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CBO Testimony: The Effects of Reserve Call-Ups on Civilian Employers

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Senator Kerry and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me to discuss the Congressional Budget Offices CBOs recent analysis of the effects of reserve call-ups on civilian employers. The military reserves provide trained service members and units that are available for active military duty during peacetime and war. Over the past decade, the Department of Defense DoD has dramatically increased its reliance on the reserve forces, particularly since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The reserves are integral to current operations of service members deployed in November 2004 in Iraq and Afghanistan, about 33 percent were reservists and DoD foresees continued reliance on them. Throughout my testimony, reserves refers to the individual services National Guard and reserve components the Air Force Reserve, the Air National Guard, the Army Reserve, the Army National Guard, the Coast Guard Reserve, the Marine Corps Reserve, and the Navy Reserve. Yet many reservists, when they joined the military, probably did not anticipate the increased frequency and duration of the activations that have occurred during the past several years and may be finding those mobilizations more disruptive than they might have expected. To alleviate difficulties with call-ups, the Congress has enacted legislation to provide civil and employment protections and financial relief. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 USERRA, the primary legislation governing service members employment rights, guarantees the right of reservists to be reemployed by their civilian employer after serving on active duty, prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals in any aspect of employment because of their service in the reserves, and mandates some continuation of benefits to reservists who have been activated.

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  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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