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Plaintiffs, fifteen employees of the San Antonio fire department, who are members of either the United States military reserves or the National Guard (“Uniformed Services”), brought this civil action under the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (“USERRA”)*fn1 against the City of San Antonio, Texas for declaratory, injunctive, and equitable relief; compensation for lost wages and benefits; and additional liquidated damages. The plaintiffs contend that the City violated USERRA by denying them employment benefits because of their absences from work while performing their military duties in the Uniformed Services. More specifically, the employees assert that the City’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) and policies regarding military leave of absence deprive them of straight and overtime pay, opportunities to earn extra vacation leave and vacation scheduling flexibility, and opportunities to secure unscheduled overtime work and job upgrades. Plaintiffs assert that under USERRA � 4311(a)*fn2 “the City, in implementing these employment practices, unlawfully discriminate[s] against them by deeming them ‘absent’ from work whenever they are on leave fulfilling their military reserve duties, as opposed to viewing them as ‘constructively present at work.’”*fn3 The City contends that, because � 4316(b)(1)*fn4 provides that persons absent from civilian employment by reason of military service are entitled only to such non-seniority rights and benefits as the employer provides to employees when they are on non-military leaves of absence, plaintiffs cannot recover since they were treated equally as to such rights with all employees absent on non-military leave.


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