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Home Depot Reaches Settlement in Firing of National Guardsman

May 22, 2012
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The Justice Department has reached a $45,000 settlement with Home Depot Inc. to resolve charges it violated federal law when it terminated an Army National Guard soldier's employment.

The DOJ said May 21 the Atlanta-based home improvement chain violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 when it terminated Brian Bailey, an Iraq War veteran, because of his military service obligations.

According to the Justice Department, Bailey was removed from his position as a department supervisor after Home Depot management officials at his Flagstaff, Arizona, store "openly expressed their displeasure" with his periodic job absences because of his military obligations, and indicated their desire to remove him from his position because of his absences.

Under terms of the settlement, in addition to giving Bailey $45,000 in monetary relief, Home Depot has made changes to its military leaves of absence policy. The settlement also mandates that Home Depot review its military leaves of absence policy with managers from the district where Bailey worked.

Thomas R. Perez, assistant attorney general for the DOJ's civil rights division, said in a statement, "The department is pleased that we were able to work cooperatively with Home Depot to resolve this matter without the need for contested litigation."

A Home Depot spokesman could not be reached for comment.

Judy Greenwald writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email editors@workforce.com.

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