Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004 Calls For New Posting Requirement, Option for Extended Insurance Benefits
On December 10, 2004, President Bush signed into law S. 2486, the Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004 (the ” Act”), which amends portions of the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The Act modifies and extends housing, education, and other benefits for veterans. The amendments include two provisions of importance to employers: (1) a provision which will require employers to post a notice informing employees of their rights under USERRA ; and (2) a provision to increase from 18 months to two years the period during which employers must provide employees in military service the option of maintaining employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. The amendment regarding the extended insurance option became effectively immediately. Regarding the posting of a notice, the Secretary of Labor is expected to provide the text of the appropriate notice within 90 days of the enactment, at which time employers will be required to post the notice.