Former Vitro Employee Files Suit Against Company, Alleges Wrongful Termination
December 17, 2010
A former employee of Vitro America LLC has filed a suit against the company and its ACI Distribution arm alleging that the company did not comply with the U.S. Soldiers and Sailors Employment and Reemployment Act when it terminated his employment in 2005.
Plaintiff Walter Long alleges that he began working for Vitro in March 1992 at its Birmingham, Ala., facility, and that he provided the company with an informal verbal notice that his Army reserve unit was likely to be called to active duty in August 2005.
Long claims that he verbally informed his branch manager and the warehouse manager, and that the branch manager replied, “If we have a job for you when you get back.”
Long says he replied, “Go read the law about the Uniform Sailors and Soldier Employment Act.”
The plaintiff was deployed to Iraq in late-2006 and suffered an injury on or about May 31, 2007. He spent six months at Fort Hood in Texas receiving medical treatment, and continued to be on full-time active duty status when he was later sent back to Alabama for further treatment, according to court documents.
When he returned, Long alleges that he spoke to his bosses on several occasions informing them he was still on active duty and was undergoing therapy for his injury. Long claims he was then advised his employment had been terminated.
Long has requested that the court prohibit Vitro/ACI “from continuing to violate terms of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.” In addition, he is seeking reinstatement in a position which is equivalent in seniority, status and pay; back pay together with employment benefits, liquidated damages and attorney fees; and compensatory damages.
Tammy Baker of Jackson Lewis LLP issued the following statement to USGNN.com™ on behalf of Vitro. “Vitro was quite surprised to learn of this lawsuit as Vitro has no knowledge of Mr. Long seeking reemployment with Vitro since being placed on leave for military duty over four years ago,” says Baker. “As a general rule, Vitro does not comment on the facts or merits of pending lawsuits. However, Vitro is confident that it will prevail and intends to vigorously defend this litigation.”
The suit was filed on November 24, 2010, in the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division.