Maine law protects you when you are in the National Guard or the Reserves of the United States Armed Forces and receive orders. When these orders require you to take leave from your job you are provided certain rights. These rights include:
In order to have these rights you must give reasonable notice to your employer of your expected absence, if you can. Your employer can also ask that you provide confirmation from the military of your orders. A sample form is available for you to use.
Maine's law leaves certain questions unanswered. These include:
Finally, Maine's law says that a court can make your employer pay your attorney's fees if you have to go to court to get your job back. Generally, you must have given reasonable notice if it was possible and your employer must be in violation of one of the Maine laws above for you to win..
Maine's law is Title 26 MRSA §811.
There is a federal law that also protects you when called to active duty or military training. That law is the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The federal law is much more detailed than Maine's law. It provides many more details about exactly what protections you have and what limitations exist. Some of the protections provided by the federal law are greater than that provided by Maine's law. Other times Maine's law provides more protection. This article does not provide details about the federal law. But, it is important to know that if Maine's law doesn't protect your job the Federal law may.
There is a very good description of the federal law in "The American Veterans and Servicemembers Survival Guide" on www.statesidelegal.org. You can also find the federal law (Title 38 USC Section 4301 et seq.) here.
If you have questions or need help, contact:
Bureau of Veterans' Services
117 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0117
The Bureau of Veterans' Services also has offices in many other towns in Maine. Contact the main office for the office closest to you; or visit their website for a list of all their locations.
Find more legal information and help for servicemembers, veterans and families on Stateside Legal