Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Justice Department Settles Lawsuit Against Troy University of Montgomery, Alabama, to Enforce Employment Rights of U.S. Army Reservist

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that it has entered into a consent decree with Troy University of Montgomery, Ala., to resolve the department’s complaint alleging violations of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA).

The department’s complaint, filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, alleges that

Troy University violated USERRA by terminating Cleopatra Jones from her position in the human resources department while she was on military leave, and then by failing to reemploy her at the conclusion of her military leave. The consent decree obtained by the department, if approved by the court, will require that Troy University pay Ms. Jones $36,960.00 in monetary relief, and will enjoin the university from committing future violations of USERRA.

Enacted by Congress in 1994, USERRA prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against employees or applicants for employment because of past, current or future military obligations. Subject to certain conditions, USERRA also requires employers to promptly reemploy returning service members in the position they would have held had their employment not been interrupted by military service, or in a position of like status, seniority and pay.

"By enacting USERRA, Congress recognized the importance of protecting the employment rights of the men and women who serve our country in uniform," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "

The department commends Troy University for working cooperatively with us to resolve this matter without the need for contested litigation."

The Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service investigated and attempted to resolve Ms. Jones’ USERRA complaint before referring it to the Department of Justice for litigation.

Additional information about USERRA can be found on the Justice Department’s website at www.servicemembers.gov and www.usdoj.gov/crt/emp , and on the Labor Department’s website as www.dol.gov/vets/programs/userra .

Press Release Number: 
Updated September 15, 2014