CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) — The Department of Justice has announced it has filed a complaint against United Airlines Inc., charging the company with alleged violations of the United Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
“Individuals who serve bravely in our armed forces should be treated fairly by their employers while they are actively deployed,” said principal deputy associate attorney general Bill Baer. “Through the department’s newly created Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative, we will continue to build on our strong ties with federal partners and continue using every tool at our disposal to protect the rights of the men and women who serve in our armed forces.”
According to the department, United Airlines denied U.S. Air Force Reservist Lt. Col. Daniel Fandrei employment benefits during his military leave that it grants to other employees taking similar types of leave.
USERRA exists to protect the rights of uniformed servicemembers to retain civilian employment before, during and after military service obligation-related absences.
“USERRA ensures that servicemembers like Lt. Col. Fandrei who answer our nation’s call to duty don’t return to civilian life and find their employment benefits denied and their civil rights violated,” said principal deputy assistant attorney general Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to vigorously enforce the law to safeguard the rights of those who defend our country and protect our freedom.”