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April 23, 2008
Airline Settles Suit over Military-Leave Rights of Pilots

American Airlines has agreed to settle a Department of Justice lawsuit alleging that the company failed to allow pilots to accrue vacation and sick leave benefits while on military leave to the same extent as pilots on comparable forms of non-military leave, the department announced.

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The settlement agreement, if approved by the court, requires that American Airlines pay the class of 353 pilots a total of $345,772 in vacation and sick leave benefits, and provide currently employed pilots with sick-leave credits at an estimated value of $215,000.

The settlement agreement also calls for American to modify its existing policies and practices to ensure that, in the future, all pilots who are called to serve in the military will continue to accrue appropriate vacation and sick leave benefits, the Justice Department says.

The lawsuit is the first class action brought by the Department of Justice under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). The Department of Justice filed the lawsuit following a referral from the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) of the Department of Labor.

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