[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 144 (Monday, July 28, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 43700-43704]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-17635]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Office of the Secretary

32 CFR Part 104

[Docket ID: DoD-2013-OS-0091]
RIN 0790-AJ00


Civilian Employment and Reemployment Rights for Service Members, 
Former Service Members and Applicants of the Uniformed Services

AGENCY: Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, 
Department of Defense (DoD).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: This rule updates established policy, assigned 
responsibilities, and procedures for informing Service members and 
individuals who apply for uniformed service of their civilian 
employment and reemployment rights, benefits, and obligations. The 
purpose of this regulatory action is to support the non-career 
uniformed service by taking appropriate actions to inform and assist 
uniformed Service members and former Service members and individuals 
who apply for uniformed service of their rights, benefits, and 
obligations under Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights 
Act (USERRA).

DATES: Comments must be received by September 26, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number and/or 
RIN number and title, by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Federal Docket Management System Office, 4800 Mark 
Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 02G09, Alexandria VA 22350-3100.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this 
Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other 
submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions 
available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any 
personal identifiers or contact information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Curtis Bell, 571-372-0695.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This proposed rule is part of DoD's 
retrospective plan, completed in August 2011, under Executive Order 
13563, ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.'' DoD's full plan 
and updates can be accessed at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;dct=FR+PR+N+O+SR;rpp=10;po=0;D=DOD-2011-OS-0036.

I. Executive Summary

a. Purpose

    The purpose of this regulatory action is to support the non-career 
uniformed service by taking appropriate actions to inform and assist 
uniformed Service members, former Service members, and individuals who 
apply for uniformed service of their rights, benefits, and obligations 
under USERRA.

b. Legal Authority

    38 U.S.C. chapter 43.
    The purposes of this chapter are:
    (1) To encourage non-career service in the uniformed services by 
eliminating or minimizing the disadvantages to civilian careers and 
employment which can result from such service;
    (2) to minimize the disruption to the lives of persons performing 
service in the uniformed services as well as to their employers, their 
fellow employees, and their communities, by providing for the prompt 
reemployment of such persons upon their completion of such service; and
    (3) to prohibit discrimination against persons because of their 
service in the uniformed services.

II. Summary of the Major Provisions

    This regulatory action:
    a. Establishes procedures to maintain oversight of an effective 
program to ensure that uniformed Service members, former Service 
members, and individuals who apply for uniformed service are aware of 
their rights, benefits, and obligations under USERRA.
    b. Describes policies that serve to promote and inform uniformed 
Service members, former Service members, and individuals of their 
rights who apply for unformed service of their rights under USERRA.

III. Costs and Benefits

    Based on the estimated costs of $3000 per USERRA case that DOL 
spends to formally investigate a claim, DoD ESGR saves the Federal 
government over $8 million dollars annually. ESGR operates and 
maintains a Customer Service Center (CSC) that acts as the initial 
entry point for USERRA complaints, inquiries, and information requests. 
The CSC provides prompt, expert telephonic and email responses to 
Service members and employers on all USERRA related matters. During 
Fiscal Year 2012 (FY (12)), ESGR received 21,521 contacts by telephone 
and email. Of those contacts, 2,793 resulted in actual USERRA cases for 
mediation purposes. There is no cost to the general public, including 
the Service member. The approximate cost of $3000 is the estimated cost 
for the DOL to investigate formal complaints if ESGR's mediation 
program was not in place. The benefits of using ESGR services are 
Service members receive a timely response without additional cost.

IV. Background

    This rule is designed to provide information about the USERRA to 
Service members, former service members, individuals who apply, and 
their employers through an informal mediation program run by the 
Employer

[[Page 43701]]

Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). ESGR is a DoD operational 
agency whose mission is to gain and maintain employer support for Guard 
and Reserve service by advocating relevant initiatives, recognizing 
outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law, and resolving 
conflict between employers and Service members. As such, ESGR is the 
principal agency within DoD dedicated to providing its customers and 
stakeholders with an awareness about USERRA.
    ESGR has provided outreach and USERRA assistance to Reserve 
Component (RC) Service members and their employers since its inception 
in 1972. Hundreds of thousands of RC Service members and employers have 
benefited from ESGR services. Considering the National Guard and 
Reserve forces make up nearly 50 percent of our military strength and 
ongoing global operations coupled with humanitarian response, civilian 
employers' support is critical to our National Defense now more than 
ever.
    The Ombudsman Services Program provides education, information, and 
neutral third-party mediation services in order to resolve employee/
employer USERRA conflicts. ESGR is not an enforcement agency, and does 
not participate in formal litigation processes.
    ESGR signed an updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2010 
with the Department of Labor that continued organizational cooperation 
and improved services provided to all customers regarding USERRA 
compliance. More than 650 volunteer ombudsmen help to resolve USERRA 
compliance issues throughout the Nation.
    More than 4,900 volunteers support ESGR's mission and serve on ESGR 
State Committees maintaining employer support programs, providing 
informative briefings and mediation, and recognizing employers who go 
above and beyond in their dedication to employees who pledge to be both 
a citizen and protector of our Nation. Since ESGR's creation four 
decades ago, thousands of employers have been honored for their 
commitment to stand beside those who serve. As the use of our military 
evolves, many Guard and Reserve members will return from present-day 
conflicts, changing out of their boots and reintegrating into life at 
home. ESGR is committed to continue assisting the returning Service 
members by ensuring America's heroes have meaningful civilian 
employment when they come home. The benefit is that ESGR relieves DOL 
of the extra cases that may be filed by providing information which the 
inquirer can decide whether to pursue further action with the DOL.

Regulatory Procedures

Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review'' and Executive 
Order 13563, ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review''

    DoD consulted with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and 
determined this NPRM meets the criteria for a significant regulatory 
action under Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 
13563, and was subject to OMB review.

Sec. 202, Pub. L. 104-4, ``Unfunded Mandates Reform Act''

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) 
(Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits 
before issuing any rule whose mandates require spending in any 1 year 
of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation. In 
2014, that threshold is approximately $141 million. This document will 
not mandate any requirements for State, local, or tribal governments, 
nor will it affect private sector costs.

Public Law 96-354, ``Regulatory Flexibility Act'' (5 U.S.C. 601)

    We certify this proposed rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, does not require us to prepare 
a regulatory flexibility analysis.

Public Law 96-511, ``Paperwork Reduction Act'' (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

    This proposed rule does not create any new, or affect any existing 
collections, and therefore, does not require OMB approval under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

Executive Order 13132, ``Federalism''

    Executive Order 13132 establishes certain requirements that an 
agency must meet when it promulgates a proposed rule (and subsequent 
final rule) that imposes substantial direct requirement costs on State 
and local governments, preempts State law, or otherwise has Federalism 
implications. This document will not have a substantial effect on State 
and local governments.

List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 104

    Government employees, Military personnel.
    Accordingly 32 CFR part 104 is proposed to be revised to read as 
follows:

PART 104--CIVILIAN EMPLOYMENT AND REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS FOR SERVICE 
MEMBERS, FORMER SERVICE MEMBERS AND APPLICANTS OF THE UNIFORMED 
SERVICES

Sec.
104.1 Purpose.
104.2 Applicability.
104.3 Definitions.
104.4 Policy.
104.5 Responsibilities.
104.6 Procedures.

    Authority:  38 U.S.C. chapter 43.

Sec.  104.1  Purpose.

    This part updates established policy, assigned responsibilities, 
and procedures for informing Service members and individuals who apply 
for uniformed service of their civilian employment and reemployment 
rights, benefits, and obligations pursuant to 38 U.S.C. chapter 43 
(referred to in this part as the Uniformed Services Employment and 
Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994).


Sec.  104.2  Applicability.

    This part applies to:
    The Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Military Departments 
(including the Coast Guard at all times, including when it is a Service 
in the Department of Homeland Security by agreement with that 
Department), the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
and the Joint Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Office of the 
Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the Defense Agencies, 
the DoD Field Activities, and all other organizational entities within 
the DoD (referred to collectively in this part as the ``DoD 
Components'').


Sec.  104.3  Definitions.

