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News and Announcements

News and Announcements

American Airlines Can't Dodge Military Benefits Claim

May 6, 2020 / News Item /
A Pennsylvania federal judge is refusing to pare down a proposed class action accusing American Airlines of giving military reserve pilots the short shrift on benefits, finding the dispute at issue was not outside the court's bounds. U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III on Tuesday denied the airline's bid to dismiss a breach of contract claim from American Airlines pilot James Scanlan's lawsuit claiming the company didn't properly contribute to a 401(k) profit-sharing plan while pilots were on short-term military leave. Judge Bartle said that under the Railway Labor Act, so-called minor...
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American Airlines Can't Defeat Military Benefits Suit

Jun 20, 2019 / News Item
A Pennsylvania federal judge has refused to ground the bulk of a proposed class action accusing American Airlines of violating federal anti-discrimination law by failing to give pilots credit for short stints of military leave when calculating profit-sharing awards. U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III on Tuesday declined to dismiss two counts of pilot James Scanlan’s three-count suit claiming the company violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. For one, the judge let stand a USERRA claim that participants in a company profit-sharing plan who took short-term...
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United Keeps Fighting Workers' Paid Military Leave Suit

Apr 22, 2019 / News Item
Private sector employers are not obligated to provide paid military leave, United Airlines and its parent company United Continental Holdings argued in their second move to toss proposed class claims over its military leave policy. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act mandates that public employers pay for workers' short-term military leave, but the law is deliberately quiet on the issue of private employers, the airline argued. United is looking again to toss a pilot's amended complaint claiming he was unfairly refused compensation for his short-term military leaves. The...
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United Rebuffs Workers' Bid For Paid Military Leave

Mar 12, 2019 / News Item /
United Airlines Inc. and United Continental Holdings Inc. told an Illinois federal judge Monday they have no obligation under a federal anti-discrimination law to provide employees with paid military leave. In a bid to dismiss a case from workers seeking compensation for their time on military leave, the airline said the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act clearly states that private sector employers aren’t required to pay wages to service members for that time. Under the law, only federal employers must pay workers for military leave, and the proposed class of United employees...
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Defense Contractor Accused of Slighting Reservists in Hiring

Oct 31, 2018 / Media Coverage /
In October of 2014, Nathan Kay applied for a job as a pilot at L3 Technologies, a Pentagon contractor that helps conduct surveillance and reconnaissance missions around the world. Mr. Kay had spent more than 10 years in the Washington Air National Guard, and had flown similar missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. A friend at L3, then known as L-3 Communications, indicated that a chief pilot was interested in his résumé. But when months went by without even a rejection — and after consulting with his friend — Mr. Kay concluded that L3 was discriminating against him because he was an active guard...
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Southwest Inks $19M Deal To End Pilots' Military Leave Suit

Sep 17, 2018 / Media Coverage /
Southwest Airlines Co. has agreed to make nearly $6 million in retirement payments and provide sick leave potentially worth north of $13 million to end a California federal suit alleging it denied benefits for brief spurts of military service to a proposed class of as many as 2,000 pilots. The deal, described in a motion for settlement approval and conditional class certification filed Thursday, will end allegations Southwest violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act by not letting pilots accrue sick leave while on short-term military leave, or STML, and by not...
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FedEx employee terminated for using discount to sell on eBay loses USERRA termination challenge but can seek higher pension benefits

May 26, 2017 / Media Coverage /
Kenneth Savage was terminated by FedEx about a month after a military leave and after complaining about the calculation of his pension benefits due to his military service. That proximity was not enough to establish a discrimination or retaliation claim under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Savage’s case was remanded because FedEx may have miscalculated his pension benefits by failing to account for potential overtime hours he might have worked during periods of military service. Background Kenneth Savage was employed by FedEx for eleven years as an...
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Lawmakers Ask Justices to Take Up Veterans' Workplace Rights

May 24, 2017 / Media Coverage
Nineteen lawmakers are testing their luck at the Supreme Court, asking the justices to take up a case on whether military reservists’ unfair dismissal claims can be forced into arbitration by their civilian bosses. Because the case involves veterans’ rights, the legislators say they are hopeful the Supreme Court of John Roberts will temper its usual affinity for agreements waiving employees’ right to sue. "The tragic irony could not be more dramatic," said Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal, the senator spearheading a friend-of-the-court brief filed Wednesday by six senators and a 13...
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FedEx Must Face Pension Estimate Case, 6th Circ. Says

May 10, 2017 / Media Coverage /
The Sixth Circuit on Wednesday revived a FedEx aviation mechanic’s claim that his pension contributions were miscalculated for periods he was on military leave, but the court left intact the dismissal of his claim that the company fired him for complaining about the error. In a published ruling, a three-judge panel partially vacated a ruling by U.S. District Judge S. Thomas Anderson of the Western District of Tennessee that awarded summary judgment to FedEx over claims that it violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act when it miscalculated pension contributions...
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Washington State Patrol agrees to pay veteran employees $13 million in back wages

May 8, 2017 / Media Coverage /
The Washington State Patrol has agreed to pay up to $13 million in back wages to military veterans in their employ who didn’t receive credit for their service in hiring and promotional decisions. An agreement between the agency and eight current and former employees who sued the patrol alleging violations of state and federal law still must be approved by a Spokane County judge. Attorneys and legal experts say it’s the largest cash payout in a case brought under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act , a 1994 federal law requiring employers to give military members job...
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