Those in California who serve in the U.S. military understand that things may change while they are away from home. While there are some factors over which service members have little control, they know that, in most cases, the law protects them from losing their jobs while serving in the military. One man in another state is counting on employment law to resolve what he believes was a wrongful termination following an injury while on a military training exercise.
After serving in the Army National Guard for six years, the soldier took a job as a deputy sheriff. After two years, he decided to re-enlist in the National Guard with the dual goal of improving as a deputy and earning a pilot's license. With the encouragement of the sheriff, the man began his basic training, only to suffer back seizures after a fall during an 8-mile run. Unfortunately, his doctor discovered bone spurs in addition to severe degeneration in the soldier's spine. He was forced to leave the military.
Following the procedure for re-entering the workforce, the man applied to return to work but was shocked to receive a termination letter from the sheriff's office. The letter explained that his injuries would not allow him to perform his duties, which may include physically subduing combative inmates. The soldier claims the office made no attempts to provide him with reasonable accommodations, such as light duty or prisoner transport, until he completed physical therapy.
The U.S. Department of Labor is now investigating the man's claim of wrongful termination. If it finds merit in his grievance, the man will be able to continue with his lawsuit. Others in California, whether military or civilian, can seek the advice of an attorney when facing employment law issues. An attorney can assist them in determining the most advantageous course of action.
Source: thedickinsonpress.com, "Army veteran claims wrongful termination from Sheriff's Dept", Iain Woessner, Aug. 28, 2017