West Virginia Attorney General issued the following announcement on July 18.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has joined a 24-state effort to protect National Guardsmen from losing their jobs, pay and benefits after serving their communities on state active duty.
The bipartisan coalition’s brief asks a federal appeals court to overturn a lower court ruling that, if left intact, would leave guardsmen with no protection from employment discrimination when they serve in a state capacity rather than national.
“This is just not right,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “These patriotic men and women leave family, job and home behind to serve you and me. Their employers must treat them fairly. Otherwise, what incentive do people have to enlist and fulfill essential duties such as counter-drug operations and disaster relief? It does not matter why or how they served, they served.”
The case centers on an Illinois guardsman whose city police department refused back pay and benefits because the state’s governor, as opposed to the president, initiated the police officer’s counter-drug deployment.
The coalition argues the lower court ruling, if not reversed, will have a major impact on the men and women who serve in their state’s National Guard and discourage those who consider enlistment.
The attorneys general contend the federal law in question clearly protects “service in the uniformed services,” regardless whether said service is in a state or federal context. It is specifically designed to give guardsmen and women job security, prevent employment discrimination and protect those who serve from “disruption” and “disadvantage” to their civilian lives.
Original source can be found here.