Report: Postal Service Ordered to Reinstate Purple Heart Recipient Fired for ‘Excessive Military Leave’

Photo Credit: LA Times

Photo Credit: LA Times

Sgt. Maj. Richard Erickson was serving overseas with U.S. special forces when he received a letter from his civilian employer, the U.S. Postal Service.

In the 2000 notice, the agency informed him that he was being fired from his job as a postal clerk in Florida for taking too much time off to serve with the National Guard.

“I thought it was a joke,” Erickson said this week from Ft. Bragg, N.C., where he serves with the Army’s Special Operations Command.

But when he called the Postal Service, he was told that he had been terminated for taking “excessive military leave.”

Last week, after a seven-year legal battle, Erickson was awarded reinstatement and back pay. A federal board denied a Postal Service appeal and ordered the agency to restore his job and give him 14 years of back pay and other benefits that could total about $2 million.

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