§ 1132. Reemployment rights for certain merchant seamen

(a) In general
An individual who is certified by the Secretary of Transportation under subsection (c) of this section shall be entitled to reemployment rights and other benefits substantially equivalent to the rights and benefits provided for by chapter 43 of title 38 for any member of a Reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States who is ordered to active duty.
(b) Time for application
An individual may submit an application for certification under subsection (c) of this section to the Secretary of Transportation not later than 45 days after the date the individual completes a period of employment described in subsection (c)(1)(A) of this section with respect to which the application is submitted.
(c) Certification determination
Not later than 20 days after the date the Secretary of Transportation receives from an individual an application for certification under this subsection, the Secretary shall—
(1) determine whether or not the individual—
(A) was employed in the activation or operation of a vessel—
(i) in the National Defense Reserve Fleet maintained under section 1744 of Title 50, Appendix, in a period in which that vessel was in use or being activated for use under subsection (b) of that section;
(ii) that is requisitioned or purchased under section 1242 of this Appendix; or
(iii) that is owned, chartered, or controlled by the United States and used by the United States for a war, armed conflict, national emergency, or maritime mobilization need (including for training purposes or testing for readiness and suitability for mission performance); and
(B) during the period of that employment, possessed a valid license, certificate of registry, or merchant mariner’s document issued under chapter 71 or chapter 73 (as applicable) of title 46; and
(2) if the Secretary makes affirmative determinations under paragraph (1)(A) and (B), certify that individual under this subsection.
(d) Equivalence to Military Selective Service Act certificate
For purposes of reemployment rights and benefits provided by this section, a certification under subsection (c) of this section shall be considered to be the equivalent of a certificate referred to in paragraph (1) of section 4301 (a) of title 38.[1]

[1] See References in Text note below.
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