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School district sued again for allegedly violating reservist’s USERRA rights, this time by demoting him

By Pamela Wolf, J.D.

The school district allegedly demoted the reservist instead of reinstating him into a comparable position when his Dean of Students job was eliminated during his active duty.

The Department of Justice has filed another lawsuit against the Warren County, North Carolina, Board of Education to protect the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) rights of an army reserve command sergeant major.

In 2012, the DOJ sued Warren County when the Board allegedly failed to renew the reservist’s employment contract following a different period of military service.

Demotion. Most recently, the reservist’s job as Dean of Students at Warren County Middle School was eliminated while he was on active duty, according to the DOJ. Warren County allegedly violated USERRA by demoting him to Physical Education Teacher at Northside Elementary School instead of reemploying him in job that is comparable to Dean of Students.

The complaint asks the court to reinstate the reservist into a proper reemployment position and to recover his lost wages and other benefits.

The DOJ noted that it gives high priority to the enforcement of servicemembers’ rights under USERRA.

“The freedoms we enjoy as Americans are dependent on the selfless duties performed by members of our Armed Forces,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “When our Country calls servicemembers to duty, its laws, enforced by the Department of Justice, protect their civilian jobs.”