    Unless otherwise noted, these terms and their definitions are for 
the purposes of this part.
    Critical mission. An operational mission that requires the skills 
or resources available in a Reserve Component or components.
    Critical requirement. A requirement in which the incumbent 
possesses unique knowledge, extensive experience, and specialty skill 
training to successfully fulfill the duties or responsibilities in 
support of the mission and operation or exercise. Also, a requirement 
in which the incumbent must gain the necessary experience to qualify 
for key senior leadership

[[Page 43702]]

positions within his or her Reserve Component.
    Impossible or unreasonable. For the purpose of determining when 
providing advance notice of uniformed service to an employer is 
impossible or unreasonable, orders by competent military authority to 
report for uniformed service within 48 hours of notification, and 
reasons of military necessity are sufficient justification for not 
providing advance notice of pending uniformed service to an employer, 
as well as the unavailability of an employer or employer representative 
to whom notification can be given.
    Military necessity. For the purpose of determining when providing 
advance notice of uniformed service is not required, a mission, 
operation, exercise, or requirement that is classified, or a pending or 
ongoing mission, operation, exercise, or requirement that may be 
compromised or otherwise adversely affected by public knowledge is 
sufficient justification for not providing advance notice to an 
employer.
    Non-career service. The period of active uniformed service required 
to complete the initial uniformed service obligation; a period of 
active duty or full-time National Guard duty that is for a specified 
purpose and duration with no expressed or implied commitment for 
continued active duty; or participation in a Reserve Component as a 
member of the Ready Reserve performing annual training, active duty for 
training, or inactive duty training. Continuous or repeated active 
uniformed service or full-time National Guard duty that results in 
eligibility for a regular retirement from the Armed Forces is not 
considered non-career service.
    Officer. For determining those Service officials authorized to 
provide advance notice to a civilian employer of pending uniformed 
service by a Service member or an individual who has applied for 
uniformed service, an officer will include all commissioned officers, 
warrant officers, and non-commissioned officers authorized by the 
Secretary concerned to act in this capacity.
    Uniformed services. The Armed Forces, the Army National Guard and 
the Air National Guard when engaged in active duty for training, 
inactive duty training, or full-time national Guard duty, and any other 
category of persons designated by the President in time of war or 
national emergency. (See 38 U.S.C. chapter 43.)


Sec.  104.4  Policy.

    It is DoD policy to support non-career uniformed service by taking 
appropriate actions to inform and assist uniformed Service members and 
former Service members and individuals who apply for uniformed service 
of their rights, benefits, and obligations in accordance with 38 U.S.C. 
chapter 43.


Sec.  104.5  Responsibilities.

    (a) The Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness 
(USD(P&R)):
    (1) In addition to the responsibilities in paragraph (d) of this 
section, the USD(P&R) has overall responsibility for DoD policy 
pertaining to civilian employment and reemployment rights, benefits, 
and obligations.
    (2) Develops and oversees the implementation of DoD policy 
pertaining to civilian employment and reemployment rights, benefits, 
and obligations.
    (b) Under the authority, direction, and control of USD(P&R), the 
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs (ASD(RA)), with 
input from the Department of Labor's Veterans Employment and Training 
Service (DOL-VETS) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), 
advises the USD(P&R) on policies and procedures to promote and inform 
non-career uniformed Service members and employers on civilian 
employment and reemployment rights, benefits and obligations in 
accordance with USERRA.
    (c) Under the authority, direction, and control of the USD(P&R), 
the Director, Department of Defense Human Resources Activity (DoDHRA), 
oversees the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).
    (d) The OSD and DoD Component heads develop and implement 
procedures within their respective Components that are appropriate and 
in accordance with public law and DoD policy pertaining to civilian 
employment and reemployment rights, benefits, and obligations.


Sec.  104.6  Procedures.

    (a) Service member information and assistance. (1) The Heads of the 
DoD Components and the Commandant of the Coast Guard will:
    (i) Inform the personnel in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(A) and (B) of this 
section of their general employment and reemployment rights, benefits, 
and obligations as described in USERRA.
    (A) Civilian employees who apply for uniformed service.
    (B) Civilian employees who are current members of the uniformed 
services who perform or participate on a voluntary or involuntary basis 
in active duty, inactive duty, or full-time National Guard duty.
    (ii) Provide subject-matter experts to serve as points of contact 
(POCs) to assist applicants for and members of the uniformed service in 
matters related to employment and reemployment rights, benefits, and 
obligations.
    (iii) Provide initial and annual refresher training for all Human 
Resources officials, supervisors, employees, and uniformed Service 
members.
    (2) The Secretaries of the Military Departments and the Commandant 
of the Coast Guard will:
    (i) Provide an annual review of USERRA information to employees of 
the uniformed services.
    (ii) Upon completion of a period of active duty extending beyond 30 
days, and before separation from active duty, advise Active and Reserve 
Component Service members covered by USERRA of their employment and 
reemployment rights, benefits, and obligations as provided under 
USERRA.
    (iii) Advise members of the uniformed services that as employees 
they must fulfill certain obligations in order to achieve eligibility 
for reemployment rights as specified in USERRA. At a minimum, advice 
given will include the following USERRA notification and reporting 
requirements for returning to civilian employment:
    (A) Advance notification of military service. To be eligible for 
reemployment rights as specified in USERRA, employees must provide 
advance notice of absence due to uniformed service to their civilian 
employers except when giving such notice is prevented by military 
necessity, or otherwise impossible or unreasonable under all the 
circumstances.
    (1) DoD recommends persons applying for and/or performing uniformed 
service to provide advance notice in writing to their civilian 
employers of pending absence.
    (2) Although oral notice is allowed pursuant to USERRA, written 
notice of pending uniformed service provides documentary evidence that 
this basic prerequisite to retaining reemployment rights was fulfilled 
by the Service member and serves to avoid unnecessary disputes.
    (3) Regardless of the means of providing advance notice, whether 
oral or written, it should be provided as early as possible. The DoD 
recommends that advance notice to civilian employers be provided at 
least 30 days prior to departure for uniformed service when feasible, 
based upon the time the Service member receives confirmation of 
upcoming uniformed service duty. Other acceptable methods of providing 
notice include:
    (i) Giving notice on behalf of the employee by an appropriate 
officer in

[[Page 43703]]

