Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. has agreed to pay Army National Guard soldier Brian Bailey $45,000 to settle allegations by the Department of Justice that the company violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA).
While Bailey worked at the Home Depot as a department supervisor, he also served in the California Army National Guard and took periodic leave from Home Depot to fulfill his military obligations. According to the Justice Department’s complaint, management at the Home Depot store in Flagstaff, Arizona expressed their displeasure with the amount of leave Bailey took and voiced their desire to fire him.
In a pre-litigation consent decree, Home Depot agreed to pay Bailey $45,000 in monetary relief. It also agreed to make changes to its Military Leave of Absence policy and will review the revised policy with all managers from the district where Bailey worked.
Anna Birmingham Scheel, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, said:
“This settlement not only compensates Mr. Bailey for employment opportunities he lost because of his military service, but it will also protect other members of our nation’s armed services employed by Home Depot through the required changes to the company’s Military Leaves of Absence policy and review of that policy with managers from the district where Mr. Bailey worked.”
The Employment Law Group® law firm has an extensive veterans rights’ practice and has published a guide for protecting employees covered by USERRA entitled “Litigating Claims Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act”.