NICKOLAS TSUI V. WALMART
May 19, 2021
Mr. Tsui, an Army Reservist, sued Walmart for failing to pay short term military leave given the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Right’s Act’s (USERRA) requirement that companies pay short term military leave in the event the company pays for comparable short term leaves like jury duty, sick leave, and/or bereavement leave. Mr. Tsui brought a class action lawsuit against Walmart that later resulted in a 15 million dollar settlement.
Subsequently Walmart agreed to settle the lawsuit. On April 30, 2021, the Federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts granted Mr. Tsui’s motion to preliminary certify the class action. A copy of the preliminary approval order is available here. The court is scheduled to approve the class action settlement on October 14, 2021, at 12:00 PM EST. The hearing will be via video teleconference. Information on accessing the hearing is available here.
JUSTIN BAKER V. UNITED PARCEL SERVICE
May 18th, 2021
Justin Baker works for the UPS. On March 16, 2021, he filed class action USERRA complaint against his employer for failing to pay short term military leave given USERRA’s requirement that companies pay short term military leave in the event the company pays for comparable short term leaves like jury duty, sick leave, and/or bereavement leave. A few days later, on March 22, 2021, Mr. Baker suffered a workplace injury and, per policy, requested Temporary Alternate Work (TAW). UPS denied Mr. Baker’s TAW request even though three other similarly-situated co-workers were receiving that same benefit at the same time of Mr. Baker’s injury. Mr. Baker then brought a USERRA retaliation claim against UPS a copy of which is available here.
SEDRIC WARD V. SHELBY COUNTY TENNESSEE
Civil Action No. Case No. 2:20-cv-02401
This case involves a Shelby County corrections deputy who alleges that the Sheriff’s Office targeted members of the military reserve for investigation. The investigation resulted in the arrests and filing of theft charges against over a dozen deputies. Several deputies were arrested, predawn, by fugitive apprehension (Swat) teams, at home in front of their families. Then, later perp walked, and booked into the very jail they worked at, and eventually fired. After a review the cases by the District Attorney’s Office, the charges against all the deputies were dropped. However, the ordeal ruined many lives and careers. As one of those deputies, Mr. Ward filed this case. A copy of Mr. Ward’s complaint is available here. On June 25, 2021, the court granted Mr. Ward Summary Judgment on several of his claims, and denied Shelby County’s cross-motion; one claim remains for trial. A copy of that order is available here.
JAMES SCANLAN V. AMERICAN AIRLINES
June 19th, 2019
Civil Action No. 2:18-cv-04040-HB
James Scanlan is a Major General in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and a pilot for American Airlines. He recently filed a suit on behalf of himself and his fellow military reserve pilots against American Airlines for violating USERRA’s employee benefit statute 38 USC 4316. Scanlan alleges that the company did not pay short term leave to military reservists, while paying other similarly situated employees their wages for shot term sick and jury duty leave. Scanlan is also accusing the airline of not crediting their military leave for the purposes of determining profit sharing benefits. A copy of the complaint is available here. The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the place where Mr. Scanlan works. American, which is headquartered in Texas, tried to move the case from Pennsylvania to Texas shortly after Mr. Scanlan filed the suit. The court denied American’s motion. A copy of that order is available here. American sought to dismiss the entirety of Mr. Scanlan’s complaint. The court denied the majority of American’s motion. A copy of that order is available here. American then sought the dismissal of Mr. Scanlan’s amended complaint alleging that American breached its profit sharing plan by not crediting military service when calculating profit sharing awards for American Airlines pilots. The Court denied that motion. A copy of the Court’s order is available here.
CASEY CLARKSON V. ALASKA AIRLINES & HORIZON AIRLINES
January 7th, 2019
Civil Action No. 2:19-cv-00005
This is a class action lawsuit involving Alaska and Horizon Airlines’ over their violations of USERRA’s re-employment and benefit provisions. Specifically, this case alleges that Horizon Airlines utilized a virtual credit policy that targeted reservists by lowering their flying status when they returned home from military duty. This credit policy is a clear violation of USERRA’s re-employment statute. The case also alleges that Alaska Airlines violated USERRA’s benefit provision by failing to pay short term military leave to military reservist, while paying other similarly situated workers for like periods of short term leave. A copy of the complaint is available here. After filing the lawsuit, Alaska and Horizon requested that the court dismiss the case. On June 17, 2019, the court denied Alaska and Horizon’s motion. A copy of the court’s order denying the dismissal is available here. Copies of press coverage on the Court’s decision is available here.
Cause No. 19-2-02427-32
Cash Kramer worked for Qwest Corporation (which effectively operates as Century Link in Washington) for nearly 17 years. Through no fault of his own, he got electrocuted on the job and nearly died. Mr. Kramer’s near death caused him to make an L&I claim. While on L&I leave, two of Mr. Kramer’s co-workers drove to his house – a house that sits on 10 acres in a rural part of Spokane County. At the time his co-workers were arriving, Mr. Kramer was exercising his Second Amendment rights to shoot his firearm. When the co-workers arrived, Mr. Kramer stopped shooting, offered his co-workers the opportunity to shoot his gun (they declined), and helped his co-workers try to find the work related items they were looking for. The co-workers left Mr. Kramer’s property without incident. However, nearly one year later when Mr. Kramer informed Qwest that he had healed from his injury and was ready to return to work on light duty, Qwest used Mr. Kramer’s discharging of his firearms as a pretext for terminating his employment. Qwest claimed that Mr. Kramer threatened his co-workers by shooting his gun on his own property while off duty. A copy of Mr. Kramer’s complaint for disability discrimination and discharge in violation of state public policy (exercise of Second Amendment rights) is available here.
DANIEL ESPINOZA V. CITY OF SEATTLE, ET. AL.
Civil Action No. 2:17-cv-01709
This case involves a career City of Seattle police officer who alleges that the city failed to promote him due to his obligations with the United States Marine Corps Reserves. A copy of Mr. Espinoza’s complaint is available here. After assigning Mr. Espinoza to his rightful position and crediting his retirement, the parties agreed to settle the matter.
RODOLFO A. QUILES V. UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY, INCORPORATED U.S. District Court Nebraska
July 6th , 2016
Civil Action No. 16-cv-330
This case involves a Commissioned Officer in the United States Marine Corps Reserves who was demoted from his per-deployment status, seniority, and title. On July 7, 2016, Mr. Quiles filed a complaint with the court which can be found here. On July 26, 2019, the Court granted a motion for directed verdict and on his USSERA re-employment claim.