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National Guard member whose job was eliminated while deployed wins lawsuit

LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- A Washington county's transit company was ordered to pay $105,000 to a National Guard member whose job was terminated when he deployed.

The Olympian reports Van Sawin filed a lawsuit last year after returning from his deployment to find out his job was eliminated when Pierce Transit reorganized.

Federal law requires employers to re-employ service members in the position they left — or an equivalent position — once they return from active-duty military service.

As part of the settlement, the company has to pay Sawin for lost wages and benefits, as well as other damages.

Pierce Transit will be required to adopt a policy for returning service members, train management staff about federal laws and certify its compliance with the Justice Department for two years.