Justice Department Settles Lawsuit Against Glendale, Arizona, for Violating the USERRA Rights of Arizona Air National Guard Member
The Department of Justice today announced that a settlement has been reached with the City of Glendale, Arizona, resolving a lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) on behalf of Arizona Air National Guard Member Rebecca Cruz.
According to the complaint filed in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, the City of Glendale fired Captain Cruz because she needed to miss work to attend military training.
To resolve this case, the City paid Cruz the back wages and retirement benefits that she lost because of her termination.
“Our nation depends on Captain Cruz and other members of our National Guard. Our laws preserve their civilian jobs when they are called to service,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice ensures that these laws are followed.”
USERRA protects the rights of uniformed servicemembers to retain their civilian employment following absences due to military service obligations, and provides that servicemembers shall not be discriminated against because of their military obligations. This case stems from a referral by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), pursuant to an investigation by the DOL’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service. The case is being handled by the Employment Litigation Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, which works collaboratively with the DOL to protect the jobs and benefits of National Guard servicemembers upon their return to civilian life.
The Justice Department gives high priority to the enforcement of servicemembers’ rights under USERRA. Additional information about USERRA can be found on the Justice Department’s websites at www.usdoj.gov/crt/emp and www.servicemembers.gov, as well as on DOL’s website at www.dol.gov/vets/programs/userra/main.htm.