Does My Job Have to Let Me Go to MEPS? Know Your Rights

by | Joining the Military | 1 comment

You’re gearing up for a significant step in your military journey, but there’s one thing on your mind: does your job have to let you go to MEPS? The Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) is a crucial part of the enlistment process, and attending is non-negotiable if you’re serious about joining the armed forces.

Balancing your current job responsibilities with your commitment to serve can be tricky. Understanding your rights and your employer’s obligations is essential to navigate this transition smoothly. Let’s jump into what the law says and how you can ensure you’re covered.

Understanding MEPS

Attending the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) is a critical step in your enlistment journey. It’s where you undergo medical evaluations, take aptitude tests, and complete your enlistment paperwork.

What Is MEPS and Its Importance?

MEPS, short for Military Entrance Processing Station, ensures you’re physically, mentally, and morally qualified for military service. Every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces requires candidates to pass through MEPS. Here, you undergo a series of tests, including medical exams and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). Successful completion is mandatory to proceed with enlistment.

Key Components of MEPS:

  1. Medical Examination: A thorough physical to evaluate your health.
  2. ASVAB Testing: Determines your strengths and suitability for various military occupations.
  3. Background Screening: Ensures you meet moral and ethical standards.
  4. Job Selection: Based on ASVAB results and available positions.
  5. Oath of Enlistment: Formalizes your commitment to service.

Legal Obligations for Employers

Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), employers can’t deny you time off for military duties, including MEPS. If you’re a reservist or National Guard member, your employer must accommodate your military obligations. Employers aren’t required to pay you for this time, but they must grant unpaid leave. If your employer doesn’t comply, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Overall, both employees and employers must understand their rights and responsibilities to ensure a smooth transition when it comes to fulfilling MEPS obligations.

Employment Laws and MEPS

Understanding how MEPS fits into employment laws is essential for those enlisting. The laws protect your job while you complete the enlistment process.

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

USERRA ensures job security for service members. This federal law mandates that employers can’t discriminate based on military service. It covers issues such as hiring, retention in employment, and reemployment rights post-service. If you’re attending MEPS, this law protects your employment status. You must, but, notify your employer about your military duties.

Job Protection Under USERRA

USERRA provides robust job protection. Employers must grant leave for military activities, including MEPS. They can’t force you to use vacation time. Besides, you retain the right to be reinstated to your job post-service, provided you meet the eligibility criteria. Ensure you provide advance notice and documentation to your employer to safeguard your job protection rights under USERRA.

Preparing for MEPS

Communicating With Your Employer

Notify your employer about your MEPS appointment as soon as possible. Communicate clearly, explaining the purpose of MEPS and its critical role in your enlistment process. Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), you’re entitled to time off for military duties. Provide as much notice as you can and be ready to discuss how it’ll impact your work schedule.

Necessary Documentation and Proof

Gather and submit the required documents to your employer to validate your MEPS attendance. Employers typically need the official MEPS appointment letter or any related military orders. Retain copies of all documentation for your records. This paperwork not only substantiates your need for leave but also helps avoid any misunderstandings about your rights under USERRA.

Tips for Navigating Employer and MEPS Obligations

Understanding how to manage employer and MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) obligations is crucial. Employers play a significant role in supporting employees through this process.

Best Practices for Employees

Clear communication with your employer about your MEPS appointments is essential. Start by providing advance notice. This helps both you and your employer plan and minimizes disruptions at your workplace. Attach the official MEPS appointment letter to your notification email. This step adds clarity and confirms your commitment.

Know your rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). It protects against job discrimination based on military service. Inform your employer of these rights if needed. Being proactive ensures you are protected.

Document any communication with your employer. Keep records of emails, letters, and any agreements made. This documentation serves as a reference if any issues arise.

Use personal time-off judiciously. If you have vacation days, consider using them for your MEPS appointments. This approach shows goodwill and maintains a positive relationship with your employer.

How Employers Can Support

Employers can play a pivotal role in easing the MEPS process for their employees. Start by familiarizing yourself with USERRA. Understanding your obligations under the law helps avoid potential legal issues and fosters a supportive workplace.

Encourage open communication. Let your employees know they can discuss their MEPS schedule with you without fear of reprisal. This openness reduces stress for the employee and ensures better workflow management.

Offer flexible scheduling. Allow employees to adjust their work hours to attend MEPS without taking unpaid leave. Consider temporary coverage options or shift swaps to manage the absence.

Provide resources or support groups for employees going through the enlistment process. This support shows that you value their commitment to serving the country and recognize the challenges of balancing work and military duties.

Incorporate these tips to better handle employer and MEPS obligations, creating a supportive and legally compliant environment.


Understanding your rights and responsibilities when attending MEPS is crucial for a smooth enlistment process. By knowing your legal protections under USERRA and maintaining open communication with your employer, you can navigate this important step confidently. Ensure you provide advance notice and document all interactions to safeguard your employment status. Employers should also be proactive in supporting their employees’ military commitments, fostering a compliant and supportive work environment. By working together, both parties can ensure a seamless transition and uphold the values of respect and duty.


post page form.


Next Steps: Sync an Email Add-On

To get the most out of your form, we suggest that you sync this form with an email add-on. To learn more about your email add-on options, visit the following page ( Important: Delete this tip before you publish the form.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.