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Consult lawyer before firing returning service member

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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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