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Air Force Reservist Alleges Discrimination in Suit Against Township
By Samuel Cordes
Singling out an individual based on their gender, ethnicity, weight or disability are well known forms of workplace discrimination. However, these forms of discrimination do not exhaust the things many people endure each day as they go to work or apply for jobs.For example, despite the respect Americans show members of the military, the legislature found it necessary to pass the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (the Act). The U.S. Department of Labor states the Act was designed to protect service members’ reemployment rights following a service period, as well as prohibit discrimination based upon future service obligations.
2011 Pennsylvania Lawsuit: Pre-Employment Discrimination
The case records allege an employer passed over a Pennsylvania reservist because it was concerned about the man’s military obligations. The company apparently believed these obligations would hinder his ability to succeed in the position and ultimately hired another candidate.
The reservist filed suit against the company claiming, among other things, that it violated several provisions of the Act. If these allegations are true, then the employer would have violated the core objectives of the Act, which are:
- To ensure military men and women are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their service
- Preventing employment discrimination based upon past, present or future military service.
2010 Pennsylvania Lawsuit: Returning Home
In addition to pre-employment discrimination, military personnel sometimes arrive home only to find their job has been given to someone else.
The Pittsburg Post-Gazette wrote that an Air Force veteran returned home from Pakistan and was then denied the right to “reclaim” his civilian job. The veteran filed a civil suit asserting his rights under the Act, as well as a wrongful discharge claim allowing him to seek punitive damages aimed at penalizing the employer.
Filing a Discrimination Complaint
Anyone subjected to workplace discrimination, whether it is due to their military service, disability or gender should discuss their situation with a qualified employment law attorney to discuss their particular situation.