CASE STUDY VIII
Employment Law For Human Resource Practice
ALTHEA E. McFADDEN
2 October 2014
TO: Pepsi Cola Distribution Company – Mr. Joseph Snuffy CEO
FROM: Mrs. Althea E. McFadden – Human Resource Manager
Date: August 26, 2014
Re: Mr. David Doe – Discrimination Due to Military Obligation
A four tour veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq Mr. Snuffy is claiming he was stripped from his position because of his military service. A complaint is being filed by Mr. Snuffy.
The complaint seeks monetary and punitive damages for violating both state and federal laws that protect those serving in the military, including the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act that says a person cannot be denied employment or reemployment based on their obligation to perform military service(1). In June 2014, after spending about three weeks training ...view middle of the document...
Snuffy lives with his wife and three school age children. Mr. Snuffy believes the decision to eliminate his position was not a decision influenced by consolidation. Rather it was a calculated decision by the CEO to fire him because of his obligations to the United States Army as a reservist. With his deployment to Iraq for a fourth time looming, Mr. Snuffy said he felt he had “no choice” other than to accept the demotion and pay cut. While deployed in Iraq, Mr. Snuffy sent a complaint via email to my office to express his concerns about his treatment and his demotion, the complaint said, “In addition to fighting our enemies abroad, I was forced to fight for my job at home.”
The extensive legal requirements surround military service, which are detailed in the “Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) (2).Employers of any size are prohibited from discriminating against people who are members of, apply to become members of, or have obligations to serve in a uniformed military service (3).
Mr. Snuffy’s has a valid complaint and our agency support the complaint. This company has historically been very supportive of our military service men and women and is proud to recognize our active members of the armed services and veterans for their service to this nation.
Employers must be aware that such employees retain many important rights under the USERRA. Under the escalator principle, employers must attempt to place individuals returning from military service into the positions, including promotions they likely would have attained absent the service. Employers must make reasonable efforts, such as by providing training, to permit returning members to perform their jobs. If individuals are not qualified to perform, the jobs that they would otherwise have attained, reinstatement to the position held prior to military service or an equivalent position must occur.
1. 28 U.S.C.S. 1875(a)(2011).
2. Walsh, D.J. (2013). Employment Law For Human Resource Practice, (4th ed). Chapter 11, page 368.
3. Thomas Shanker, “Army Is Worried by Rising Stress of Return Tours,” New York Times (April 6, 2008).