Petty v. Metropolitan Gov't of Nashville & Davidson County
Professor Jama Rand, PhD, SP
HRM510 Business Employment Law
August 7, 2011
What was the legal issue in this case?
In Petty v. Metropolitan Gov’t of Nashville & Davidson County, the legal issue was about whether the employee had been truthful about the reasons for his discharge from service. Another issue in the case was in regards to the postponement in re-employing a returning Army reservist, which violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), although the delay was based on the employee’s alleged dishonesty (Walsh, 2010). The US ...view middle of the document...
For the purposes of this case, USERRA performs four key functions. First, it guarantees returning veterans a right of reemployment after military service. Second, it prescribes the position to which such veterans are entitled upon their return. Third, it prevents employers from discriminating against returning veterans on account of their military service. Fourth, it prevents employers from firing without cause any returning veterans within one year of reemployment (Walsh, 2010).
Explain why the court concludes that Petty has a claim for discrimination under USERRA.
The court concludes that Petty has a claim for discrimination under USERRA because he had satisfied the stipulations for reinstatement—his petition for re-employment was timely, and his discharge was “honorable”. In his USERRA lawsuit, Petty alleged that the department unlawfully delayed his reemployment and failed to restore him to his patrol sergeant's position, thereby discriminating against him by virtue of his military service. The department argued that it was merely adhering to uniform fitness for duty procedures promulgated by Nashville and the surrounding county (Walsh, 2010).
However, Metro did not conform with the act’s requirement to quickly reinstate Petty to his former position. When Metro raised Petty’s alleged dishonesty as a defense, the appeals court responded by reminding Metro that USERRA allows an employer to terminate a former serviceman for “cause” after re-employment, but does not allow an employer to...