The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a DoD agency that promotes promote public and private understanding of the National Guard and Reserve in order to gain employer and community support. ESGR is comprised of a community-based volunteer network of over 4,500 members, who serve on 54 committees (in every state, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), implementing employer support programs within their local communities.
Today, in both manpower and force capability, the Reserve Components comprise nearly half of the total armed forces.
As a result, employers are being asked to sustain a much greater level of employee absence and related consequences. The complications this "contract" create for employers are compounded by low unemployment rates, an anticipated reduction in the national workforce of nearly 15 percent over to next 10-15 years, and a growing reliance by both military and civilian employers on small segments of the workforce with specific job skills that are in high demand. It is also estimated that Reserve Forces will spend more time away from the workplace defending the nation, supporting a demanding operations tempo and training to maintain their mission readiness.
This program provides direct assistance to members of the Reserve Components at their units during inactive duty training, and during mobilization and demobilization processing. This outreach informs the service member of his or her rights and responsibilities under USERRA. It also addresses questions and concerns that the Reservist may have about mobilization and its impact on their civilian employment.
Bosslifts transport employers and supervisors to military training sites where they observe National Guard and Reserve members on duty as part of the Total Force. This provides the employer a better understanding of what their Reservists do when they are away from their civilian occupation for duty with their military units.
This provides an informal forum in which employers, unit commanders, ESGR members, and community leaders meet to network and discuss issues that may arise from employee participation in the National Guard and Reserve.
The Ombudsman Services Program provides information, informal mediation, and referral service to resolve employer conflicts. ESGR volunteers and the Ombudsmen of the national staff are available to promptly respond to inquiries and conflicts presented by employees or employers. They can be reached toll-free at 1-800-336-4590. ESGR is not an enforcement agency and does not offer legal counsel or advice. However, many employer-employee conflicts can be resolved without referral to the Department of Labor for formal investigation.
ESGR maintains a web page of information concerning all of its programs and activities at http://www.esgr.mil. The national website contains information of interest to employers, Reservists, and committee members about ESGR programs and activities and USERRA. It lists points of contact for each ESGR Committee and for the national staff. Reserve Component members are able to nominate their employers for recognition through the on-line "My Boss is a Patriot" nomination form. The website also lists ESGR fact sheets, the Federal statute (USERRA), the current ESGR public service advertisement, and various links to other web sites, including the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, the Department of Labor, the Reserve Components, and other National Guard and Reserve associations.
Bipartisan legislation will improve quality of educational programs for servicemembers and veterans