According to a press release issued today, the N.J. Department of Justice has filed suit against an employer for failing to re-employ an Army National Guard sergeant following her military deployment. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Camden, alleged that Healthcare Commons Inc., of Carneys Point, New Jersey, violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). This statute protects the rights of uniformed service members who are absent from their jobs due to military service obligations. In this case, the employee was a sergeant with the U.S. Army National Guard, who returned from military deployment in May 2014. When she returned, the lawsuit alleges, her employer failed to re-employ her or offer her a comparable job position.
Said Acting Associate General Stuary F. Delery: “No person should lose their job for serving our country, but according to our complaint that’s exactly what happened to a National Guard member here.” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman added, “[t]he men and women who serve in our armed forces here and abroad do so at great personal sacrifice. . . . because of that sacrifice, federal law guarantees that they have the opportunity to resume their careers when they’ve completed their service. When companies seek to skirt their obligations to re-employ our returning veterans, we will hold them accountable.”
If you are an active member of the military who has lost his or her job due to military obligations, you have rights protected by statute. Contact a knowledgeable employment attorney to discuss your options.