The DOJ’s complaint against Home Depot in Flagstaff, Arizona, alleges that the retailer violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) when they fired California Army National Guard Soldier, Brian Bailey. Brian Bailey was a department supervisor for the store. He also is an Iraq war veteran.
Due to his National Guard obligations, Bailey took periodic leave from his job throughout his employment at Home Depot. Home Depot management, according to the complaint, openly expressed their displeasure with Bailey’s absences, and indicated they would relieve him of his position because of those absences.
Brian Bailey first filed a complaint against Home Depot with the Labor Department’s Veteran’s Employment and Training Service. After an investigation, it was determined that Bailey’s complaint should be referred to the Department of Justice. The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division represented Bailey and ultimately filed a lawsuit on his behalf.
USERRA prohibits employers from discriminating against National Guard soldiers based upon their past, current or future uniformed service obligations. Under USERRA, it is unlawful for an employer to terminate an employee for missing work due to military obligations.