JAYSON HUNTSMAN V. SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
Northern District of California
Civil Action No. 4:17-cv-03972
This case involves a class action lawsuit against Southwest Airlines alleging that Southwest violated certain pension and employee benefit provisions of the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA). Specifically, the complaint alleges that Southwest did not count short term military leave for pension calculation purposes and that Southwest did not allow pilots on short term military leave to accrue sick leave whereas Southwest allowed pilots on comparable forms of non-military short term leave to accrue paid sick leave.
A copy of the complaint is available here.
DEREK RICHTER v. COMMERCE CITY COLORADO, et. al.
District of Colorado
Civil Action No. 1:15-CV-1826-MEH
This case involves Commerce City Police Officer Derek Richter, a Captain in the Colorado Army National Guard, who was denied opportunities to compete for promotional opportunities upon his return to work following long term military duty. A copy of Mr. Richter’s complaint is available here. Mr. Richter also moved for an order striking the City’s “USERRA expert.” A copy of the court order granting that motion is available here. Mr. Richter subsequently moved for motion for summary judgment and declaratory judgment seeking an order finding that the City’s “military hold” policy – - – a policy whose sole effect is to deny certain military members select employment benefits – - – in violation of USERRA. Additionally, Mr. Richter moved the court via a Motion for Sanctions finding that the City wrongfully destroyed material evidence in the case.
CHRISTINA MARTIN, et al v. THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, et al.
Spokane County Superior Court, Spokane, Washington
Case No. 14-2-00016-7
This case involves a class action USERRA lawsuit against the State of Washington for the Washington State Patrol’s repeated failure to give its qualified veteran employees initial entry and promotion preference as required under state law, RCW 41.04.010. A copy of the complaint is available here. On January 13, 2014, the plaintiffs amended their class action to complaint to include claims against the Washington State Patrol for improperly charging service-member employees excess leave in violation of RCW 38.40.060. A copy of the amended complaint is available here. The State of Washington attempted to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint in early 2014. The Court denied the State of Washington’s motion.
On September 18, 2015, the trial court granted the parties’ motion to make plaintiffs’ counsel provisional class counsel and approve mailing of pre-class certification notices. A copy of the motion, court’s order, and pre-class certification notices to current WSP employees and WSP applicant non-hires is available here. The Court’s order allowed for honorably discharged veterans who applied for work as WSP Troopers, but were not hired with the WSP, to make a claim for compensation. The Court’s order also allowed current and former WSP Troopers, Sergeants, and Lieutenants, whose hiring and/or promotion was delayed because of the WSP’s failure to apply veteran preference to make a claim for compensation. In order to make a claim for compensation click here. All claims for compensation must be completed by January 8, 2016.
On May 5, 2017, the Washington State Patrol agreed to settle the case for $13,000,000 and an additional (approximate) $2,000,000 to compensate for pension-related damages. A copy of the Settlement Agreement is available here.
MITCH HALL V. L-3 COMMUNICATIONS, CORP.
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
Case No. 2:15-CV-00231-SAB
Mr. Crotty and Mr. Jarrard represent Mitch Hall and Nathan Kay, members of the Washington Air National Guard, in a USERRA re-employment/failure to hire lawsuit against L-3 Communications, a defense contractor. A copy of Mr. Hall and Mr. Kay’s Amended Complaint is available here. The Court’s Order denying L-3′s Motion to Dismiss the Complaint is available here.
PHILLIP RAMIREZ v. STATE OF NEW MEXICO, ET. AL.
New Mexico Court of Appeals
Case No. 31820
Mr. Crotty and Mr. Jarrard worked with attorney Robert Mitchell, the Reserve Officers Association (ROA), and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to file a “friend of the court” brief in a USERRA case involving the State of New Mexico. The case involves whether USERRA’s protections apply to the State. A copy of the brief is available here: Brief of Amici Curiae the ROAA and ACLU 1.14.13 and here. Information about the lawsuit is available here. On April 14, 2016, the New Mexico Supreme Court found that USERRA applied to the State of New Mexico. A copy of that ruling is available here.
MICHAEL ALLMAN v. AMERICAN AIRLINES PENSION FUND, ET. AL
U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
Case No. 1:14-cv-10138
Mr. Crotty and Mr. Jarrard have teamed up with the Cohen Milstein lawfirm to litigate a USERRA and ERISA class action against American Airline’s pension fund and is fiduciaries on behalf of military personnel who were denied various benefits in violation of USERRA. Briefly stated, USERRA requires that (in certain instances) companies with pension plans base pension contributions on the average hours servicemembers worked the year prior to that servicemember’s military leave of absence. From 1997 to the present American utilized the improper pension calculations. A copy of Mr. Allman’s USERRA complaint is available here.