FedEx Corporation faces a proposed class action lawsuit centered on alleged wage and benefit violations of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act—USERRA. The 17-page complaint out of Pennsylvania district court looks to represent anyone who took short-term military leave—periods of 30 days or fewer—from FedEx at any time since October 10, 2004 and did not receive their regular compensation from the company during their absence.
The lawsuit provides that USERRA protects the rights and benefits of military reservists who take leaves of absence from their civilian jobs in order to perform qualified military service. Per the suit, USERRA mandates that military leave be treated by employers no less favorably than other comparable forms of leave, such as jury duty or sick or bereavement leave.
According to the lawsuit, FedEx has wholly failed to remit wages to those on short-term military leave in the same manner as it does to those on other forms of protected time away from work. From the complaint:
“Since October 10, 2004, when a servicemember employee of FedEx has taken military leave that lasts 30 days or less (short-term military leave), FedEx has not provided paid leave or pay to the employee during such short-term military leave. However, when an employee of FedEx has been required to be absent from his or her employment at FedEx for any one of a number of non-military reasons, including that the employee is ill or needs to address the death of a family member, FedEx has provided paid leave or the employee's full wages and/or salary during his or her leave of absence.”
The plaintiff, a retired Petty Officer, First Class with the United States Navy and member of the Naval Reserve who’s worked as a courier for FedEx for more than two decades, alleges that he received no wages from the defendant for periods of military service-related leave taken between his start at the shipping and logistics company in 1996 and his retirement from service in 2010.