By October 21, 2011Comms

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.

Author Myke Cole

Myke Cole is an American writer of history and fantasy who leverages a lifetime in military, law enforcement and intelligence service to take you to battlefields, real and imagined.

More posts by Myke Cole

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Shecky X says:

    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.

  • 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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