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January 17, 2006
Justice Dept. Files Class-Action Lawsuit Against American Airlines

The Department of Justice has filed a class-action lawsuit accusing American Airlines, Inc. of violating the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA).

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The lawsuit represents the first class action complaint filed by the United States under USERRA.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in Dallas, Texas, alleges that American Airlines violated USERRA by denying pilots Mark Woodall, Michael McMahon, and Paul Madson employment benefits during their military service.

The complaint alleges that American Airlines conducted an audit of the leave taken for military service by American Airline pilots in 2001. The complaint further alleges that based on the results of that audit, American Airlines reduced the employment benefits of those of its pilots who had taken military leave, while not reducing the same benefits of those of its pilots who had taken similar types of non-military leave.

Woodall and McMahon serve as pilots in the Naval Reserve and hold the ranks of Captain and Commander, respectively. Madson serves as a pilot in the South Dakota Air National Guard and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

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