Feds Say United Denied Reservist Sick Leave

     (CN) — The Justice Department claims in court that United Airlines denied an Air Force reservist accrual of sick leave time while he was on military leave, in violation of federal law.
     In a complaint filed Monday, the government says United did not credit Lt. Col. Daniel Fandrei with sick leave for his deployment in 2012 and 2013.
     Fandrei, a U.S. Air Force reservist, was reportedly serving as a pilot for a refueling tanker aircraft in Southwest Asia during that time. He worked as a pilot for United’s Continental subsidiary before and after his military leave.
     The U.S. Justice Department says United violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, or USERRA, by not affording Fandrei benefits that it grants other workers for similar types of leave.
     “Fandrei was credited with five hours of sick leave for the months of December 2012 and March 2013 because he worked some days, both before and after his deployment, those months. He did not, however, accrue any sick leave during January and February 2013,” the five-page complaint states. “Due to this benefits policy, Fandrei was not credited ten hours of sick leave for the two full months he was deployed.”
     The airline “violated USERRA by calculating Fandrei’s sick leave accrual in a manner that discriminated against employees on military leave,” the government alleges.
     United said in a statement provided to Courthouse News that it believes its policies comply with the USERRA.
     “At United, we are proud of and are committed to supporting the many aviation professionals at our airline who served or who are currently serving in the military,” the airline said.

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