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News and Announcements

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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Washington State Troopers Who Served in Military Win $15 Million Historic Settlement Over Denial of Veterans’ Preference

May 8, 2017 / Press Release /
Largest settlement in history of federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) A historic class action settlement was reached between the State of Washington and plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit that will benefit at least 878 Washington State Patrol Troopers and applicants who served in the military but were denied a veterans’ preference, lawyers for the troopers from four law firms said today. This settlement, consisting of $13 million in cash and an estimated $2 million worth of retirement benefits, is the largest settlement in the history of the federal...
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State Trooper Vets Get $15M Deal For Denied Preference

May 8, 2017 / Media Coverage /
The state of Washington will pay at least $13 million in cash and contribute at least $2 million in benefits to settle a class action alleging it violated federal law by denying hiring and promotion preference to military veterans, four firms representing the vets said Monday. The state will pay cash to current and former Washington State Patrol troopers covering back pay and benefits for periods in which the veterans were denied promotions or employment, under a settlement agreement reached Friday. It will also backdate the seniority dates for the veterans, boosting their collective...
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Outten & Golden client Lt. Ziober, Gretchen Carlson, and Members of Congress Introduce Legislation to Protect Workers from Forced Arbitration at Work

Mar 17, 2017 / Media Coverage
Today, Outten & Golden's client Lieutenant Kevin Ziober joined former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, Senators Al Franken, Richard Blumenthal, Richard Durbin, Patrick Leahy, Sheldon Whitehouse and other Members of Congress in speaking out against unfair, forced arbitration agreements and in support of the Arbitration Fairness Act and the Servicemembers Access to Justice Act. Lieutenant Ziober, a Navy reservist, was fired the day before his deployment to Afghanistan, and was told by his employer, BLB Resources, that he would have no job to return to after serving his country. After...
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American Airlines Pilot Pension Settlement On Final Approach

Jan 27, 2017 / Media Coverage /
A federal judge in Boston said Friday that she was likely to give final approval to a roughly $6 million settlement between American Airlines pilots and their pension plan over military leave benefits. U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani said she wasn’t likely to deviate much from the proposed settlement, which includes 1,270 class members and would be paid out with $500,000 in cash and nearly 137,000 shares of American Airlines Group Inc. stock. Attorneys’ fees were pegged at 25 percent of the total. The pilots, mainly reservists, had said that American Airlines’ pension plan didn’t...
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Benghazi committee settles lawsuit from ex-investigator who alleged wrongdoing

Dec 19, 2016 / News Item /
The House Select Committee on Benghazi has settled a lawsuit brought by a former staffer who alleged that he was fired in part because he was unwilling to focus solely on the State Department and Hillary Clinton in order to understand the attacks, attorneys for the staffer said. The settlement ends a messy dispute that raised questions about whether the committee — formed to investigate the 2012 attacks that killed four Americans at U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya — was trying to achieve partisan goals. The staffer, Bradley Podliska, alleged in court papers that he was fired “because he...
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Committee Client Kevin Ziober Testifies Before U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

Jun 28, 2016 / Media Coverage
Washington Lawyers’ Committee client Kevin Ziober testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs in support of the Justice for Servicemembers Act of 2016. This legislation would clarify longstanding protections for service members under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Committee Deputy Director of Litigation Peter Romer-Friedman and Mr. Ziober held a press conference with Senators Blumenthal and Franken on June 29th. For more information, see: Kevin Ziober’s testimony Video of Kevin Ziober testimony Video of the press conference Uniformed...
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Legal loophole allows companies to fire military reservists who go to war

Jun 26, 2016 / Media Coverage
Editor's note: This story was originally published Sunday, June 26, 2016. It was updated to reflect congressional testimony made Wednesday, June 29. Kevin Ziober was a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve in 2012 when he received deployment orders to Afghanistan. On his last day of work before leaving, dozens of co-workers gathered for a sendoff. There was a cake and balloons. And then, Ziober says, he was summoned to the human resources office — and fired. Ziober believes he was fired because of his military service and the inconvenience it caused his employer. If so, that would be a violation of...
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Start-Ups Embrace Arbitration to Settle Workplace Disputes

May 14, 2016 / Media Coverage
Tara Zoumer thought she had found her dream job when she was hired at WeWork, a $16 billion start-up that rents office space to young entrepreneurs. The walls were adorned with Pop Art. Neon light fixtures encouraged employees to “Hustle harder,” and there was beer on tap. * * * But shortly after she became an associate community manager in WeWork’s office in Berkeley, Calif., reality set in. Ms. Zoumer said she was feeling pinched because her annual salary was only $42,000, a sum that, on some weeks, left her without money to ride the subway. She said she thought many of her duties — leading...
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