Woman fired for her military service files lawsuit

A Kirkland woman, Kelly Hansen, claims she lost her job as chaplain at Children’s Hospital in Seattle because of her years of service as a National Guard chaplain. She was required to drill for a weekend and take time off work.

“The first day she came back to work after her drill weekend she was called into her supervisor’s office and terminated,” said James Beck, her lawyer.

Hansen claims in the lawsuit she filed Thursday in Seattle Federal Court, that she was fired because Children’s Hospital knew that her unit was on alert and she would be leaving for a 14-month deployment to Iraq.

According to King5.com, state and federal Worker’s compensation laws require businesses to hold jobs for employees serving the Guard and Reserves, and companies that don’t can face stiff penalties.

“I’m very happy and I hope that no military man ever has to go through what I went through again,” said Air Force Reservist Jerry Delay of Federal Way who won a more-than-half-million dollar judgment against his former employer. King5.com reports that Delay’s employer, Ace Heating, falsified Delay’s employment records before firing him after he returned from a tour of duty.

Regarding the claim being filed against a local institution such as Children’s Hospital, one vet at VFW Post 9430 said, “It does surprise me because I would have thought that they would have been vet friendly.”

Children’s Hospital did not comment, but is expected to say that its policy forbids discrimination against vets.

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