State Senate Enacts Bill to Protect Employment Rights of National Guard Members
AUGUSTA—The Maine Senate on March 28th enacted a bill by Rep. Mark Bryant, D-Windham, and Sen. Bruce Bryant, D-Oxford County, that strengthens state laws protecting the employment rights of National Guard members and military reservists.
By federal law, members of the National Guard attending training exercises or deployed on temporary duty are granted only eight hours rest after release from service lasting 31 days or less. The bill proposed extending the time frame for rest after a federal court ruling allowed employers to require reservists to begin working immediately upon their return home.
The bill adds more protections to
- For 24 hours after safe travel time to the member’s home after service of four days or less
- For 48 hours after safe travel time to the member’s home after service of more than four days but less than 16 days
- For 72 hours after safe travel time home after service of more than 15 days but less than 31 days
More than 80 percent of
Further, the bill adds protection for reservists serving at the request of the Governor during state emergencies.
The Bryant brothers brought the issue forward in response to a federal court ruling that gave Guard members fewer employment protections. In 2000, a
LD 1898, An Act to Protect the Employment Rights of Military Reserve and National Guard Personnel, will now be sent to Governor John Baldacci for his consideration.