Texas U.S. Attorney: Luxury Jeweler Pays Serviceman in Discrimination Case
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas reported that luxury jeweler Harry Winston has paid a U.S. Army reservist to resolve a claim the company violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) by refusing to offer him full-time employment.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in December 2017 U.S. Army National Guard Reservist John A. Walker applied for a job with Harry Winston Inc. who ultimately denied his application. Walker alleged Harry Winston Inc. refused to hire him because of his military service obligations.
Congress enacted USERRA to encourage non-career service in the uniformed services by reducing employment disadvantages. It also intended to minimize the disruption to the lives of persons performing military service, their employers and others by providing for the prompt reemployment of such persons upon their completion of such service. USERRA also prohibits discrimination against persons because of their service in the uniformed services or if they pursue a claim.
Under the terms of the settlement, Harry Winston Inc. has agreed to fully compensate Walker for his back-pay and non-wage damages.
The Department of Labor – Veterans’ Employment and Training Service conducted the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Keith Edward Wyatt and Annalisa Cravens handled the matter with Assistant Director Andrew Braniff of the Department of Justice’s Service members and Veterans Initiative and Senior Trial Attorney Alicia Johnson of the Civil Rights Division’s Employment Litigation Section. SDTX paralegal specialists Raymond Babauta and Nicole Robbins also provided assistance.
Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas
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