Lawsuit Goes After Employment Breach

The Justice Department announced Dec. 31 that it has filed a lawsuit against the City of Iola, Kan., on behalf of Randall Slocum, an Air National Guardsman. DOJ alleges that the city violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 by not taking into consideration Slocum’s military service obligations when it disciplined him and denied him overtime and a wage increase. “Soldiers must be able to serve their country without fear of being penalized in the civilian careers,” said Grace Chung Becker, acting assistant attorney general for DOJ’s civil rights division. She continued, “The Justice Department remains committed to vigorously enforcing federal laws that protect the employment rights of men and women who are serving in our nation’s military.” DOJ filed the suit upon receiving Slocum’s complaint from the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service of the Department of Labor, after DOL had investigated and tried to settle the case. In August 2008, DOJ stepped in on behalf of an Air Force Reservist who was terminated from his job after being called up to attend five weeks of active duty training.