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March 14, 2005
Firm Accused of Denying Guard Member's Rights

The Justice Department is accusing a company in Puerto Rico of violating the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Act, the Associated Press reports.

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In a lawsuit, the Justice Department alleges that International Ethical Laboratories, Inc. refused to rehire Benito Colon Ortiz, who worked for the company as a sales representative beginning in 2003. The Justice Department says the company refused to grant Colon reinstatement after he returned from re-enlisting in the Army National Guard and attending officer training in 2004, the news service reports.

The lawsuit seeks reinstatement, lost pay, and damages.

"The lawsuit reflects the Justice Department's ongoing commitment to ensure that employment rights of the men and women of our military are protected when they return from duty," Alexander Acosta, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's civil rights division, tells the news service.

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