March 21, 2017

Washington State Patrol – USERRA Litigation Settlement

Block & Leviton partner R. Joseph Barton is lead counsel in a lawsuit that 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, a violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, or USERRA.

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that the WSP’s refusal to provide military veterans with state-mandated veterans preferences in hiring and promotion opportunities violates 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 further 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.

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.

You can find out more information about the settlement on our case page, where you can also download case documents, including the settlement agreement.

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