DOJ: Rights of Mass. Firefighter in Military Were Violated

A Pittsfield firefighter's rights were violated when his department skipped him for a promotion because of his military duty, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Monday.

The DOJ stated that Firefighter Jeffrey Rawson's rights also were violated when the department retaliated against him when he filed a complaint, according to The Associated Press.

A federal judge must now approve a settlement, which retroactively promotes Rawson to lieutenant and gives him $22,000 in back pay.

As part of the settlement, city officials will receive training in a law that covers employment rights of military members.

Members of the military "endure much greater challenges to protect our precious freedom" than the employers that face challenges when they temporarily leave a job to serve, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said in a statement.