University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Hugo J. Villalobos v. Gulfstream Academy of Aeronautics, Inc EE-FL-0125
Docket / Court 0:05-cv-60646-JIC ( S.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On April 18, 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice ("D.O.J.") filed a lawsuit under Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 ("USERRA") against Gulfstream Academy of Aeronautics, Inc. ("GAA1") in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of an ... read more >
On April 18, 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice ("D.O.J.") filed a lawsuit under Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 ("USERRA") against Gulfstream Academy of Aeronautics, Inc. ("GAA1") in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of an employee who was also a member of the Air Force Reserves. The D.O.J. sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

The events leading up to the complaint are as follows. Defendant hired the employee, a member of the Air Force Reserves, as the Director of Flight School Operations on May 8, 2000 and he was subsequently promoted to General Manager. As a member of the Air Force Reserve, the employee performed mandatory military duties one weekend a month, in addition to an annual tour of duty. Between May 2000 and September 2000, one of the defendants made negative comments about the employee's military duty obligation. Based on comments he received, the employee took a leave from the Reserve in September 2000 fearing that he might lose him job if he continued his military activity. The employee rejoined the Reserve in March 2002. On or about April 2002, he informed the defendant that his mandatory Reserve duty was scheduled for May 19-20, 2002. In response, Defendant stated "I'll have to see about that," or words to that effect.

In mid-May 2002, the employee notified the defendant of his annual tour of duty on June 3-7, 2002. On May 21, 2002, GAA1 changed its name to Gulfstream Air Charter, Inc. and at the same time, defendant Thomas P. Cooper established two new corporations, Gulfstream Academy of Aeronautics, Inc. ("GAA2") and Gulfstream Training Academy. The employee then worked for GAA2, performed the same job duties and retained the same job title at GAA2 as he did at GAA1. On May 28, 2002, the employee reminded defendant of his upcoming annual tour of duty. On the same day, the defendant notified him that he was terminated from employment at GAA2, effective immediately. On May 29, 2002, in a meeting with the employee, defendant told him that "since Villalobos had reserve obligations, Villalobos was the logical choice to let go" or words to that effect.

The parties evidently entered into a Settlement Agreement, and on August 10, 2005, the district court (Magistrate Judge Laura S. Snow) dismissed the case with prejudice, but retained jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the Settlement Agreement.

We do not have the Settlement Agreement and we have no further information at this time.

Hyun Jeong Yang - 11/05/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Defendant-type
Retailer
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Discrimination-basis
Military status discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), 38 U.S.C. ยง 4301
Defendant(s) Gulfstream Academy of Aeronautics, Inc.
Mark Ottosen
Thomas L. Cooper
Thomas P. Cooper
Plaintiff Description U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of an individual who was laid off due to his membership in the Army Reserves
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2005 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2005
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
0:05-cv-60646-JIC (S.D. Fla.) 08/10/2005
EE-FL-0125-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 04/18/2005
EE-FL-0125-0001 PDF | Detail
Judges Cohn, James I. (S.D. Fla.)
EE-FL-0125-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Fenton, William B. (District of Columbia)
EE-FL-0125-0001 | EE-FL-0125-9000
Jimenez, Marcos Daniel (Florida)
EE-FL-0125-0001
Lindsey, Marilynn Koonce (Florida)
EE-FL-0125-9000
Palmer, David J. (District of Columbia)
EE-FL-0125-0001
Rao, Sonya A (District of Columbia)
EE-FL-0125-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Gabrielle, Eric Keith (Florida)
EE-FL-0125-9000
Varghese, Christina Abraham (Florida)
EE-FL-0125-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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