hoping to get it changed.

I asked management and the union and both basically said it follows what other leaves do, as navigatro had said.

I am going to address this further with the union and see if they can't push the company to make a change because it does feel almost like punishment as this is going to happen a couple times a year when placed on 30ish day orders.

It would be one thing if we were able to bid a specific reserve schedule but we are at the whim of however the company wants to build the entire month of reserve.

I would drop the leave for the following month after the bid is published if that's how they want to roll. I've done that kind of thing to avoid getting hosed by an inflexible system.

sailingfun
04-18-2019, 01:24 PM
Many airlines will ask in the interview if you have time available with no planned personal or military comitments to complete initial training. If you answer yes I would honor that promise.

Excargodog
04-19-2019, 10:25 AM
Side note: you said earlier that probation freezes with military leave, which I think is true, so why shouldn't consolidation also? Not really the point of this thread, just something I noticed.



Consolidation is intended to do just that - consolidate recent training. If the training isn’t recent, it’s too late to consolidate it, the times up. Just like your physical will burn time during your deployment, because it is time limited. Just because you deploy doesn’t mean time stops.

rickair7777
04-19-2019, 05:56 PM
Consolidation is intended to do just that - consolidate recent training. If the training isn’t recent, it’s too late to consolidate it, the times up. Just like your physical will burn time during your deployment, because it is time limited. Just because you deploy doesn’t mean time stops.

x2.

Consolidation is an FAR 121 regulatory requirement, not just company policy. It has to be completed IAW the regs. Not up to the company.

USERRA does not freeze or waive stuff like that. Only a few exceptions for things like divorce or possibly other civil actions.