Friday, November 10, 2017

Strengthening the Relationship Between City Employers and Active Military Reserve and Guard Employees

Support for veterans and active members of the military reserve is key to walking the walk as a great employer—and public employers are no different. These employees and the skills they bring from their military service can be found in every local government profession, and understanding how to comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) to support those still actively serving is key to a successful relationship between employer and employee.

The League is working to strengthen that relationship in our own organization, and is proud to have received the "Above and Beyond Award" in 2017 from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program. ESGR is a Department of Defense program established to promote cooperation and understanding between reserve component service members and their civilian employers. At the League's November board meeting special guest Matthew Meyer, volunteer ombudsman for the ESGR, was present to deliver the Above and Beyond Award.

Jo Emerson receives the Above and Beyond Award from ESGR Volunteer
Ombudsman Matthew Meyer on behalf of the League at November's board meeting.
The award recognizes the League’s support for our staff to participate in guard and reserve duties. Ryan Zipf and Patrick Arneson, both of whom are litigation attorneys and in the Army Reserve, nominated the League of Minnesota Cities. Thank you to Ryan and Patrick for your nomination, but most importantly, for your service.

Other local government employers recognized in 2017 with the Above and Beyond Award were Saint Paul Emergency Management, the Paynesville Police Department, and Three Rivers Park District- The Landing.

Statement of Support
Meyer was also present to witness LMC President Jo Emerson sign the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Statement of Support.The statement formally recognizes LMC’s commitment and support of its employees who also serve as citizen soldiers. You can see which Minnesota employers have signed the statement of support and learn more on the ESGR website.

ESGR's Matthew Meyer and LMC Executive Director Dave Unmacht
observe LMC President Jo Emerson sign the ESGR Statement of Support.

USERRA resources for cities
Beyond recognition, the ESGR also provides educational resources to help employers understand USERRA and resolve employment problems related to guard and reserve service before they escalate. Cities can access information about the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) on the ESGR website to learn more.

Members of the executive committee gathered with some of the League's
veterans and active service members for a photo.

Here's the ESGR statement of support:

We fully recognize, honor, and comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

We will provide our managers and supervisors with the tools they need to effectively manage employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.

We appreciate the values, leadership, and unique skills Service members bring to the workforce and will encourage opportunities to hire Guardsmen, Reservists, and Veterans.

We will continually recognize and support our country’s Service members and their families, in peace, in crises, and in war.

For more information about ESGR, visit https://www.esgr.mil.

Photo credit goes to League staffer Jeff Korte

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