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Best USERRA Attorney Reply: What Are My Rights When I Am Deployed For Active Military Duty?

| Jun 3, 2014 | Military Status Discrimination, Wrongful Termination |

Top Ohio Military Discrimination Lawyer: Can my employer treat my military leave differently than other types of leave? Can I be fired while service active duty? Can my job cut my health care benefits when I am in the military? What are my employment law rights under USERRA? How do I find the best military employment rights attorney in Ohio?

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There are many Federal and Ohio employment laws designed to protect employees from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is just one example. USERRA was passed, in part, to protect military personnel from being terminated while serving their country. USERRA applies to members of the Armed Forces, including USERRA provides these rights to service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard Reserves, and Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

Importantly, USERRA prohibits discrimination against military personnel and veterans from discrimination in hiring, promotions, and benefits, retaliation against employees who complain about discrimination based on military service, and requires re-employment for service members returning home if certain conditions apply.

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According to a recent case in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, employers must also treat employees on military leave the same way as other employees who are on long term leave. The military discrimination case of Dorris v. TXD Services, LP involved a member of the Arkansas National Guard, Jonathon Dorris who was terminated after being deployed to Iraq. Dorris was working on oil rigs for TXD when he received notification that his unit was going to be deployed. Dorris informed his supervisors that the last day he could work prior to deployment was September 11, 2007 (How is that for irony?). Dorris reported for duty October 1, 2007 and served in Iraq through the end of 2008. In October 2007, Dorris received information from TXD regarding temporary benefits, and listed the reason for the information as, “termination of employment.” But, according to Dorris, he never quit.

In February 2008, TXD sold its business to Foxxe Energy Holdings. Included in the sale was a list of employees of TXD and an agreement that Foxxe would try to secure employment for the employees. Eventually, Foxxe hired nearly all of the employees on TXD’s list, however Dorris was not included on the list. Dorris returned to the U.S. in December 2008, and contacted both TXD and Foxxe, but was not given a job by Foxxe until April 2009.

Although the Court did not examine whether TXD was responsible for reinstating Dorris upon his return, the Court did find that a jury could be asked to consider whether TXD’s failure to include Dorris on the list of employees furnished to Foxxe was a violation of USERRA.

Even though there is nothing in USERRA stating that an employer must provide a deployed service member’s information to a purchaser of the business for potential employment, this case clearly shows that the right attorney may be able to help you find a favorable outcome for your tricky situation involving employment discrimination.

If you have been fired, discriminated against, demoted based on your military service, be it for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or National Guard; or even think that you might need an employment lawyer, then it would be best to call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at (216) 291-4744. If you have been wrongfully terminated or fired for any reason within one year of returning from serving in the United States Armed Forces, you may have a claim. Do not wait. Call the right attorney now. You have protected us. Let us protect you. The Spitz Law Firm and its attorneys are experienced and dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.

Disclaimer:

The materials available at the top of this page and at this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “How do I get reinstated after serving in the U.S. military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or National Guard)?”, “What should I do if I was fired while serving in the military?” “My boss discriminated against me because …” or “I was fired within a year of returning from he U.S. military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or National Guard)? What should I do?” — It would be best for to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular employment law issue or problem. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.