The Warren County Board of Education has settled a Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice. The case involved an assistant principal at Warren County High School who is also a sergeant in the Army Reserve.
While employed at the school, the principal was deployed to Kuwait and Afghanistan from February 2004 to February 2005. When his school contract came up for renewal in 2008, co-workers expressed frustration at covering for him when he was on active duty. The board decided not to renew his contract.
He complained to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service. It investigated and referred the complaint for prosecution to the U.S. Attorney for Eastern North Carolina.
Facing a possible trial, the Warren County schools decided to settle.
Under the settlement agreement, the board will rehire the man under a two-year contract as a lead teacher/site supervisor. He will earn what he would have received had he remained continuously employed by the county. In addition, he will receive $10,000 in back pay, plus a $13,702 payment to cover contributions that weren’t made to his retirement account.
Note: Never take an employee’s military status into consideration when making employment decisions.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Start using new OSHA injury log this month
- Working around employees' jury duty obligations
- Stick with objective assessments to ensure your processes aren't swayed by bias
- When push comes to shove, no retaliation unless protected right was violated first