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Federal Prison Guard Receives $45,000 Settlement on Claim of Workplace Discrimination Due to Military Status

Matthew Tully worked as a prison guard at the Metropolitan Correctional Complex in New York (MCC-New York) City from 1998-2000. Tully had been a member of the United States Army and was active in the New York National Guard. On August 3, 2000, Tully filed a complaint with the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board alleging he was routinely denied the opportunity to work a 40-hour work week due to his military service.

According to documents received by PLN after a longstanding Freedom of Information Act request was recently fulfilled, Tully alleged that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) failed "to make reasonable modifications to accommodate" his military service schedule, preventing him from working a 40 hour week in violation of 38 U.S.C. Sect. 4311. Tully further, alleged that the BOP did make schedule accommodations for other employees who were not in the military.

At the time of Tully's employment at MCC-New York, he was serving in the New York Army National Guard, and the dispute apparently focused on whether such service fell within the meaning of "uniformed services" in accordance with 5 U.S.C. Sect. 4503. This statute mandates that employers afford employees in the "uniformed services" accommodations for a full time work week.

In October 2000, just two months after Tully filed his complaint, the parties entered into a settlement agreement. Tully was to receive a lump sum payment of $45,000 inclusive of all costs and attorney's fees. Tully agreed to resign his position for "personal reasons," and the BOP was to give Tully a satisfactory job reference. The parties also agreed not to disclose the terms of the settlement agreement, and the BOP admitted to no wrongdoing. See: Tully v. Department of Justice, Docket Number NY-3443-00-0228-1-1, U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, New York Field Office (Aug. 3, 2000).

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Related legal case

Tully v. Department of Justice