Reservist Wins Landmark Court Case

Michael Serricchio, an Air Force Reservist who was activated shortly after 9/11 and served in Southwest Asia, won a settlement in federal court against Wachovia Securities on March 19 worth about $1.3 million in compensation after a judge ruled that the company violated his employment rights by demoting him upon his return from military service. Serricchio, 35, a native of Stanford, Conn., was a financial adviser for Prudential Securities, which later merged with Wachovia. Upon his return from military service in 2003, Wachovia offered Serricchio a pittance of his former salary and told him he would have to rebuild his client base, which his lawyers successfully argued were willful breaches of the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, the Hartford Courant reported March 21. “I know other returning servicemen have faced similar problems,” Serricchio said in a statement. He added, “I hope that the decision in my case will encourage them in their fight to vindicate their rights.” According to the Courant, this judgment is believed to be the largest of its kind involving the USERRA. (For more, read the March 20 Greenwich Time report.)