20 CFR § 1002.5 - What definitions apply to USERRA?

§ 1002.5 What definitions apply to USERRA?

(a) Attorney General means the Attorney General of the United States or any person designated by the Attorney General to carry out a responsibility of the Attorney General under USERRA.

(b) Benefit, benefit of employment, or rights and benefits means any advantage, profit, privilege, gain, status, account, or interest (other than wages or salary for work performed) that accrues to the employee because of an employment contract, employment agreement, or employer policy, plan, or practice. The term includes rights and benefits under a pension plan, health plan, or employee stock ownership plan, insurance coverage and awards, bonuses, severance pay, supplemental unemployment benefits, vacations, and the opportunity to select work hours or the location of employment.

(c) Employee means any person employed by an employer. The term also includes any person who is a citizen, national or permanent resident alien of the United States who is employed in a workplace in a foreign country by an employer that is an entity incorporated or organized in the United States, or that is controlled by an entity organized in the United States. “Employee” includes the former employees of an employer.


(1) Employer, except as provided in paragraphs (d)(2) and (3) of this section, means any person, institution, organization, or other entity that pays salary or wages for work performed, or that has control over employment opportunities, including -

(i) A person, institution, organization, or other entity to whom the employer has delegated the performance of employment-related responsibilities, except in the case that such entity has been delegated functions that are purely ministerial in nature, such as maintenance of personnel files or the preparation of forms for submission to a government agency;

(ii) The Federal Government;

(iii) A State;

(iv) Any successor in interest to a person, institution, organization, or other entity referred to in this definition; and,

(v) A person, institution, organization, or other entity that has denied initial employment in violation of 38 U.S.C. 4311, USERRA's anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation provisions.

(2) In the case of a National Guard technician employed under 32 U.S.C. 709, the term “employer” means the adjutant general of the State in which the technician is employed.

(3) An employee pension benefit plan as described in section 3(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)(29 U.S.C. 1002(2)) is considered an employer for an individual that it does not actually employ only with respect to the obligation to provide pension benefits.

(e) Health plan means an insurance policy, insurance contract, medical or hospital service agreement, membership or subscription contract, or other arrangement under which health services for individuals are provided or the expenses of such services are paid.

(f) National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) is an agency within the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security, established by the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, Public Law 107-188. The NDMS provides medical-related assistance to respond to the needs of victims of public health emergencies. Participants in the NDMS are volunteers who serve as intermittent Federal employees when activated. For purposes of USERRA coverage only, these persons are treated as members of the uniformed services when they are activated to provide assistance in response to a public health emergency or to be present for a short period of time when there is a risk of a public health emergency, or when they are participating in authorized training. See 42 U.S.C. 300hh-11(e).

(g) Notice, when the employee is required to give advance notice of service, means any written or verbal notification of an obligation or intention to perform service in the uniformed services provided to an employer by the employee who will perform such service, or by the uniformed service in which the service is to be performed.

(h) Qualified, with respect to an employment position, means having the ability to perform the essential tasks of the position.

(i) Reasonable efforts, in the case of actions required of an employer, means actions, including training provided by an employer that do not place an undue hardship on the employer.

(j) Secretary means the Secretary of Labor or any person designated by the Secretary of Labor to carry out an activity under USERRA and these regulations, unless a different office is expressly indicated in the regulation.

(k) Seniority means longevity in employment together with any benefits of employment that accrue with, or are determined by, longevity in employment.

(l) Service in the uniformed services means the performance of duty on a voluntary or involuntary basis in a uniformed service under competent authority. Service in the uniformed services includes active duty, active and inactive duty for training, National Guard duty under Federal statute, and a period for which a person is absent from a position of employment for an examination to determine the fitness of the person to perform such duty. The term also includes a period for which a person is absent from employment to perform funeral honors duty as authorized by law (10 U.S.C. 12503 or 32 U.S.C. 115). The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-188, provides that service as an intermittent disaster-response appointee upon activation of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) or as a participant in an authorized training program is deemed “service in the uniformed services.” 42 U.S.C. 300hh-11(e)(3).

(m) State means each of the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and other territories of the United States (including the agencies and political subdivisions thereof); however, for purposes of enforcement of rights under 38 U.S.C. 4323, a political subdivision of a State is a private employer.

(n) Undue hardship, in the case of actions taken by an employer, means an action requiring significant difficulty or expense, when considered in light of -

(1) The nature and cost of the action needed under USERRA and these regulations;

(2) The overall financial resources of the facility or facilities involved in the provision of the action; the number of persons employed at such facility; the effect on expenses and resources, or the impact otherwise of such action upon the operation of the facility;

(3) The overall financial resources of the employer; the overall size of the business of an employer with respect to the number of its employees; the number, type, and location of its facilities; and,

(4) The type of operation or operations of the employer, including the composition, structure, and functions of the work force of such employer; the geographic separateness, administrative, or fiscal relationship of the facility or facilities in question to the employer.

(o) Uniformed services means the Armed Forces; the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard when engaged in active duty for training, inactive duty training, or full-time National Guard duty; the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service; and any other category of persons designated by the President in time of war or national emergency. For purposes of USERRA coverage only, service as an intermittent disaster response appointee of the NDMS when federally activated or attending authorized training in support of their Federal mission is deemed “service in the uniformed services,” although such appointee is not a member of the “uniformed services” as defined by USERRA.

The following state regulations pages link to this page.