Petty vs Metropolitan Gov't of Nashville & Davidson

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Petty v. Metropolitan Gov’t of Nashville & Davidson County

Professor Ed Sherbert

Business Employment Law–HRM 510

August 12, 2012

What was the legal issue in this case?

In this case of Petty v. Metropolitan Gov’t of Nashville & Davidson County, Brian Petty brought actions against Metro Police Department alleging that they violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights of 1964 (USERRA) by failing to reemploy him in accordance with the Act after his return from active duty with the United States. Petty was entitled to reemployment under the Act, in which Metro had no basis on which to question his qualifications. Petty had satisfied the only prerequisites specified in the Act and Metro’s attempt to impose additional prerequisites through its return-to-work process was wholly permissible. Petty was reinstated but not to his previous position of patrol sergeant. He was given an office job and was relegated to answering phones and occasionally taking police reports (Walsh, 2010). Petty filed a lawsuit alleging that Metro delayed his returning and did not properly reinstate him, both in violation of USERRA.

Explain how the reemployment provisions of the USERRA were violated in this case.

The USERRA is a federal law that provides reemployment rights for employees returning from military service and protection from employment discrimination following reemployment. USERRA protects members of the military and reserves from loss of job, demotion, loss of seniority, and loss of benefits when they are called to active duty (Walsh, 2010). USERRA differs from other laws prohibiting discrimination in employment in the breadth and potency of protecting it offers, both in mandatory reemployment and in prohibiting discrimination and retaliation. The reemployment provisions of the USERRA were violated in this case because Metro violated Petty’s rights by 1) delaying his rehire for the purpose of subjecting him to...