the uniformed Service member's chain of command. Written notice is 
preferred.
    (ii) Providing the employer a copy of the unit's annual training 
schedule for the duty served on those dates, or by providing the 
employer in advance with a signed standardized letter with blanks in 
which the Service member has filled in the appropriate military duty 
dates.
    (iii) Providing advance notification letters. Sample letters are 
provided by the ESGR, DoD's primary office for all matters concerning 
employer support of the National Guard and Reserve. ESGR information is 
provided in Sec.  104.6(c) of this part.
    (B) Reemployment reporting requirements. As described in USERRA, 
when notifying employers of their intent to return to work after 
completing uniformed service, employees must meet specific time-lines. 
Depending on the length of service, these time-lines span from less 
than 24 hours up to 90 days after completing uniformed service.
    (1) Sample return notification letters are provided by ESGR.
    (2) When absence from civilian employment due to uniformed service 
exceeds 30 days, the Service member is required to provide 
documentation of service performed if requested by the employer.
    (i) As a matter of policy the Military Departments will require 
Service members to provide verification of absence due to uniformed 
service to civilian employers regardless of the duration of service-
related absence. Failure of an employee to comply with this policy 
requirement, which exceeds the requirement of USERRA, is not intended 
to, and should not, affect the legal responsibilities of the employer 
under USERRA including prompt reemployment to the Service member 
employee.
    (ii) Types of documentation satisfying this requirement are 
detailed in 20 CFR part 1002.
    (C) Five-Year Service Limit. USERRA imposes a 5-year cumulative 
limit on absences from each place of civilian employment, due to 
uniformed service.
    (D) Character of service. Service members must not have been 
separated from service under a disqualifying discharge.
    (iv) Determine and certify in writing periods of service exempt 
from USERRA's 5-year cumulative limit. Established exempt periods must 
be reviewed and recertified via policy memorandum, at a minimum, every 
2 years. Failure to comply with this administrative requirement does 
not affect the continued validity of exempt periods certified in a 
writing that is more than 2 years old.
    (A) Determine and certify in writing those additional training 
requirements not already exempt from USERRA 5-year cumulative service 
limit, that are necessary for the professional development or skill 
training or retraining for members of the National Guard or Reserve. 
When the Secretary concerned certifies those training requirements, 
performance of uniformed service to complete a certified training 
requirement is exempt from USERRA 5-year cumulative service limit.
    (B) Determine and certify in writing those periods of active duty 
when a Service member is ordered to, or retained on, active duty (other 
than for training) under any provision of law because of a war or 
national emergency officially declared by the President or Congress. 
Such orders with the purpose of direct or indirect support of the war 
or national emergency will be annotated accordingly since these periods 
of service are exempt from USERRA 5-year cumulative service limit.
    (C) Determine, and certify in writing, those periods of active duty 
performed by a member of the National Guard or Reserve that are 
designated by the Secretary concerned as a critical mission or critical 
requirement, and for that reason are exempt from USERRA 5-year 
cumulative service limit.
    (1) The authority for determining what constitutes a critical 
mission or requirement will not be delegated below the Assistant 
Secretary level. The designation of a critical requirement to gain the 
necessary experience to qualify for specific key senior leadership 
positions will be used judiciously, and the necessary experience and 
projected key leadership positions fully documented in the 
determination and certification.
    (2) This authority must not be used to grant exemptions to avoid 
USERRA 5-year cumulative service limit or to extend individuals in 
repeated statutory tours.
    (v) Issue orders that span the entire period of service when 
ordering a member of the National Guard or Reserve to active duty for a 
mission or requirement, and reflect USERRA 5-year cumulative exemption 
status as appropriate.
    (A) Order modifications will be initiated, as required, to ensure 
continuous active duty should the period required to complete the 
mission or requirement change. Order modifications will be completed, 
as required, to reflect qualifying 5-year exemption, as applicable; or 
an official Statement of Service must be generated, indicating original 
qualifying orders as exempt under proper authority, and retained in the 
Service member's personnel file.
    (B) Orders must indicate exemption under USERRA from the 5-year 
cumulative service limit on uniformed service absence from employment, 
when applicable. Specify the statutory or Secretarial authority for 
those orders when such authority meets one or more of the exemptions 
from USERRA 5-year cumulative service limit. Orders qualifying for 
exemption should include a status reflecting the exemption status and 
authority.
    (vi) Document the length of a Service member's initial period of 
military service obligation performed on active duty.
    (vii) Document those circumstances that prevent a Service member 
from providing advance notification of uniformed service to a civilian 
employer because of military necessity or when advance notification is 
otherwise impossible or unreasonable.
    (viii) Designate those officers who are authorized by the Secretary 
concerned to provide advance notification of service to a civilian 
employer on behalf of a Service member or applicant for uniformed 
service.
    (ix) Provide documentation, upon request from a Service member or 
former Service member that may be used to satisfy the Service member's 
entitlement to statutory reemployment rights and benefits. Appropriate 
documentation may include, as necessary:
    (A) The inclusive dates of the initial period of military service 
obligation performed on active duty.
    (B) Any period of service during which a Service member was 
required to serve because he or she was unable to obtain a release from 
active duty through no fault of the Service member.
    (C) The cumulative length of all periods of active duty performed.
    (D) The authority under which a Service member was ordered to 
active duty when such service was exempt from USERRA 5-year cumulative 
service limit.
    (E) The date the Service member was last released from active duty, 
active duty for special work, initial active duty for training, active 
duty for training, inactive duty training, annual training, or full-
time National Guard duty. This documentation establishes the timeliness 
of reporting to, or submitting application to return to, a position of 
civilian employment.
    (F) A statement indicating service requirements prevented providing 
a civilian employer with advance

[[Page 43704]]

