Earlier this month, a federal appellate court ruled in an employment law case involving a military service member who claimed he received a lower signing bonus than he was entitled to receive upon his return from deployment. The case presented the court with the opportunity to discuss two employment law concepts that are important to those considering a New York employment discrimination case.
The plaintiff was an employee of FedEx, and he was also a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserves. The plaintiff was enrolled in a training program to become a first officer, which would make him a pay grade MD-11. However, prior to beginning the program, he was mobilized for active duty in the U.S. Air Force. The plaintiff returned to work about three months later.
While the plaintiff was away, FedEx had implemented a signing bonus program for eligible employees. The bonus was for either $7,400 or $17,700, depending on the employee’s pay grade. The plaintiff was provided a $7,400 bonus because, at the time, he had not obtained his MD-11 grade. Had he been an MD-11, he would have received a $17,700 bonus.