Active Case

Washington State Patrol USERRA Litigation

Washington State Patrol Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act Litigation

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Summary of the Lawsuit

This lawsuit alleges that for decades the Washington State Patrol (“WSP”) has failed to provide military veterans with a veterans preference that is guaranteed under Washington State law when such veterans apply to become WSP troopers or apply to be promoted to the position of sergeant or lieutenant.

Summary of the Claims

The lawsuit alleges that the WSP’s refusal to provide military veterans with state-mandated veterans preferences in hiring and promotion opportunities violates the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”), 38 U.S.C. §§ 4311, 4316, by denying benefits to veterans and discriminating against veterans. The lawsuit also alleges that the same refusal violates the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution by taking away the state-created property rights of the veterans to receive the veterans preference. The lawsuit alleges that as a result of the WSP’s actions, members of the class have been denied opportunities to be hired and advance within the ranks of the Washington State Patrol.

Class Action Information

This lawsuit is brought on behalf three classes of current and former employees of the Washington State Patrol:

Troopers: All current and former Troopers of the Washington State Patrol who were denied the opportunity to apply veterans preference to their selection for hiring.

Sergeants: All current and former Sergeants of the Washington State Patrol who were denied the opportunity to apply veterans preference to the selection to promotion for Sergeant.

Lieutenants: All current and former Lieutenants of the Washington State Patrol who were denied the opportunity to apply veterans preference to the selection to promotion for Lieutenant and Captain.

Excluded from the class are the Defendants, the Defendants’ legal representatives, assignees, the successors, the judge to whom this case is assigned, any member of the judge’s immediate family, and any WSP employee who has received the veterans preference.

Status of the Litigation

The complaint was filed on January 3, 2013. Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on January 13, 2014. Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint on January 23, 2014, and Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss was denied on March 19, 2014. Defendants responded to the Amended Complaint on April 4, 2014. Plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint on January 9, 2015, which Defendants responded to on January 23, 2015.

The Parties have reached a settlement in principle. They expect to finalize a formal settlement agreement, which will be filed with the Court, by March 14, 2017. The settlement will need to be approved by the Court and formal notice will be provided to class members after March 14, 2017.

Case Documents

Whom to Contact for More Information

If you are a member of the proposed class or you have information which might assist us in the prosecution of these allegations, please contact one of the following persons:

R. Joseph Barton, Esq. (jbarton@blockesq.com)
Ming Siegel, Paralegal (ming@blockesq.com)
Block & Leviton LLP
1735 20th Street NW
Washington DC 20009
(202) 734-7046

Contact us to learn more about this lawsuit.

Block & Leviton LLP
155 Federal Street, Suite 400
Boston, MA 02110
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