Army vet sues former employer for eliminating position during deployment

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 20, 2013

West Virginia State University


CHARLESTON - A man is suing the West Virginia State University Research & Development Corporation for failing to reinstate him after he returned from deployment.

James E. Walton was a member of the U.S. Army Reserves from 1989 until 2006 and from 2007 until 2012, he was a member of the U.S. Army, according to a complaint filed Aug. 14 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Charleston.

Walton claims on May 30, 2012, he retired from the Army.

During his service with the Army, Walton received numerous awards for his service, according to the suit.

Walton claims he was employed by the West Virginia State Land Grant Programs from March 1999 until January 2004, then began his employment with the defendant in February 2004.

In February 2007, Walton learned from the U.S. Army that he was being deployed to the Iraq-Kuwait border and he returned from his tour of duty in May 2008. In June 2008, he learned that he was being re-deployed to serve stateside and immediately informed the defendant that he was being deployed to Fort Dix, N.J., according to the suit.

Walton claims in June 2010, his deployment ended and he was placed on a medical hold status related to injuries sustained during his service.

In December 2011, the defendant informed Walton that his position had been eliminated and from 2011 through 2012, the defendant represented and promised Walton that another position would be made available to him, according to the suit.

Walton claims on May 21, 2012, he was released from active duty with the Army and was honorably discharged. He retired on May 30, 2012.

When Walton attempted to return to work, the defendant would not reinstate him, according to the suit.

Walton claims the defendant also failed to pay him for his accumulated annual and sick leave.

Walton is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Joy B. Mega and Todd S. Bailess of Bailess Law PLLC.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Charleston case number: 2:13-cv-21835

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