HR Management & Compliance

Did Hospital Violate USERRA by Terminating Deployed Surgeon?

By Kyle Johnson, JD, Frost Brown Todd LLC

The 6th Circuit—which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee—recently considered whether a doctor who was employed as a temporary orthopedic surgeon was entitled to reemployment after returning from Iraq.

Heritage Medical Center wanted to hire a permanent orthopedic surgeon. While the hospital hunted for a permanent surgeon, numerous physicians, including Dr. Richard Slusher, filled the vacancy on a temporary basis. Eventually, Slusher and the hospital entered into a 1-year contract that could be terminated by either party for any reason with 90 days’ notice.

After signing the contract, the hospital continued its search for a permanent surgeon. Before it completed the search, Slusher received military orders to deploy to Iraq.

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