notification of pending service, when applicable.
    (G) Proof that the Service member's entitlement to reemployment 
benefits has not been terminated because of the character of service as 
provided in section 4304 of USERRA.
    (H) A statement that sufficient documentation verifying a 
particular period of service, does not exist, when appropriate.
    (x) Establish a central point of contact (POC) at each Reserve 
Component headquarters or Reserve regional command and each National 
Guard State headquarters who can render assistance to:
    (A) Members of the National Guard or Reserve about employment and 
reemployment rights, benefits, and obligations.
    (B) Employers of National Guard and Reserve members about duty or 
training requirements arising from a member's uniformed service or 
service obligation.
    (xi) Inform Reserve Component Service members of services provided 
by ESGR. ESGR's subject-matter expert POCs can render assistance with 
issues regarding employment and reemployment rights, benefits, and 
obligations under USERRA. More information about ESGR is contained in 
paragraph (c) of this section.
    (b) Employer information and assistance. The Military Departments 
will:
    (1) Provide verification of absence due to uniformed service to 
civilian employers upon request regardless of the duration of service-
related absence.
    (2) Provide verification of discharge status upon employer request.
    (3) Designate Reserve Component representatives who must consider, 
and accommodate, requests from civilian employers of National Guard and 
Reserve members by adjusting Service member absences from civilian 
employment due to uniformed service, when such service has an adverse 
impact on the employer and does not conflict with military 
requirements. The designated representatives may make arrangements 
other than adjusting the period of absence to accommodate such requests 
when it serves the best interest of the military and is reasonable to 
do so.
    (c) Agencies providing USERRA assistance--(1) ESGR. ESGR is a 
component of the DoDHRA, a DoD Field Activity under the authority, 
direction, and control of the USD(P&R).
    (i) ESGR is the primary DoD office for all matters concerning 
employer support of the National Guard and Reserve, and serves as the 
lead proponent for USERRA matters within DoD.
    (ii) ESGR informs Service members and their civilian employers 
regarding their rights and responsibilities governed by USERRA.
    (iii) ESGR does not have enforcement authority for USERRA, but 
serves as a free resource for Service members and employers.
    (iv) ESGR's trained ombudsmen provide neutral, informal alternative 
dispute mediation services between Service members and employers for 
issues relating to compliance with USERRA. Headquarters ESGR Ombudsman 
Services representatives can be contacted by calling 1-800-336-4590.
    (v) ESGR's Web site (available at http://www.esgr.mil) provides 
local and State contact information. Additionally, the Web site 
provides links to multiple resources for both Service members and 
employers.
    (2) DOL-VETS. (i) A person may file a complaint with the DOL-VETS 
or initiate private legal action, if alleging that an employer, 
including any Federal Executive Agency or the OPM, has failed or 
refused, or is about to fail or refuse, to comply with employment or 
reemployment rights and benefits under USERRA.
    (ii) Using ESGR's mediation services is not a prerequisite for 
filing a complaint with DOL-VETS. The complaint may be filed in 
writing, or electronically. Instructions and the forms can be accessed 
at the DOL-VETS Web site (available at http://www.dol.gov/elaws/vets/userra/1010.asp).
    (iii) The DOL-VETS investigates each complaint and, if it is 
determined that the allegation(s) occurred, makes reasonable efforts to 
ensure compliance. If these efforts are unsuccessful, DOL-VETS then 
will notify the complainant of the results and advise the complainant 
of his or her entitlement to pursue enforcement by requesting the 
complaint be referred to the Department of Justice (DOJ), if the 
complaint involves a state or private employer, or to the Office of 
Special Counsel (OSC), for complaints involving Federal Executive 
Agencies.
    (3) DOJ. (i) DOJ is the agency under the Attorney General that 
enforces USERRA matters involving State and local government employers 
and private-sector employers. DOJ receives USERRA cases referred by 
DOL-VETS.
    (ii) DOJ reviews USERRA cases to determine if representation is 
appropriate. In cases found to have merit, the Attorney General will 
commence court action on behalf of the Service member, to be prosecuted 
by DOJ attorneys.
    (4) OSC. (i) OSC is an independent, Federal, investigative and 
prosecutorial agency. OSC's enforcement responsibilities apply in 
Federal sector USERRA cases. OSC receives USERRA Federal cases referred 
by DOL-VETS.
    (ii) If, after reviewing the complaint and investigative file, OSC 
is reasonably satisfied that the claimant is entitled to relief under 
USERRA, OSC may act as attorney for the claimant and initiate an action 
before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), also an independent, 
Federal agency, serving as the guardian of Federal merit systems. If 
OSC declines representation, the claimant may still file an appeal with 
the MSPB.

    Dated: July 22, 2014.
Aaron Siegel,
Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
[FR Doc. 2014-17635 Filed 7-25-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 5001-06-P