USERRA Decision in the 8th District Requires Broader Application Acceptance by Employers for Returning Service Members

Sam Scudder is a veteran who served in Afghanistan as a part of the Arkansas National Guard. Before he served, Sam worked as a store manager within Dollar General in Arkansas. He was injured during his service and could not return on his expected date back to Dollar General. Dollar General thought he had resigned due to a report from its third party leave entity that managed its employee leave. However, Sam then reapplied for work through the Dollar General’s online service, for a job he did not receive. Dollar General won a summary judgment in the lower court, and Sam appealed.

The 8th district court of appeals requires an employer to permit a returning service member to submit an application for reemployment through any channel under USERRA, no particular reemployment channel is required. Additionally, it held that Sam’s contact through the third party entity misunderstood his phone call, and as such, cannot consider what transpired as a clear resignation. The lower court will review the facts.


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