Necessary intervention

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Updated Dec 14, 2009

The 60 Minutes “Coming Home” segment Sunday concerned vets returning from overseas to find their jobs disappeared, in contravention of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, or USERRA. Con-way Freight vice president Dave Miller was interviewed about the strain the company’s support of its 50 called-up reservist and National Guard drivers and other employees puts on its books. Con-way driver Jeff Vineyard, too, was featured. Vineyard, sent to Iraq for a year in 2005 as a member of the Indiana National Guard, has no worries about his own civilian job, as Con-way has stepped up to the plate for all its deployed employees, in Jeff’s case continuing his family health coverage as well as continuing his salary, making up the $10,000 difference between his Con-way pay and the lower military pay. But now, Vineyard is out on a second deployment, and Miller and other executives from larger companies inside and outside the industry are calling for government help in the form of tax incentives to enable larger businesses (in addition to small businesses, which are helped in a similar way already) to cope with repeated deployments of their employees, a responsible burden, in these tough times, to lighten just a bit, they argue.

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