Government Sues United Airlines on Behalf of Air Force Reservist
It says he should have accrued time off while on military leave
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2016 6:19 PM CDT
The government is suing United Airlines for allegedly violating the employment rights of an Air Force reservist.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

(Newser) – When United Airlines pilot and Air Force reservist Lt. Col. Daniel Fandrei was called to active duty in 2012, he could have rightfully expected to continue to accrue sick leave while away from United. After all, United allows employees accrue time off while they're on vacation or home sick, the Chicago Tribune reports. Fandrei would have been wrong. According to Reuters, the federal government sued United on Monday for violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, which, as one Justice Department employee puts it, makes sure service members "don't return to civilian life and find their employment benefits denied and their civil rights violated."

Fandrei joined the Air Force in 1990 and started flying for United in 2000. He was called to active duty in December 2012 and spent the next few months flying refueling tankers in southwest Asia, Consumerist reports. The government argues Fandrei should have accrued 10 hours of sick leave during that time, as employees on certain types of non-military leave would have. United disagrees. The government is seeking the monetary equivalent of 10 hours of sick leave on behalf of Fandrei and to force United to comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.