14th Annual Employee Benefits Symposium Tackles Employer Compliance With USERRA

The John Marshall Law School’s 14th Annual Employee Benefits Symposium on May 1, hosted by McDermott Will & Emery, offered an overview of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). The symposium covered topics including rules on how a company should handle reinstatement, compensation, retirement and other benefits related to military servicemembers in the workplace.

USERRA is a federal law that establishes rights and responsibilities for uniformed servicemembers and potentially impacts every employer in the United States. Employers have found it increasingly difficult to comply with the Act. As benefits and compensation practices evolve, especially with an onslaught of state laws and regulations, it is increasingly important for companies to understand and maintain compliance with USERRA. In the 2015 fiscal year, the U.S. Department of Labor reviewed 1,123 unique USERRA cases. Of these cases, approximately 250 involved compensation and benefits issues.

“The Center for Tax Law & Employee Benefits remains cutting edge in our anticipation and investigation of timely employee benefits issues,” said Professor Kathryn Kennedy, Director of John Marshall’s Center for Tax Law & Employee Benefits. “For this symposium, we tackled the issues surrounding USERRA and what companies need to do in order to comply with the Act, as well as best practices for companies to consider.”

The symposium featured speakers from firms such as Seyfarth Shaw, Masuda Funai and McDermott Will & Emery, as well as attorneys from the U.S. Department of Justice, Caterpillar Inc. and Morton Salt, Inc. Experts from across the country discussed various topics, including an overview of USERRA, a litigation update and best practices for employers, at the half day-long symposium. The panels were moderated by Professor Kathryn Kennedy, Director of the Center for Tax Law & Employee Benefits, and Will Hansen, a graduate of John Marshall’s Employee Benefits program and Senior Vice President of ERIC.

The Center for Tax Law & Employee Benefits proudly hosts the Annual Employee Benefits Symposium each spring, offering academics and leading practitioners the opportunity to present their works-in-progress on current employee benefits issues and receive feedback before publication. Past topics include “The Changing Landscape of Executive Compensation Regulation and Reporting,” “The Future of Employer-Provided Health Benefits” and “Legal Issues Regarding Public-Sector Employee Benefits Plans.”

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