State agencies that do not follow employment statutes can discover the cost can be steep, as the State of Washington and the Washington State Patrol learned after the filing of a class action lawsuit.
On June 9, 2017, a judge grated official class certification to current and past Washington State Patrol workers, as well as job applicants who applied for a patrol position before January, 1, 2013. Shortly after the granting of official class member classification, both parties of the class action lawsuit agreed to a settlement. The plaintiffs and defendant agreed to the Washington State Patrol veterans preference class action settlement to avoid the risk and costs associated with lengthy litigation.
The class action lawsuit covers the claims for relief defined in the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. Primary plaintiffs assert the State of Washington and the Washington State Patrol did not apply preference points to eligible veterans. Another allegation concerns the failure of the State of Washington to consider military leave as continued employment under Washington employment statutes.
According to court documents, the defendants have agreed to create a $13 million settlement fund for compensation to eligible class members. The State of Washington must also correct the inaccurate hiring and promotion dates for class members who did not earn veteran preference status.
What You Need To Know
According to class counsel, class members of the Washington State patrol veterans preference class action settlement “include individuals who, prior to Jan. 1, 2013, applied for employment as a trooper with the Washington State Patrol, or were employed by and applied for a position of employment within the WSP, individuals who were eligible to receive a veteran preference with respect to the application for a job or promotion, and individuals who did not receive such veteran preference in connection with the application for a job or promotion.” Eligible class members who want to opt out of the settlement or contest any of the provisions in the agreement must file the proper paperwork by August 28, 2017.
Each payment sent to class members depends on the plan of allocation, which class members can read on the class action settlement website www.WSPVeteranLitigation.com. Class members do not have to submit a claim form, unless you have not received a personalized worksheet. The judge who ruled over the class action lawsuit for the case Christina Martin, et al. v. The State of Washington, et al., Case No. 14-2-00016-7, in the Washington Superior Court, Spokane County has scheduled the final hearing on September 29, 2017. Refer to the class action settlement website to learn what happened during the final hearing. The class action settlement website also presents the list of attorneys who represent the class and defense counsels.