Can corporations fire soldiers while they’re serving?

I saw the item below today in Publisher’s Marketplace and it brought back a question I’ve had for years: can employers fire people who are called up for military service? I assume they can but it bugs me. Doesn’t it bug you?

We hear every day about the difficulties soldiers have coming home and getting jobs, never mind going back to the ones they left. Shouldn’t there be a law protecting the military from civil termination? Or at the least a guarantee of employment when they return.

If this does become a lawsuit, maybe it will clarify the patent injustice and/or force Congress to make a law, as they did with Lilly Ledbetter.

Douglas Markham, recently fired by Books-a-Million from his position as evp and chief administrative officer, alleges through attorney Mark White that “for some time, BAMM has made it known to our client that the company did not support his service to the US Navy.” Markham is a captain, and as BAMM had reported previously, was on leave for part of 2009 while on active duty in the Navy. White tells the Birmingham News, “We are currently investigating the facts and circumstances related to the decision of Books-A-Million to terminate our client’s employment.”

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