Tester: Extend employment protections to all Guardsmen and Reservists

Senator introduces bipartisan bill to protect the jobs of returning troops

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is pushing to protect the jobs of National Guardsmen and Reservists who are called to military service while working for the Transportation Security Administration.

Tester this week introduced a bipartisan bill to force the TSA, which provides security at the nation’s airports, to comply with a federal law that protects the jobs of National Guardsmen and Reservists who are deployed overseas, ensuring their jobs are available upon their return. In the aftermath of 9/11, Congress exempted the newly formed TSA from the law in an effort to give the agency the flexibility it needed to quickly ramp up its workforce.

Tester’s bill removes the exemption, giving TSA employees who serve as Guardsmen and Reservists the same protections as other workers.

“We owe it to all Montanans who answer the call of duty to guarantee that their jobs will be there when they return, regardless of where they work,” Tester said. “It’s time for us to protect the jobs of Montana’s Guardsmen and Reservists who have been called upon to serve our nation in unprecedented numbers. It’s the right thing to do.”

"America’s Guardsmen and Reservists make enormous sacrifices to protect this country in times of need, leaving behind both their families and their jobs," said Roger Hagan, a Montanan and President of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States. "They shouldn't have to worry about where they'll work upon their return. That's why I appreciate Jon stepping forward to push for this common sense fix for TSA employees."

“The VFW is thankful for Senator Tester’s continued leadership on behalf of veterans and service members,” said Raymond Kelley, Legislative Director of the VFW. “This fix will not only give our service members working at TSA the reemployment rights they have earned, but it will also ensure TSA has unfettered access to the best and brightest our military has to offer.”  

The Military Officers Association of America also supports Tester’s bipartisan bill.

Tester is a staunch advocate for Montana’s National Guardsmen and Reservists. Earlier this year, he authored bipartisan legislation ensuring that National Guard and Reserve members no longer lose credit for the early retirement they rightfully earned through service to the nation.

Text of Tester’s bill is available online HERE. The House of Representatives has introduced similar legislation.