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January 31, 2007
Employer Agrees to Settle Military-Leave Complaint

Five Star Janitorial Supply of Leesville, Louisiana, has agreed to settle a lawsuit accusing the company of terminating a National Guardsman in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), the Justice Department announced.

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The department had filed the complaint on behalf of the National Guardsman who alleged that he was fired by Five Star because he chose to attend a two-week military training course, part of his duties as a member of the National Guard.

In the proposed settlement, Five Star agreed to pay the Guardsman his lost wages and interest, as well as other damages.

The Guardsman initiated his complaint with the Veterans Employment and Training Service of the U.S. Department of Labor. When the complaint was not able to be resolved, the complaint was referred to the Civil Rights Division's Employment Litigation Section.

USERRA provides that any service member has the right to have the Justice Department review his or her complaint if the Department of Labor cannot convince an employer to voluntarily resolve that complaint. The Department of Justice may then provide free legal representation to the service member and file a lawsuit on his or her behalf.

In September 2004, the Attorney General delegated enforcement of USERRA to the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. The Civil Rights Division has filed 13 lawsuits and reached 7 settlements.

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