The mission of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is to “…develop and promote employer support
for Guard and Reserve service by advocating relevant initiatives, recognizing outstanding support, increasing
awareness of applicable laws, and resolving conflict between employers and service members.”
With the mission of educating employers and service members in the forefront as our Soldiers, Sailors, Marinesand Airmen continue to deploy, each month the newsletter will explore a different aspect of the UniformedServices and Reemployment Rights Act.
June 2011(USERRA) U.S. Supreme Court Ruling
The U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of Service Member
The 7th Circuit Court decision of Staub v. Proctor was overturned by the U S Supreme Courtin a unanimous decision (with the exception ofJustice Kagan who did not participate in thecase). This was the first Uniformed ServicesEmployment and Reemployment Rights Act(USERRA) case to be heard by the SupremeCourt since the law was enacted by Congressin 1994.
Service member Vincent Staub‟s employment
was terminated from Proctor Hospital in IL.He asserted his immediate and secondarysupervisors were hostile towards his militaryservice. He claimed that his supervisorfabricated allegations of misconduct at hisworkplace due to hostility towards his militaryobligations. Staub alleged the supervisors then presented this information to the Human
Resources Vice President for Proctor who made the decision to terminate Staub‟s
employment. A jury found Proctor liable and awarded Staub damages, but the 7th CircuitCourt reversed the initial court decision stating that the HR VP used more than just theinformation provided by the supervisors when making a decision. This decision wasoverturned by the U S Supreme Court.
The supreme court determined that in accordance with general tort and agency law, the VP‟s
decision did not prevent the discriminatory actions of the supervisors from taking place, and
the discriminatory actions could be the cause of the “harm” to the service member. The
justices ruled this decision is out of compliance with 38 U.S.C. 4311 which forbids
discrimination by an employer regarding “employment, reemployment, retention inemployment, promotion or any benefit of employment” based on an employee‟s membership
in the military service.
The Supreme Court ruled “if a supervisor performs an act motivated by anti
-military animusthat is intended by the supervisor to cause an adverse employment action, and if that act is aproximate cause of the ultimate employment action, then employer is liable under [TheUniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994] USERRA.To learn more about this historic case, please visit:http://www.supremecourt.gov/ opinions/10pdf/09-400.pdf