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Wednesday, December 31, 2008
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Justice Department Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Kansas Air Force Reservist

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice announced today that it has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Randall A. Slocum, an Air Force Reservist, against the City of Iola, Kan., alleging violations of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA).

USERRA was enacted in 1994 to protect servicemembers from being disadvantaged in their civilian careers due to serving in the uniformed services. Among other things, USERRA prohibits employers from discriminating against servicemembers because of their military service obligations.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, alleges that the City of Iola violated USERRA by taking into consideration Mr. Slocum’s military service obligations when it disciplined him and denied him overtime and a wage increase.

"Soldiers must be able to serve their country without fear of being penalized in the civilian careers," said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "The Justice Department remains committed to vigorously enforcing federal laws that protect the employment rights of men and women who are serving in our nation’s military."

The Department of Justice filed suit after receiving Mr. Slocum’s complaint from the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service of the Department of Labor (DOL), after completion of DOL’s investigation and settlement efforts.

The Department’s Civil Rights Division places a high priority on the enforcement of servicemembers’ rights under USERRA. In 2008, the Civil Rights Division’s Employment Section filed a record high number of USERRA suits since it obtained USERRA enforcement authority in September 2004. Additional information about USERRA can be found on the Department of Justice Web site at the following link, and on the Department of Labor Web site at the following link