Thursday, March 17, 2011

Decorated Army Vet Fired From Post Office Because of War Time Service

Washington Post reporter Joe Davidson reports that the U.S. Postal Service loses court case over firing of a decorated Afghan vet.

Joe writes, "Uncle Sam can be one generous dude. He allows workers, in the public and private sectors, to be away from their jobs for five years without losing their gigs, if they are on temporary military duty.

"On top of that, some assignments — fighting in a war is one — don’t count toward the five years. That means some employees who also are in the military could be missing in action from their civilian jobs for a really long time and not be fired."

Apparently USPS didn't read the fine print in Federal law when it fired Richard Erickson (shown above), a decorated sergeant major in the Army’s Special Forces, in April 2000.

Joe points out, "Now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has overturned a Merit Systems Protection Board ruling in favor of USPS that Erickson, an Afghanistan war veteran, had abandoned the post office for military service."

According to the article, "The decision appears to pave the way for Erickson to get his job back, though the Postal Service hasn’t surrendered yet. Erickson’s attorney says the case could have broad implications for thousands of vets."

Besides having " broad implications for thousands of vets," Erickson could be eligible for 11 years of back pay and compensation for benefits. With legal fees added, Erickson’s attorney figures USPS might have to dish out more than $1 million.

The Postal Service doesn’t agree and has appealed the decision.

To read the entire article and watch a related video, click here.

Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM