No Statute of Limitations on Bringing USERRA Cases

October 25th, 2008

On October 10, 2008, President Bush signed into law the Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2008 (VBIA 2008). This new law includes a wide range of provisions that provide further service to the nation’s veterans, including compensation enhancements and employment,education, and housing benefits for veterans.

VBIA 2008 also strengthens the enforcement mechanism for the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Neither law has a statute of limitations and both contain provisions precluding the application of state statutes of limitations to reemployment rights cases. However, some recent court decisions have applied to USERRA cases a four-year default statute of limitations contained in the United States Code. Section 311(f) of VBIA 2008 enacts a new USERRA section which makes it unmistakably clear that no federal or state statute of limitations limits the time within which a claimant an initiate a USERRA lawsuit.

However, it is not recommended to wait if you have a reemployment issue. As the plaintiff in a USERRA case, you have the burden of proof on most issues and as time goes by, it becomes more difficult to prove your case. Memories fade, witnesses become unavailable because of death or other reasons, and records are lost or destroyed.

If you believe that your rights have been violated by an employer or prospective employer, it is best to seek legal advice sooner rather than later.   Read recent articles from Mathew B. Tully:

Or read recent articles from Greg T. Rinckey: