CANONSBURG (KDKA) — Zackary Dawson has filed a lawsuit against California University of Pennsylvania claiming that he lost an opportunity to go from part-time instructor to full-time status at the school because of his guard duty.

Dawson, 28, of Canonsburg, said he takes pride in his family’s strong military tradition, so he signed up with the Pa. Army National Guard as a way of ”giving something back to his country.”

He spent six weeks in training late last year, and when it was finished, he was told by Cal U., where he had a part-time position, that he was being terminated.

Dawson is a first lieutenant in the National Guard.

He told KDKA-TV: “I want people to realize that we can’t do this to our men and women in uniform. We have to protect them and their jobs.”

His lawyer, Attorney Timothy O’Brien, says this case is significant because it involves the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and a Commonwealth school [California University of Pa.] and they violated a soldier’s rights to get his job back after he had performed military service.

“The purpose of the lawsuit filed today [in the Court of Common Pleas in Washington] is to stop this kind of conduct in its tracks,” O’Brien said.

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