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US complaint: Plymouth reservist deprived of benefits

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A U.S. Air Force reservist was illegally denied longevity pay when he returned to his job as a police officer in Plymouth, according to a federal complaint.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana David Capp said a complaint had been filed against the city alleging violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994.

Reservist Robert D. DeLee has been a patrolman in Plymouth for more than a dozen years and has been a member of the Air Force Reserve since before joining the force, according to a news release.

DeLee was mobilized for active duty from September 2010 to May 2011, but when he returned to active duty on the police force, the department refused him longevity pay that he would have received if he had not been called up, the complaint alleges.

“No service member should ever lose their seniority-based benefits provided by civilian employment because they took time out to protect our country,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division. “No employer, whether a city or a private company, can deprive a service member of rights that USERRA affords through implementation of its own policy or local ordinances.”

Subject to certain conditions, USERRA requires employers to promptly re-employ returning service members to the position they would have held had their employment not been interrupted by military service, and to provide them with all benefits of employment to which the employee would have been entitled if he or she had not been called up to active duty.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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