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Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve


Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a Department of Defense program that develops and promotes supportive work environments for service members in the reserve components. Indiana’s ESGR is a DOD field agency composed primarily of 95 volunteers within the state of Indiana. ESGR's goal is for all employers to support and value the employment of members of the National Guard and Reserve, thereby increasing reserve component readiness.

Through outreach and education, ESGR works to increase awareness of applicable laws, i.e., the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), and to resolve employment conflicts between service members and their employers. ESGR’s recognition and awards programs, helps to strengthen relationships between service members and supportive employers while honoring the sacrifices employers make year after year.

Employer Responsibilities

Service Member Responsibilities

Allow military leave of absence
Reinstatement of employee promptly
Restore employee seniority
Reinstate employment benefits
Provide training or refreshing of skills
Do not discriminate or retaliate

Provide advanced notice to employer
Leave a civilian job for fulfillment of military obligations
If on extended active duty, receive a qualifying military separation
Serve no more than five cumulative years away from workplace
Notify employer of intent to return to work in accordance with USERRA guidelines

Thanking Your Employer

ESGR offers a Statement of Support program where employers can sign a pledge to support the military service of their employees. Simultaneously, ESGR offers a progressive awards program so you can nominate a supportive supervisor or employer for support that goes above and beyond what is required by law.

Our hope is by creating a culture in which all American employers value the military service of their employees, we will limit any issues between employers and Service members. When issues do arise, ESGR offers free, neutral mediation and information on what the law requires.

There may come a time when the relationship with your employer becomes strained because of your military obligations. The following steps are designed to help you resolve a problem with your employer that is related to your military service:

  • Inform your chain of command - The first step in resolving an employer-related problem is to explain the problem to your leaders and keep them informed. They may be able to resolve the issue for you without pursuing further action.
  • Contact ESGR - If your chain of command cannot resolve your issue, contact ESGR. By contacting ESGR, your issue will be referred to a trained volunteer Ombudsman who will help you resolve your problem through informal mediation. The objective of the ESGR ombudsman is to eliminate misunderstandings and resolve difficulties in a spirit of cooperation. Their success rate at resolving issues at their level is greater than 90 percent.
  • Contact the Department of Labor - If the ESGR Ombudsman is not able to successfully resolve your issue, you should contact the Department of Labor (DOL).
  • Arrange for Private Counsel - If DOL cannot resolve your issue or will not accept your case, you may arrange for private counsel/legal representation. Unlike the previous steps, however, this service is not free and may result in an out-of-pocket expense.

ESGR understands the unique talents and skill set Guard and Reserve Service members can bring to the civilian workforce. To make this arrangement work, both parties must be aware of their rights and responsibilities under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

Our hope is that by creating a culture in which all American employers value the military service of their employees, we will limit any issues between employers and Service members. ESGR is able to answer any questions you may have regarding your rights and responsibilities in the employment of Guard or Reserve Service members.

Our dedicated volunteers come from all walks of life. We are business executives, civic leaders, and patriotic citizens who volunteer as ombudsmen, outreach to service members and employers, or as public relations professionals.

Members of the Guard and Reserve and their civilian employers form an alliance essential to the security of our Nation. These brave men and women perform critical roles in disaster relief efforts at home and abroad, and continue to serve around the world to ensure our freedom. They could not perform their critical mission without support from people like you.

Your involvement, in whatever capacity you choose, can improve the relationships our brave men and women have with their employers while they continually place themselves in harm’s way, leave their families, and put their careers on hold to preserve our way of life.

Email us to volunteer

Contact Us

DOD ESGR Customer Service Center

Available to answer USERRA questions or refer cases to a trained ombudsman.
Monday through Friday
(except federal holidays)
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (ET)

1-800-336-4590, Option 1

Indiana ESGR Office

Tyndall Armory
711 North Pennsylvania Street, First Floor
Indianapolis, IN 46204
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
800-237-2850, Ext. 73548

Indiana Department of Labor

402 West Washington Street, Room W195
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204



Indiana Department of Labor

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