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Associated Press, Published June 19 2013

Pa. guardsman sues Target over 'no show' firing

PITTSBURGH — A member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard has sued Target Corp., saying he was wrongly fired from one of the chain's Pittsburgh-area stores for violating its “no-call, no-show” policy while he was on a two-week training assignment in Virginia.

Andrew Lanier claims in the federal lawsuit filed Wednesday in Pittsburgh that he told his supervisors about the training duty in October 2011 only to be told when he returned that he was fired for not calling out each and every day he was gone.

Lanier and his attorneys contend that his firing violates the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, which is meant to safeguard the civilian jobs of military personnel who are called away for mandatory duties.

“A promise has been made to protect the jobs of those who have chosen to honorably serve in this country's military reserves and this lawsuit is intended to ensure that such promise is kept,” attorney Timothy O'Brien said in a statement.

Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said the Minneapolis-based retail chain was working to respond to the lawsuit, in which Lanier seeks at least $75,000 in damages, including back pay and reinstatement.

Lanier was hired by target in April 2011 and worked at its store in North Fayette Township, a Pittsburgh suburb. His mandatory training was at Fort Pickett, Va. Lanier contends he was fired the day after it ended and told he had violated the “no call, no-show” policy “by failing to notify Target on each day of his military leave that he would be absent from work on that day due to such leave.”

Lanier contends he had told his team leader and at least two store managers that he was required to report for duty in Virginia as well as notifying Target through an electronic time off request system the corporation maintains, the lawsuit said. Finally, Lanier said he gave a copy of his “active duty pre-deployment training” to store managers.

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