Justice Department sues Wal-Mart

Published: Tuesday, April 1, 2008 at 8:47 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 1, 2008 at 8:47 a.m.

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Department of Justice has sued Wal-Mart on behalf of a former airman, claiming the company didn't give him his job back after he was discharged from the military, the department announced Monday.

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Jim Mone/Associated Press

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Sean Thornton, a former airman with the United States Air Force, alleges Wal-Mart violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 by failing to reinstate him as a cashier at an Orange City store.

The act requires that workers who leave their jobs to serve in the military be given their job back when they return, the statement said.

"No person should be disadvantaged in the workplace for serving our country in the military," Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Grace Chung Becker said in the justice department statement.

The Justice Department said it filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Orlando. A Wal-Mart spokesman declined comment on the allegations Monday because he couldn't confirm Wal-Mart had received a copy of the complaint.

The Justice Department didn't say whether it is claiming Thornton was not rehired at all.

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