Bloomberg News

United Continental Sued by U.S. for Underpaying Guardsman

March 13, 2012

United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL) was sued by the U.S. Justice Department over claims the company denied a pilot employment benefits during his military service.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Denver, was brought on behalf of TenEyck LaTourrette, a major serving in the Colorado Air National Guard, according to an e-mailed statement from the Justice Department.

United, based in Chicago, undercompensated LaTourrette’s pension by basing contributions on a minimum monthly schedule rather than using his actual schedule for the 12 months preceding his military obligations, according to the statement. The underfunding is a violation of the 1994 Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, according to the Justice Department.

“We ask the men and women of our armed forces to fight for our country’s freedom and to be willing to risk their lives for that cause,” John Walsh, U.S. Attorney in Denver, said in the statement. “When they return home they should not have to fight to be properly compensated. I would like to recognize the outstanding efforts of the Civil Rights Division for their work to protect the benefits of this service member.”

United Airlines parent UAL Corp. (UALAQ) merged with Continental Airlines Inc. in October 2010 in an all-stock deal, surpassing Delta as the world’s biggest carrier.

Mike Trevino, a spokesman for United Continental Holdings Inc., declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The case is LaTourrette v. United Airlines Inc. 12- CV-00635, U.S. District Court, District of Colorado (Denver).

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net;


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