Returning vet wins $118,000 in USERRA case.

The story, from last year, here.

This is what makes me sick about the Berlitz Japan union case. The American reservist who got canned by Berlitz apparently never took the issue to the U.S. Department of Labor “VETS” department (VETS stands for Veterans’ Employment and Training Service.) So no one in the government knows that this happened to the guy at Berlitz.

And it’s another failing of the foreign workers’ union. The thing about being a union of foreigners is that you’d think you’d have this well-worn path back to officials of your home countries, that could lend assistance to your predicament in Japan.

But no, you don’t have any shit like that going on. Because in some cases, the union guy is alienated from the home country. Maybe owes some dough, maybe doesn’t want the authorities knowing that he’s here. (Or she’s here as the case may be.) Maybe it’s that they know to pound one nail with one hammer, and that’s it. Even though the Japanese bureaucracy won’t let the nail go through the wood.

Meanwhile, real people need to benefit from real laws that were passed by serious legislatures in home countries overseas. Honestly, these are the people the Japanese listen to more than they do foreigners trying to negotiate the system here. Foreigners who expect that the Japanese will open up their legal system to them for a fair hearing are fools, IMHO. It never works, and now that the pattern has been established, only a fool would trust getting relief from the Japanese bureaucracy.

Much better to send up a flare back home. This is what gets noticed here, the fact that someone might upset the sweetheart deals that have been made concerning the honey pot of trans-Pacific trade and relations. Don’t mess with that honey pot!

3 thoughts on “Returning vet wins $118,000 in USERRA case.

  1. http://www.dol.gov/vets/usc/vpl/usc38.htm#4319

    Sec. 4319. Employment and reemployment rights in foreign countries.

    (a) LIABILITY OF CONTROLLING UNITED STATES EMPLOYER OF FOREIGN ENTITY- If an employer controls an entity that is incorporated or otherwise organized in a foreign country, any denial of employment, reemployment, or benefit by such entity shall be presumed to be by such employer.

    (b) INAPPLICABILITY TO FOREIGN EMPLOYER- This subchapter does not apply to foreign operations of an employer that is a foreign person not controlled by a United States employer.

    1. Thanks, Joe. As I’ve been saying, the whole issue hangs on the matter of “control”. In subsection (b), Congress says that the section doesn’t apply where the foreign person is not “controlled” by a United States employer. That’s because, earlier in 4319, they are saying that a “controlled” foreign person/entity CAN make the U.S. parent liable. There must be present this term-of-art “control”, which hangs on four critieria, any one or combination of which may be determinative.

      The test is the one in Radio Union, which I blogged about yesterday: https://hoofin.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/in-a-small-corner-of-american-labor-law-the-test-in-radio-union/

      It is up to the Department of Labor to determine whether Berlitz Japan was, in July 2009, a “controlled” subsidiary of Berlitz International in New Jersey.

      1. Here, that same section, 4319, lists the four criteria in subsection (c):

        (c) DETERMINATION OF CONTROLLING EMPLOYER- For the purpose of this section, the determination of whether an employer controls an entity shall be based upon the interrelations of operations, common management, centralized control of labor relations, and common ownership or financial control of the employer and the entity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s