Army National Guard member sues UPMC Shadyside over loss of full-time job

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A lawsuit filed by a Marshall-Shadeland woman who was injured while on Army National Guard duty and claimed she was not restored to full-time work at UPMC Shadyside was removed to federal court today.

Arquita Coleman sued the hospital in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas last month. Today, attorneys for the hospital shifted the case to U.S. District Court, because it involved the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, or USERRA.

Ms. Coleman was a full-time patient care technician at the hospital in 2013 when the Army National Guard sent her to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, according to her complaint. While there, she suffered a left pelvic stress fracture, according to the complaint.

Upon her return to Pittsburgh, Ms. Coleman was restricted by a doctor to light duty, and then medium duty with restrictions that made it impossible to perform the patient care technician job, according to the complaint. She had to take a part-time job at UPMC Mercy, with reduced earnings, she claimed.

Her attorney, Erin K. Rudert, wrote that UPMC Shadyside's inability to accommodate Ms. Coleman violated USERRA, the state Miltary Affairs Act and wrongful discharge laws.

"While we do not yet have all of the details regarding these allegations, UPMC has a firm commitment to supporting the employment of military service men and women," a UPMC spokeswoman said in a written response to questions.

Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord.



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