Businesses that employ National Guard soldiers can sometimes find themselves in a predicament. A large job comes in and the employer discovers that 2 of their best employees have their monthly National Guard training. There is a deadline for this job and the employer wonders if they can meet this deadline without those employees. The stress is high, and some civilian employers have handled the situation terribly.
In today’s post, we are going to delve into understanding the civilian employer and the National Guard duty relationship. There are responsibilities, regulations and ethics on both sides that need to be followed. We will look at both sides. I must first say that as an employer, you need to understand that the Army National Guard need to be trained to help protect you, your family and your business. It may cause you some issues when these soldiers need to take off 1 weekend every month and 2 weeks every year, but just keep in mind that if an attack, natural disaster or any other emergency came against you, it would be these same men and women who would be helping to save you and your business.
I must also speak to the National Guard soldiers who think their boss is unpatriotic or non understanding. Try using a little empathy. Keeping a business afloat is not easy. Try to have a little compassion for your employer too. Maybe give them a couple extra hours per day to help them get caught up before you have to take your military leave. Most civilian employers are understanding, but they also have stress and you can help relieve that stress.
These are some of the main responsibilities, regulations and ethics on both sides:
National Guard Soldiers
Be honest with employers about your National Guard duties. When applying for jobs, always add that information. Leaving it out to make sure you get the job is not morally right. If you are planning on joining the Army National Guard, tell your employer. The majority of civilian employers are patriotic and will understand. Many of them will also know that you are going to receive more training and experience that can help at their business.
Give your employer notice as far in advance as possible for military duties. If an employer knows far in advance, they can plan accordingly. In most cases, drill weekends are planned far ahead that as the employee, you could just hand the boss a complete drill weekend schedule. Annual training is normally scheduled months in advance. This should be in front of your employer as soon as you know.
When volunteering for extra training or duty, I recommend speaking to your employer first. In most cases, if you are considerate to your employer, they will be considerate of you.
In active duty situations, try to give your employer as much notice as you can. Sometimes, especially in emergency situations, notice is short, if at all. If you even have a suspicion that you may be called up for active duty, the responsible soldier will warn their employer so that employer can hire and train temporary help.
Put your employer in for an award. Fill out an application to nominate your patriotic employer and this will build more confidence in the reason they hired a member of the Army National Guard.
When on military leave,it is the soldier’s responsibility to return to work on time for the next scheduled shift.
While a soldier does not have to, it is ethically proper that they show the military orders to their employer. This can help the employer have more faith and understanding.
By following all of these, employers will usually be understanding about your military duties.
It is illegal to discriminate by not hiring a National Guard member or firing a National Guard member because of their service.
As an employer, you have to allow 5 years of cumulative service for Army National Guard members.
Employers cannot deny an employee from attending monthly drills or annual training. In case of deployment, an employer must give the soldier their position back as if they had never left.
If an employee is disabled in their military service, the employer must hold their job for 2 years.
The employee cannot be demoted upon return to their work after deployment. A soldier who was a manager cannot be made an assistant manager.
As an employer, you cannot force an employee to take vacation leave while on National Guard training. The employee can take it if they desire, but the employer cannot force it. The employer is not required to pay the employee while they are on military service.
As an employer that is finding a bind in allowing your employee off, you can contact the soldier’s commanding officer and explain your plight. In some cases, commanding officers will understand and will allow the soldier to work their civilian job. This is on a case by case basis, and employers need to understand that in the eyes of the military, the National Guard training comes first.
As an employer, always try to remember why we have National Guard members. If not for the Army National Guard, you may not have the business you have.
