A federal appeals court overturned a lower court decision and ruled in favor of a railroad in disputes filed by a former employee who had accused it of violating the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act when he returned to work from a placement.  Omaha, Nebraska-based Union Pacific Railroad Co. hired Rodolfo A. Quiles as head of security analysis in February 2014 and paid him as a "D-band" employee, based on a scale from A to E, with E the highest, according to Tuesday's ruling by the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and St. Louis and Rodolfo A. Quiles vs. Union Pacific Railroad Co., Inc. et al.
Mr. Quiles left his job for volunteer deployment at Marine Corps in May 201
When he returned, Quiles received a new title as head of security analysis and, while his remuneration remained the same, he reported to the Director-General, who was also an employee of the "D-band" rather than an "E-band" employee, to whom he had previously reported.
When Quiles' attempt to resolve this dispute failed, he became subordinate and ended in March 2016, according to the decision.
Mr. Quiles is suing the railroad in the U.S. District Court in Omaha on charges including crimes against USERRA. By law, an employer must re-employ returning employees to a position that reflects their previous salary, benefits, seniority and other jobs, but not if the employer's circumstances have changed or if it would involve an unnecessary difficulty, according to the decision.
Before the case was handed over to the jury, the district court granted Mr. Quile's request for an assessment in law of his failure to re-employ the claim, and denied Union Pacific's request in the matter.
The jury rendered a judgment in the Pacific Union in favor of the remaining outstanding claims, including his dismissal, and did not award Mr. Quiles some damages. A "reasonable jury could find Union Pacific tried to fit Quiles into a suitable job within the company's reorganized structure when he returned from the deployment", was mentioned in the decision and noted, among other things, the facts of the railway reorganization and the measures taken to protect his grade.
Lawyers in the case did not respond to a request for comment.