US Justice Department sues American Airlines on behalf of reservists

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

The US government has filed a lawsuit against American Airlines on behalf of three pilots. The pilots were employed by the company while serving in the Naval Reserve and Air National Guard.

The US Department of Justice alleges that when the pilots were called into active duty by the US military, American Airlines denied them employment benefits. The Department of Justice said in a complaint filed in the US District Court in Dallas that American Airlines conducted an audit of leave taken for military service by pilots in 2001. The Justice Department charges that based on that audit American Airlines then cut the employment benefits of pilots who had taken military leave while not cuting benefits of pilots who had taken non-military leave.

Justice Department Assistant Attorney General Wan Kim said "This nation depends on our reservists to faithfully carry out their duty. No reservists, indeed no members of the armed forces, should ever be punished or discriminated against for answering the call of duty."

This is the first class action lawsuit under the 1994 Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

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