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Vitale Bill To Protect Reserve Soldiers On Military Leave Signed Into Law

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Joseph F. Vitale which will provide additional employment protections for reserve soldiers on military leave in time of war or emergency was signed into law today by Governor Corzine.

“When our brave reservists are called up to active duty, we have a responsibility to ensure that they have a day job to come back to after their tour is up,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex. “New Jersey already had some protections on the books, but if a reservist lost his or her job due to downsizing, they were out of luck. With this law in place, we now have more complete job protection for our troops serving overseas and can ensure that when they come home, they can resume their daily lives.”

The new law, S-2304, will require a public or private employer to rehire an individual who left on military leave during a time of war or emergency, if the individual’s job was eliminated due to economic or efficiency demands. The law stipulates that the employee will be rehired to a job of equal pay, status and seniority, and if a position such as that does not exist, the employee could request any available position for which he or she might be qualified.

“I don’t think it’s too much to ask that the soldiers who are willing to risk their lives to protect us overseas are afforded a little bit of job security at home,” said Senator Vitale. “This law will ensure that our brave fighting men and women have something to come back to after their military service ends, and that hero soldiers aren’t rewarded for their service to this country with a pink slip.”

The bill was approved by the Senate and the Assembly last month.

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