- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) - A Wheeling-based union local has settled claims that it failed to reinstate a National Guard member as an apprentice laborer following his return from basic training.

The U.S. Justice Department announced the settlement Wednesday with the Laborers Local No. 1149.

Federal law protects the civilian job rights of military service members.

According to a complaint, Elliot Ferrell notified the union of his impending military duty and was told his dues obligation would be suspended for the length of his service. While Ferrell was at basic training, the union notified a relative it terminated Ferrell’s apprenticeship because of a late dues payment. The action disqualified Ferrell from further union-backed job referrals.

A consent decree that is subject to federal court approval requires the union to compensate Ferrell for lost income.

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