UnitedHealth Group has signed the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) “Statement of Support,” affirming the company’s commitment to its employees who are retired, active-duty and reserve military personnel.
As such, the company is stepping up efforts to hire and retain members of the Guard and Reserve and emphasizing the company’s policy to ensure its employees who are active-duty and reserve military personnel are able to keep their jobs while they are away from the workplace defending the nation. This policy is in support of the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA), which was enacted by Congress in 1994.
In addition, UnitedHealth Group covers gaps in pay for active duty military members for up to 52 weeks. Employees on active duty are paid any difference between their military pay and their base salary, ensuring financial stability for them and their families while they are on active duty.
According to ESGR, the Reserve components comprise nearly half of the nation’s total available military manpower. The current National Defense Strategy indicates that the National Guard and Reserve will be vital partners in the fully integrated Total Force, which means Reserve forces will spend more time away from the workplace defending the nation.
Leaders from UnitedHealth Group recently met with officials from ESGR in Minnesota at a formal signing ceremony to pledge their support of current and future Guard and Reserve employees.
“In this environment, civilian employers play a critical role in the defense of the nation by committing to support their employees who are active members of the Guard and Reserve,” said James G. Rebholz, National Chairman, ESGR. “By signing this statement of support, UnitedHealth Group pledges to support service members and their families in times of peace, crisis and war.”
“UnitedHealth Group honors America’s service members and veterans, and we are grateful for the dedication our Guard and Reserve employees have to our country and communities,” said Lori McDougal, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company. “As an employer, it is an honor to support these exceptional individuals in their work efforts and their service to our country.”
UnitedHealth Group received ESGR’s “Above and Beyond Award” May 21. The award is given in limited numbers by state and territory ESGR committees. It recognizes employers at the state and local level who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements for granting leave and providing support for military duty by their employees.
The ESGR Statement of Support is in addition to other UnitedHealth Group relationships and efforts geared toward sourcing and recruiting top military and veteran candidates. These include a commitment to the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) and support of job services agencies, vocational rehabilitation services and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
ESGR was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment. It is the lead DoD organization for this mission under DoD Directive 1250.1.
About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. Through its businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide. Visit UnitedHealth Group at www.unitedhealthgroup.com for more information.