The Gloversville, NY Fire Department has settled a claim filed by a firefighter/military veteran who alleged a violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA).
Firefighter Kyle Partlow served in the Air National Guard and was deployed to Afghanistan for a year in the mid 2000s. When he returned he claims he was subjected to hostility and discrimination. Partlow also alleged that he was passed over for promotion to captain despite having the highest exam score. He subsequently retired in 2008.
The USERRA prohibits discrimination against members of the military, ensuring that service men and women are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their service; are promptly reemployed upon their return from duty; and are not discriminated against in employment based on past, present, or future military service.
The case was settled on February 9, 2011 for $40,000. I am currently tracking six other fire service USERRA cases – not an overwhelming number but certainly something we need to be aware of.