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Civilian employment that is on call 24/7 while in the National Guard

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  • Civilian employment that is on call 24/7 while in the National Guard

    I recently had a job interview for a position as a Security Manager which acts as a liaison between bank branches and the security company. A large responsibility of the job is to be on call 24/7, 365 days a year in case something happens (power failure, accident etc.) and they need a guard on-site ASAP - I would be the one contacting the guards and finding someone to report to the site on time. I explained to the hiring manager (who was prior Army as well) during the interview that I was in the National Guard and asked him "what if I am at drill or on AT when calls come in?" He stated "I am not hiring you because you are in the Guard, I'm hiring you to take care of these clients... if they call you when something happens and you tell them 'I'm at drill for the National Guard' then they aren't going to care and they'll still need you to take care of the situation. Let your CO know about your job and that you have to have your phone on and with you at all times in order to take care of these situations."

    I would like to know if my USERRA rights would apply in this situation if I am hired and if they can penalize me for performing my military duties. Also, since they know that I'm in the Guard and refuse to hire me based on this reason, would it be violating USERRA or any applicable laws?

  • #2
    Re: Civilian employment that is on call 24/7 while in the National Guard

    Personal opinion. I am siding with the employer. Seems like a valid reason to not hire you to me. Your inability to commit yourself to the level they need makes you unqualified in my eyes. I don't think you can threaten him with USERRA if you're unable to fulfill the responsibilities outlined in a job you haven't even been hired for yet (I am aware USERRA does cover initial employment.) There will be plenty of situations where you will not have the ability to answer your phone or even keep it charged. Food for thought.

    Might help to call your local ESGR/USERRA rep and run it by them.
    Last edited by SteveLord; July 29th, 2013, 10:54 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Civilian employment that is on call 24/7 while in the National Guard

      Your explanation makes a lot of sense.

      Probably should go for a job that has normal hours lol.

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      • #4
        Re: Civilian employment that is on call 24/7 while in the National Guard

        The employer is in the wrong for even asking about your NG membership. You could probably file a complaint but it'd probably wouldn't do you any good.

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        • #5
          Re: Civilian employment that is on call 24/7 while in the National Guard

          I explained to the hiring manager (who was prior Army as well) during the interview that I was in the National Guard and asked him

          According to the OP, he himself brought it up. And he should have. It is not fair to the employer of such a job to spring this on him afterward. Again, I fail to see where the discrimination is. The employer could potentially say the same thing if he disclosed a totally different reason why he couldn't be on call 24/7.

          I also fail to see how asking a basic question about one's military service is wrong. It is no different than asking about their employment history.
          Last edited by SteveLord; July 29th, 2013, 11:14 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: Civilian employment that is on call 24/7 while in the National Guard

            Becuase it's wrong. He's not gettting a job soley becuase of his NG status.

            He stated "I am not hiring you because you are in the Guard, I'm hiring you to take care of these clients...

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            • #7
              Re: Civilian employment that is on call 24/7 while in the National Guard

              Originally posted by RedLeg View Post
              Becuase it's wrong. He's not gettting a job soley becuase of his NG status.
              Thanks for the responses.

              I probably should've clarified when he said "I'm not hiring you because you're in the Guard" he meant that the reason why he was hiring me (or someone in that position) was in order to take care of those clients... not because of my guard status.

              Basically, he didn't say he WASN'T going to hire me. He just said that no matter what (drill or AT) I have to be available to answer my phone and take care of the clients.

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              • #8
                Re: Civilian employment that is on call 24/7 while in the National Guard

                Originally posted by Kobrakai View Post
                Thanks for the responses.

                I probably should've clarified when he said "I'm not hiring you because you're in the Guard" he meant that the reason why he was hiring me (or someone in that position) was in order to take care of those clients... not because of my guard status.

                Basically, he didn't say he WASN'T going to hire me. He just said that no matter what (drill or AT) I have to be available to answer my phone and take care of the clients.
                If you simply have to answer your phone and do some tele-directing of assests, it won't be a huge problem.* Do you best and if this job is what you want, then take it. It's all about how to juggle...

                *Unless you are in the field or a combat MOS which precludes phone use

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                • #9
                  Re: Civilian employment that is on call 24/7 while in the National Guard

                  I had to request a hardship discharge a few months back for a soldier who worked in security as well. The demands of the job were too much to manage with a drill schedule, and since that is the job that pays his bills it made sense for him to leave the Guard. In your case, it sounds like something that may be manageable, especially if you can handle your business via the phone. The only time it may get tricky is during AT, but I'd like to think there is a way to get some coverage from your colleagues that would help mitigate your absence during that time.

                  What is the expectation for when you are on vacation/PTO? If there is a coverage plan for being on PTO, then you should be able to apply that to being "out of the office" for drill commitments.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Civilian employment that is on call 24/7 while in the National Guard

                    Originally posted by TxIntel 1978 View Post
                    *Unless you are in the field or a combat MOS which precludes phone use
                    I'm in a line MP unit (combat support) and a large number of our drills are spent in the field in individual tents with no outlets to charge our phones (except for in a shack by the range where 50 soldiers are crowded around trying to charge their phones anyways).

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                    • #11
                      Re: Civilian employment that is on call 24/7 while in the National Guard

                      Originally posted by Kobrakai View Post
                      Thanks for the responses.

                      I probably should've clarified when he said "I'm not hiring you because you're in the Guard" he meant that the reason why he was hiring me (or someone in that position) was in order to take care of those clients... not because of my guard status.

                      Basically, he didn't say he WASN'T going to hire me. He just said that no matter what (drill or AT) I have to be available to answer my phone and take care of the clients.
                      He can say this all he wants, but once you are hired, he cannot legally do anything to you if you can't come in on a military duty day. Regardless of the job, you cannot be discriminated against. I once worked on the side in a nightclub, and you HAD to be available every weekend for work...well guess what, I worked only three out of four weekends a month. If they fire you, sue them, you will win.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Civilian employment that is on call 24/7 while in the National Guard

                        I also have to side with the employer on this one, its almost like applying for a job and the employer saying "I need you to work every weekend no matter what, no exceptions, if that doesn't work then I can't hire you" Basically your Guard status might interfere with the basic requirments of the job. Now your case isn't as extreme, and depending on your MOS and Unit it could probably work. With a Unit like mine this would never fly lol were in the field too much with no Cell Service

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                        • #13
                          Re: Civilian employment that is on call 24/7 while in the National Guard

                          These examples of flexibility are not the standard by any means. I would not risk bad blood with my unit or my potential employer based on what's been said so far. Telling my commander I need to access my phone 24/7 because of my civilian job just sounds corny as hell. I am to serve under his terms and those of the Army, not my own. Once in a while? Sure, it happens.
                          Last edited by SteveLord; August 1st, 2013, 05:47 PM.

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