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Employee's suit against his employer for violation of the USERRA and Puerto Rico law
Vega-Colon v. Wyeth Pharm., 09-1861, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of employer, in plaintiff's suit against his employer, claiming that the employer discriminated and retaliated against him based on his military service in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and Puerto Rico law.
The court affirmed for the most part where: 1) because plaintiff has not shown evidence of discrimination other than the fact of non-selection and membership in the protected class, defendant is entitled to summary judgment on plaintiff's claim that defendant's failure to hire him for the reliability engineer position violated USERRA; 2) plaintiff has not made the requisite showing under USERRA that his military status was a motivating factor in defendant's decision to award a low performance rating; 3) plaintiff has failed to raise a cognizable claim with respect to the issue of being denied facility access; 4) there is no basis for the jury to conclude that plaintiff was subject to a hostile work environment; and 5) plaintiff has failed to establish that defendant retaliated against him in violation of USERRA for filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans' Employment Training Services.
However, the court vacated and remanded in finding that the district court erred in granting summary judgment on the issue of whether defendant's extension of the Performance Improvement Plan was an improper discriminatory action, as the evidence is sufficiently strong that a reasonable jury could find in plaintiff's favor.