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Consult lawyer before firing returning service member

by on
in Firing,Human Resources

Members of the armed forces are protected from discharge for being called to duty. That includes those who must take short training leaves. Once released from brief active-duty periods, they must get their jobs back.

Firing a returning service member without a solid reason may spark a lawsuit. Talk to your attorney first.

Recent case: Joel, an Army reservist, received orders to report for a two-week training session. He gave his employer a copy. But when his commanding officer delayed his return for a few days, he was fired.

Joel sued, alleging he had provided his employer a memo from his commanding officer. The employer argued it needed formal orders; without those it had no reinstatement obligation.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals said the trial court should decide whether formal orders are necessary under the circumstances. (Brad­­berry v. Jefferson County, No. 41040, 5th Cir., 2013)

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