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Legal loophole allows companies to fire military reservists who go to war

Kevin Ziober was a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve in 2012 when he received deployment orders to Afghanistan. On his last day of work before leaving, dozens of co-workers gathered for a sendoff. There was a cake and balloons. And then, Ziober says, he was summoned to the human resources office — and fired.

Ziober believes he was fired because of his military service and the inconvenience it caused his employer. If so, that would be a violation of federal law. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, known as USERRA, exists to protect military reservists against such discrimination.

Traditionally, someone in his position would consider suing his employer and letting a judge or a jury decide whether the dismissal was fair. But Ziober may never get that chance because his employer asked him — Ziober says he was “forced” — to sign a fine-print legal document surrendering the right to sue and agreeing to resolve disputes outside of court.

But do such arbitration agreements apply to USERRA? That's now a question for the American legal syste

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