Returning vet sues Lowe's for termination, retaliation

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Nov. 1, 2007, 9:31am

William Hommel Jr.

MARSHALL – After being honorably discharged from the military, Josh Jones returned home to find that his previous employer, Lowe's, would not rehire him. After a lengthy investigation by the Veterans Department of the Labor Board, Jones was rehired but five months after returning to work, Jones was fired from Lowe's.

The veteran believes he was fired without cause violating the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994.

Jones filed the right to reemployment suit against Lowe's on Oct. 29 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Lowe's originally hired the plaintiff in October 2004 as a non-conveyable distributor. Interrupting his employment, the military called Jones into service in April 2005. He was released with an honorable discharge in December 2005.

When Jones returned home to Red River County, he states Lowe's refused to hire him. He took his case to the Veterans Department of Labor Board and almost a year later, Lowe's allowed Jones to return to work.

Complicating his reemployment, Jones' supervisor began clocking in and out for him. Speaking to upper management, Jones attempted to explain his supervisor's "inexplicable" behavior. Nevertheless, Lowe's terminated Jones for violating its policies.

Jones believes his termination was an act of retaliation by Lowe's for serving in the military. Further, Jones claims the defendant "failed to equalize conditions of employment for plaintiff as contrasted with comparably trained and qualified non-military persons and adopted unreasonable, unwarranted and arbitrary standards and conditions of employment and advancement designed to discriminate against plaintiff by reason of his military service."

Jones is seeking an award for lost wages and benefits, liquidated damages and attorney fees and costs.

Lowe's has not responded to the allegations.

Tyler attorney William Hommel, Jr. is representing the plaintiff.

Judge David Folsom will preside over the case.

Case No: 2:07cv00469

Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Jones' employer as Home Depot. The defendant in Jones' suit is Lowe's. We apologize for an inconvenience this may have caused Home Depot or related parties.

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