Brett Gailey v. Everett Police Department
The Everett Police Department (EPD) hired Mr. Gailey as a patrol officer. Immediately after hiring him Mr. Gailey got deployed to Iraq with the Army National Guard. Upon his return from Iraq the EPD did not properly re-employ him by denying him service credit for his year long deployment in Iraq. When the EPD refused to give Mr. Gailey the lawfully required service credit he contacted the Employer Support for Guard and Reserve (ESGR) who, in turn, convinced EPD to follow the law. And since the day he contacted the ESGR to enforce his USERRA rights Mr. Gailey was a marked man, trouble maker, or “that guy” who tried to get his law enforcement agency employer to follow the law.
Mr. Gailey, after enduring years of being passed over for promotion to Sergeant in favor of at least seven other peers who scored lower than he did on proficiency examinations, filed a USERRA complaint with the Department of Labor/VETS. On November 22, 2017, the DOL/VETS found that the EPD violated USERRA. A copy of the DOL/VETS finding is available here.
In December 2017 the DOL/VETS further noted that “Mr. Gailey seems to be the only individual that is getting counseled on issues when others are doing them as well and that Mr. Gailey is the only one who is currently serving in the military.” In January 2018 an anonymous witness contacted the DOL/VETS with more information about how Mr. Gailey “is being treated differently due to his military service; and this is just not a performance issue as the City is trying to portray it.”
Nevertheless, the EPD would not agree to resolve Mr. Gailey’s DOL/VETS complaint. Mr. Gailey then asked the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) USERRA division, which filed a grand total of two USERRA suits in 2018, to help him but the DOJ, without explanation, declined.
Mr. Gailey then filed a private civil action. A copy of Mr. Gailey’s complaint is available here.
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