USERRA Discrimination Alleged Against DEA

CBS News reports that more than a dozen federal agents have filed an employment discrimination action against the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). According to reports, the agents allege that the DEA has subjected the workers to “consistent, perpetual harassment that continues to escalate.”

One of the servicemen has alleged that he has been constantly harassed by DEA managers because he also serves his country as a U.S. Marine colonel reservist.

He says DEA managers don’t like military reservists taking time off work from the DEA to deploy overseas.

Others have joined the suit, noting that complaint claims DEA supervisors routinely subject military reservists to “hostile and offensive comments in the workplace” and that DEA managers discriminate against agents who serve in the military by “denying reservists promotions and assignments.”

Pursuant to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), most military personnel must be returned to their jobs when returning from serving in the military, and employers are prohibited from discrimination based on an employee’s military service.

Here, the suit alleges “The Reservists contend that they themselves have suffered concrete acts of discrimination, retaliation, reprisal and a hostile work environment by DEA supervisors and senior management up to and including the DEA Administrator, Deputy Administrator and Career Board. Further, they suspect that since September 11, 2001, the DEA has hired and retained far fewer Drilling Reservists, as part of a pattern and practice of dissuading agents from remaining in the Armed Forces.”

The DEA agents are seeking back pay, retroactive promotions, monetary damages, and mandatory employment discrimination training for all DEA managers.

For more information or if you believe you have suffered discrimination as the result of serving in the military, please contact the dedicated Atlanta employment lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP, for an immediate, confidential case evaluation.