Ruling Confirms Protections for Reservists Called for Duty
A U.S. Air Force reservist who lost his job after being called to active duty has just won an award of at least $1 million dollars. The plaintiff, Michael Serricchio, worked as a financial advisor for Wachovia, now Wells Fargo, when he was called to active duty in 2001. By the time he returned to his job, his clients had dispersed and Mr. Serricchio was offered a position on far less favorable terms.
A jury had determined in June 2008 that Wachovia had violated Mr. Serricchio's rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act, which requires employees returning from service be given a comparable position. The jury in New Haven, Connecticut, awarded Mr. Serricchio approximately $400,000 in back pay and interest and $300,000 in punitive damages and legal fees, which could reach $500,000. Mr. Serricchio will be awarded these damages, in addition to being reinstated.
This award properly confirms the protections that are so essential for employees who must leave to serve on active duty in the armed services.