The Department announced a settlement that, if approved by the court, will resolve its lawsuit filed on behalf of David D. Sweatt, a Michigan Army National Guard member currently serving in Iraq, against his former employer, Americraft Carton Inc. (Americraft).
The complaint was filed on March 13, 2009, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan and alleged that Americraft violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). The company discriminated against Sweatt by failing or refusing to reemploy him in his previous position as a production worker upon his return from National Guard duty, or, in the alternative, by terminating him without cause. After returning home from National Guard duty assisting the Border Patrol, Sweatt was deployed to Iraq, where he is currently serving.
Under the terms of the consent decree jointly submitted to the court by the parties, Americraft is required to pay Sweatt $6,075 in back wages and liquidated damages, and to reemploy Sweatt upon his return from his present military service. The consent decree also requires Americraft to modify its employment policies to comply with USERRA.
"The Civil Rights Division takes great pride in enforcing the employment rights of committed servicemembers such as Mr. Sweatt under USERRA," said Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
The Department’s lawsuit was filed after the Labor Department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service’s completion of an investigation of Sweatt’s complaint and settlement efforts.
Additional information about USERRA can be found on the Justice Department Web site at www.servicemembers.gov, and the Labor Department’s Web site at www.dol.gov/vets/programs/userra/main.htmhttp://www.usdoj.gov/crt/emp.