Government Charges American Airlines with USERRA Violations

January 17, 2006 ( - The Department of Justice has filed a class-action lawsuit against American Airlines for violations of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

The Associated Press reports that the lawsuit filed on behalf of three Naval Reserve and Air National Guard pilots claims the airlines illegally denied benefits to the pilots while they were serving their duty.

The Department of Justice says American conducted an audit in 2001 and cut benefits for pilots who took military leave, but not for pilots who took other types of leave.  

A spokesman for American said that the suit does not charge that American withheld health care or pension benefits, but involves the accrual of vacation and sick time while on military leave and rules that govern how pilots bid for flights once they return from leave, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.