Feds settle with Virginia official in job rights case

Posted at 7:38 PM, Apr 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-30 19:38:09-04

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The U.S. Department of Justice has reached a settlement in a civil complaint against a Virginia county and the state's retirement system over the employment rights of a Virginia Army National Guard soldier.

His rights were guaranteed under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, according to a Justice Department news release on Friday.

In its complaint, the federal government said Guard Maj. Mark Gunn had been a Prince George County Police Department detective for 14 years when, in January 2016, he was called to active duty. The Justice Department also alleged that when Gunn returned from active duty service, the county refused to allow him to return to his detective position and assigned him to a patrol unit officer position.

Also, the complaint said the county denied Gunn employment benefits that he would have accrued during his active-duty service, including a bonus. The county's actions, acccording to the federal government, led Gunn to leave his police department job and return to active duty with the Guard.

Gunn will receive credit from the Virginia Retirement System for the time from when he left the police department to when he began drawing retirement benefits, the news release said. He will also receive the differential in benefits owed to him for that period, and the county will also pay Gunn $3,000 in damages.

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