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March 02, 2011

Employer held liable under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act for adverse action taken against an individual by supervisor

Employer held liable under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act for adverse action taken against an individual by supervisor
Vincent E. Staub, Petitioner v. Proctor Hospital , USSC, No. 09-400, [March 1, 2011]

While employed by Proctor Hospital, Vincent Staub served as a member of the United States Army Reserve. As such, he was required to attend drills one weekend per month and to train full time for two to three weeks a year.

Both Janice Mulally, Staub's immediate supervisor, and Michael Korenchuk, Mulally's supervisor, were hostile to Staub's military obligations. Mulally scheduled Staub for additional shifts without notice so that he would " 'pa[y] back the department for everyone else having to bend over backwards to cover [his] schedule for the Reserves.’"

Mulally also informed Staub's co-worker, Leslie Sweborg, that Staub's "military duty had been a strain on th[e] department," and asked Sweborg to help her "get rid of him". Korenchuk referred to Staub's military obligations as "a b[u]nch of smoking and joking and [a] waste of taxpayers['] money”' "He was also aware that Mulally was "out to get" Staub.

The Supreme Court held that “if a supervisor performs an act motivated by antimilitary animus that is intended by the supervisor to cause an adverse employment action, and if that act is a proximate cause of the ultimate [adverse] employment action, then the employer is liable under USERRA [Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994].”
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