Step streamlines Guard, Reserve protection

Sept. 29, 2004 at 11:16 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- U.S. officials have signed an agreement to protect employment rights of those returning from the Guard and Reserve, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

Specifically, the memorandum of understanding, or MOU, signed by Attorney General John Ashcroft and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao "streamlines and strengthens enforcement of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994," the department said in a statement.

The agreement deals exclusively with each department's role and responsibilities in the enforcement of the act.

The attorney general delegated his responsibilities under the act to the Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorneys' offices. The law will now be enforced by the Civil Rights Division, along with other employment-related civil rights statutes, the department said.

The Labor Department delegated its responsibilities to the Veterans' Employment and Training Service and Labor's Office of the Solicitor.

The Labor Department has provided briefings to more than 158,000 service members and others on the law and responded to nearly 26,000 requests for technical assistance.

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