Saturday, May 31, 2003

USERRA suit in E.D. Tenn. settled, as 110 reservists return to SW VA, 500 others leave for training

As reported here in the Kingsport Times, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves has settled her claim against her employer the Johnson City Board of Education for its refusal to reinstate her in violation of her rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act ("USERRA"). The city's position was that the position she was offered was sufficient to comply with the law.

I suspect that there will be more such claims filed locally in the coming months in this area of the law - the combination of many reservists being called up and tough economic times make it seem like that some employers through ignorance or poverty will not comply with the re-employment rights of soldiers returning from active duty. I've studied USERRA a bit and it looks like it is possibly the best-written employee rights statute in the U.S. Code - it eliminates some of the ambiguities of other statutes, although there are still plenty of issues that will be litigated, I'm sure.

As reported here in the Coalfield Progress, 110 soldiers from the Virginia Army National Guard's 189th Engineer Company were arriving back in Southwest Virginia on Friday, after being called up for possible service in the reconstruction of Iraq (before the powers that be decided they would not be needed after all). Also, as reported here in the Bluefield paper, 500+ members of the 1st Battalion, 150th Armor Regiment (1/150), West Virginia Army National Guard, whose members include some residents of SW VA, are headed to California for a period of military training.

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