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Justice Department, Greenwood store settle lawsuit over guardsman not rehired after deployment

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Justice Department and a Greenwood furniture store this week settled a federal lawsuit after a guardsman was not rehired a man upon his return from military service.

Christopher Robbins began serving in the Indiana Army National Guard in 2006, according to a news release from the Justice Department.

The release also said Robbins began working at Ashley HomeStore in Greenwood in 2014. In 2017, he was called into Guard service out of state for a month. The furniture store fired Robbins when he tried to return to work.

The Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service investigated and sent its findings that the store violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) to the Justice Department.

A release from the Justice Department issued Thursday said, “Under the terms of the settlement, the company has agreed to pay Robbins $6,000 in damages. The company will also offer comprehensive training to its supervisors and HR officials on USERRA and post a notice at the store advising employees of their rights under USERRA and the company’s intent to comply with the law.”

Robbins is a captain with the Guard.

Ashley Furniture currently has a store in Greenwood at 733 Loews Blvd. That’s off U.S. 31 between County Line Road and Fry Road.

Following News 8’s publication of an online article Tuesday about the lawsuit, Wisconsin-based Ashley Furniture Industries Inc. sent this statement Thursday:

“The allegations arose several years ago, which we denied. This matter is no longer pending, as evidenced by the Court’s dismissal of the lawsuit.”

Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.

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