There have been situations in which some have claimed to be National Guard members so they can take off, and the person is not in the Guard. As an employer, you have the right to verify if the employee is actually a member of the Army National Guard. Here are the State contacts to do that:
State Military Dept. P.O. Box 3711, Montgomery, AL 36109
P.O. Box 5800, Fort Richardson, AK 99505-5800
5636 East McDowell Road, Phoenix, AZ 85008-3495
Camp J.T. Robinson, North Little Rock, AR 72199
PO Box 269101 9800 Goethe Road, Sacramento, CA 95826
6848 South Revere Parkway, Centennial, CO 80112-6703
National Guard Armory 360 Broad Street, Hartford, CT 06105-3706
First Regiment Road, Wilmington, DE 19808-2191
District of Columbia
National Guard Armory 2001 East Capitol Street, Washington, DC 20003-1719
P.O. Box 1008, St. Augustine, FL 32085-1008
Georgia Department of Defense P.O. Box 1970, Marietta, GA 30061
430 Army Drive, Building 300, Barrigada, GU 96913-4421
304 F Street, Pineville, LA 71360-0613
3949 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816-4495
4040 West Guard Street, Boise, ID 83705-5004
1301 North MacArthur Boulevard, Springfield, IL 62702-2399
2002 South Holt Road, Indianapolis, IN 46241-4839
700 NW Beaver Drive, Johnston, IA 50131-1902
2800 SW Topeka Boulevard, Topeka, KS 66611-1287
100 Minuteman Parkway, Frankfort, KY 40601-6168
304 F Street, Pineville, LA 71360-0613
Camp Keyes, Augusta, ME 04333-0033
5th Regiment Armory 29 Division Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-2288
Headquarters, Massachusetts National Guard 50 Maple Street, Milford, MA 01757
2500 South Washington Avenue, Lansing, MI 48913-5101
20 West 12th Street, St. Paul, MN 55155
1410 Riverside Drive, Jackson, MS 39202
2302 Militia Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65101-1203
1956 Mt. Majo Street P.O. Box 4789, Fort Harrison, MT 59636
1300 Military Road, Lincoln, NE 68508-1090
2460 Fairview Drive, Carson City, NV 89701-6807
1 Minuteman Way, Concord, NH 03301
101 Eggert Crossing Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648-2805
State Programs Office, Room 201 47 Bataan Boulevard, Santa Fe, NM 87505
JFHQ-NY, Latham, NY 12110-2224
4105 Reedy Creek Road, Raleigh, NC 27607-6410
P.O. Box 5511, Bismarck, ND 58506-5511
2825 West Dublin Granville Road, Columbus, OH 43235-2789
3501 Military Circle, NE Oklahoma City, OK 73111-4398
Oregon Military Department P.O. Box 14350, Salem, OR 97309-5047
Building SO47 Fisher Avenue Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA 17003-5002
P.O. Box 3786, San Juan, PR 00904-3786
Command Readiness Center 645 New London Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920-3097
#1 National Guard Road, Columbia, SC 29201-4766
2823 West Main Street, Rapid City, SD 57702-8186
Houston Barracks P.O. Box 41502, Nashville, TN 37204-1501
P.O. Box 5218 Camp Mabry, Austin, TX 78763-5218
12953 South Minuteman Drive, Draper, UT 84020
Green Mountain Armory Camp Johnson, Colchester, VT 05446-3004
Department of Military Affairs 5901 Beulah Road, Sandston, VA 23150
4031 La Grande Princess, Lot 1B, Christiansted, VI 00820-4353
Camp Murray, Building 1, Tacoma, WA 98430-5000
1703 Coonskin Drive, Charleston, WV 25311-1085
Department of Military Affairs 2400 Wright Street, Madison, WI 53708-8111
5500 Bishop Boulevard, Cheyenne, WY 82009-3220
As long as both employees and employers understand all their rights and responsibilities, the employer and National Guard soldier relationship should work out just fine.
Have you had difficulties with your employer? Do you have a very understanding employer? Tell us about your soldier-employer situations. All comments and questions can be posted below.
Always remember…as a National Guard soldier, you do have rights, but so does your civilian employer. By using common sense and a little empathy, the whole situation can work just fine.
Former Army Major (resigned)
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