Thomas Harwood, III v. American Airlines, Inc., No. 18-2033 (4th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), after his civilian employer did not promptly rehire him after he completed a tour of duty.
The Fourth Circuit held that the district court did not err in dismissing plaintiff's discrimination claim under 38 U.S.C. 4311, holding that plaintiff has not pleaded sufficient factual content to support a "reasonable inference" that his military service was a motivating factor in any of the airline's conduct about which he complains; the district court did not err in ruling that American Airlines failed to discharge its statutory duty promptly; and the district court did not err in rejecting plaintiff's contention that American Airlines' conduct was willful. The court affirmed in part and vacated in part, remanding for the district court to recalculate damages, presumptively imposing backpay damages against American Airlines and denying damages for the period from October 22 to January 25, unless the offered position was not an equivalent under the Act.