When Stephen Alasin returned from duty in Iraq, he expected to go back to his former job at Ecolab. When the company failed to rehire him, he filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS).
After VETS investigated, it passed its findings to the U.S. Department of Justice, which filed suit in the Eastern District of Michigan federal court against Ecolab for violating the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
Ecolab agreed to enter into a settlement agreement that will pay Alasin $88,000 in back pay and $30,000 in damages.
Note: Looking for a sure way to lose a case in court? Just refuse to hire a returning vet. It’s very difficult to find a jury that will side with a business over a veteran who has been risking life and limb overseas. Make sure all supervisors and HR staff receive training about employer obligations under the USERRA. Employers have very little leeway when dealing with returning veterans.
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