Hale and Dorr was honored at an October 22nd awards ceremony by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) organization in Washington, D.C. The firm received the Pro Patria Award for their policy regarding employee reservists who are called up for service.
The Pro Patria Award is presented for exceptional meritorious service to an organization or individual for supporting the National Guard and Reserve. This award has the signatures of both the National ESGR Chairperson and the Secretary of Defense. Hale and Dorr employees Judith Weltmann and Theresa Smith represented the firm in receiving this prestigious award.
The policy—written by Judith Weltmann, director of administration in the Washington office—permits reservists who are called to active duty to maintain their full salary and benefits with the firm, and includes an important provision removing the war exclusion clause from the firm’s life insurance coverage. Hale and Dorr implemented the policy to eliminate the financial hardship imposed on reservists who often must take a considerable reduction in pay and benefits to serve in the U.S. military. The policy also ensures that reservists are guaranteed a position within the firm following their tour of duty. The first employee to benefit from this policy was Theresa Smith, Sergeant First Class with the U.S. Army, and a secretary in the firm’s Washington office. She was called to active duty earlier this year and has been called again to serve a one-year tour in active duty status beginning in January 2004 in the ongoing Iraqi conflict.
The ESGR and its programs and services help educate employers and community leaders about the important role the National Guard and Reserve plays in a strong national defense. Founded in 1972, this organization has been active in building and strengthening the partnerships essential to ensure that Reserve component members are available and ready when needed. ESGR, along with top military leaders, also develops solutions to problems that arise from employee participation in the National Guard and Reserve.