Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. has agreed to pay $40,000 to settle claims that its Lawton plant failed to promptly rehire an Army Reserve officer after he returned from active duty in 2007. Goodyear will pay David J. Ellis for back wages and other damages. The U.S. Justice Department sued Goodyear on Ellis’ behalf in May, alleging the company had violated the Uniformed Service Employment and Re-employment Rights Act of 1994.
The law requires employers to re-employ returning service members in the position they would have held had their employment not been interrupted by military service. The lawsuit alleged Goodyear failed to take steps to determine what job Ellis would have had if he had not been deployed for nearly two years. He was not re-employed for nearly a year after his October 2007 return. Ellis, who began working at the plant in October 1996, was re-employed September 19, 2008, but he left a short time later, according to the lawsuit.
While I only know what has been reported in the media about his case, I do know that men and women who serve in the Reserves or the National Guard, and who are called to active duty, must have job protection when they return. That shouldn’t be a problem and hopefully this case was an isolated incident. The American people support our troops and that’s a proven fact over the years!
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