A Soldier Returns... To Find His Job Filled

It’s hard to imagine a group of Americans more deserving of our protection than the servicemen and women who protect our country. Javier, an Army Reservist from Florida, is one of them. 

But Javier – like too many others – was a victim of something called forced arbitration, and the fact that he served our country apparently made little difference to those who employed him.

Congress enacted a law called the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) to protect members of the Armed services when they are deployed from losing their jobs upon returning to the United States. It’s simple fairness. A nation that asks young men and women to defend this country with their lives should protect them from losing their livelihood when coming home.

Unfortunately for Javier, who claims he gave his employer adequate notice that he was about to be deployed for six months, his boss filled his position after he left. Despite having 900 job openings, the company claimed it could not find even a single job position after returning.

USERRA should have protected him. That was Congress’ intent. But because of a forced arbitration clause in his contract, he had no access to the civil justice system to prove his case.

Denying men and women like Javier the right to file a claim in court when they’ve been wronged – even when the law may have been broken – doesn’t make sense. And it’s just wrong.