Lawsuit Alleges Employment Violation

The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against SmallTownPapers, Inc. of Seattle, which DOJ says terminated Air Force Reservist Frank Bonnin in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, according to an Aug. 22 DOJ release. The complaint alleges that “STP terminated Bonnin from his position as Director of Publisher Relations after Bonnin informed his manager that he had received orders to attend five weeks of active duty training.” The complaint asks for compensatory and liquidated damages, which, if DOJ proves the company willfully violated USERRA, would amount to lost wages and benefits. Grace Chung Becker, acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, said, “Employers must do their part to ensure that our service members’ jobs are protected while they train to defend our nation at home and abroad.”