There’s a lot of employ­ment dis­crim­i­na­tion out there against reservists.

This is actu­ally under­stand­able. If you’re an employer, it’s mad­dening to have to invest in hiring, training and finally relying on an employee, only to have them called off to serve at a moment’s notice, for a period ranging from a few months to a few years.

But you can’t dis­crim­i­nate in hiring them, and you can’t fire them for serving. That’s the law. The Uni­formed Servicemember’s Employ­ment and Reem­ploy­ment Rights Act (USSERA) pro­vides legal pro­tec­tion to those of us who serve. It’s so impor­tant that the Office of the Sec­re­tary of Defense (OSD) estab­lished an agency known as the Employer Sup­port of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) to ensure com­pli­ance with USSERA.

But there are those employers who view reservists as value added. They see that what we do, while it may some­times impact the oper­a­tions of an indi­vidual busi­ness, ben­e­fits all busi­ness as a whole, by pro­viding a secure and stable envi­ron­ment in which to work. Such employers may cel­e­brate reservists, they may make spe­cial accom­mo­da­tions to help us par­tic­i­pate in the workplace.

When an employer goes that extra mile, ESGR has the option to rec­og­nize them with the ESGR Patriot Award.

This Wednesday, I had the honor of pre­senting the Patriot Award to my editor, Anne Sowards, of Ace/Roc Books at Pen­guin Group, USA.

I present the ESGR Patriot Award to Anne Sowards of Ace/Roc Books (Pen­guin Group, USA)

Anne is not my tra­di­tional employer. She doesn’t cut me a W-2 style pay­check. But Pen­guin takes a risk in giving a book con­tract to a reservist. If recalled, I might have to miss dead­lines, or impor­tant marketing/promotional events. Heck, I *just* got off an unan­tic­i­pated 2 month acti­va­tion just a few weeks ago! By giving a book con­tract to a reservist Anne and Pen­guin show they’re willing to shoulder the risk along side those of us in uniform.

They give cre­dence to ESGR’s motto “We All Serve.”

Con­grat­u­la­tions Anne and Pen­guin. I’m proud to serve along­side you.

  • http://twitter.com/SheckyX Shecky X

    Thanks to ALL of you — Anne, Pen­guin, you and all the reservists. You all make it pos­sible for the rest of us to enjoy our peace, safety and freedom.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brad-Torgersen/100000487265268 Brad Torg­ersen

    In the last 9 years I’ve made sure 3 of my 4 bosses got the ESGR award.  Three of them have been superbly sup­portive and never blinked an eye when duty took me away from the civilian work­force.  It helps that I am in a tech sector job that per­mits me to work “on the go” or from non-office loca­tions.  Ear­lier this year I spent 6 weeks at Fort Dix, pulling double-duty: Army job, and civy job.  For the fourth boss who did not get an ESGR award… he was a Blue Falcon, and no longer works for the com­pany I work for.  Loy­alty is earned.  He did not earn it.  Iron­i­cally, it came back to haunt him.  Karma, she is a bitch some­times.  But my other three bosses?  Ter­rific people.  Sup­ported me all the way.  Con­tinue to sup­port me.

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