USERRA Case Makes History

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado has approved an unprecedented settlement in a class action lawsuit filed against United Airlines (UAL) by more than 1,000 of its pilots serving in the Reserve & Guard. On May 19, 2014, the court issued the final approval order for a $6,015,000 settlement.

The pilots alleged that during the 2000-10 period, UAL made retroactive payments to the pension accounts of individual pilots returning from military service, but those payments were computed based on the minimum guaranteed hours, not the hours that the individual would have worked if continuously employed as required under the Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

In a statement, ROA's Service Members Law Center, lauded the precedent set by the historic settlement. "The UAL settlement becomes the single largest publicly disclosed award amount under USERRA by a margin of more than 5 million dollars," said CAPT Sam F. Wright, JAGC, USN (Ret) who heads up the SMLC.

"The SMLC alone answers nearly 800 inquiries a month from Reservists in some form of legal distress." Wright said most of those Reservists are frustrated with a USERRA issue.

"Wins like this one tell those thousands of Reservists that there's hope. They just need to know their rights and options under the law. Ultimately, we're here to make sure those Reservists have a resource to help turn those pieces into meaningful action."

ROA's Service Members Law Center (SMLC) is the nation's leading provider of free legal guidance on USERRA and other Reserve specific employment issues. Read more about the SMLC's work on USERRA by visiting us online.