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Be prepared to justify military employee’s discharge

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA) provides job protection for military-connected employees once they re­­turn from extended military service.

Employers shouldn’t fire covered workers without good cause and solid reasons. Be prepared to show you would have taken the same action whether the employee served or not.

Recent case: Achique was a reservist covered by USERRA. His employer investigated charges that Achique assaulted a woman at a neighboring business and concluded that this violated its rules. When Achique was fired, he sued, alleging that he had really been terminated because of his military service.

But the court said the employer had investigated the assault allegations and shown that it would have fired any employee under the circumstances. Achique’s lawsuit was dismissed. (Coyaso v. Bradley Pacific, No. 12-16297, 9th Cir., 2014)

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