National Guardsman Suing Target For Wrongful Firing
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – An active-duty member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard is suing Target after he was allegedly fired for not showing up to work due to mandatory military training.
According to the civil complaint, 21-year-old Andrew Lanier was terminated under Target’s “no call-no show” policy.
The complaint claims this is a violation of Lanier’s rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.
“It’s not fair. Anybody that does military duty, whether they’re on duty or not, they still deserve the respect to keep that job,” said Lanier.
Lanier was an employee at the Target in the 600-block of Chauvet Drive in The Pointe at North Fayette from April 2011 through October 2011.
The complaint says Lanier informed several superiors in the store about mandatory active-duty pre-deployment training at Fort Pickett in Virginia. Lanier also gave management a copy of his military orders.
The training was scheduled for Oct. 15 until Oct. 30.
Around Oct. 31, Lanier received a call from a team leader at the store informing him that his employment had been terminated.
According to the complaint, the team leader said he had been terminated under the “no call-no show” policy because he did not tell the store he would be absent on each day of his military training.
“’No call-no-show’ to them was, you have to call in every day that you’re not going to show up for work,” said Lanier. “You have to give the reason why you’re not showing up, and if you go over three days of ‘no call-no show,’ you’re fired for job abandonment.”
In a statement, Target says: “Target wholeheartedly supports service members among its 361,000 employees. We are committed to following all federal, state and local laws. Under no circumstance are team members participating in military service required to call in daily.”
Target says it has no record of Lanier’s requests for time off.
His attorneys disagree.
“It’s discouraging for people who do want to sign up for any type of reserve position because it’s almost as if, if they do, they could lose their job,” said Michael Kraemer, Lanier’s attorney. “Who wants to do that?”
Target says it exploring Lanier’s concerns.
Meanwhile, Lanier says he is going full-time, active duty Army and training to be an MP.