A letter carrier from Auburn, Maine, last week won a legal victory when the U.S. Postal Service was forced to reinstate him in a job after he was absent for 14 years while deployed in the “Global War on Terrorism.”
John Patrie, who was called up by the Maine National Guard soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks, served almost continuously in U.S. military campaigns that included combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, before his honorable discharge in December 2015, the OSC reported in an April 25 release. During those years, Patrie regularly provided copies of his orders to his Postal Service managers, maintained his job benefits and expressed a desire to return to mail carrying, the special counsel said.
But the Postal Service informed him in January 2016 that it would not reinstate him because he had “abandoned” his civilian post. His attorneys saw that as a violation of the 1994 Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, which is enforced for federal employees by OSC.