Thursday, June 02, 2016

Third Veteran Dumped By Trump Because Of Military Service

Col. Charles Beattie served in Vietnam, but was denied a job with Trump Shuttle because of his military service.

WASHINGTON — The myth of Donald Trump reached its zenith in 1988, the year that his book, The Art of the Deal, was published. That year, Trump bought the Plaza Hotel, a crown jewel of New York real estate; he also bought a 282-foot yacht, and a fleet of airplanes owned by Eastern Air, which he renamed the Trump Shuttle.
This airline would be among the first of Trump’s companies to be sued for violating laws aimed at protecting the jobs of military veterans who are called up for service.
Fast forward 30 years, and Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, having mounted a successful outsider’s bid in part around his promises to take care of America’s veterans.
Yet in at least three cases, Trump’s companies have either fired, or refused to hire, military reservists because of the time commitments demanded of them by their service in the armed forces. The veterans involved have sued Trump for violating the laws meant to protect them from precisely these types of penalties. And in all three cases, Trump and his companies have settled the suits.
The Huffington Post already reported on the first two of these cases — one involving an Air Force senior master sergeant fired from the Trump Institute in 2007, and one an Army staff sergeant fired from her job at Trump University that same year.
These two cases, however, have a predecessor. On May 27, 1988, United States Air Force Col. Charles Beattie submitted orders to his bosses at Eastern Airlines, where he worked as a pilot.
According to the orders, Beattie was to attend the elite Industrial College of the Armed Forces for nine months, starting in August. As required by law, Eastern Airlines granted Beattie a leave of absence to fulfill his military service commitment.
While Beattie was deployed to the Industrial College, a high-flying Donald Trump, just 42 years old, bought Eastern Air for $365 million.
Beattie and Trump were practically the same age. Beattie had graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1967, just a year before Trump got his degree from Wharton. After college, Beattie flew C-130s in combat during the Vietnam War.
Trump, however, avoided serving in Vietnam — he got four student deferments from the draft and a medical disqualification for bone spurs in his foot. When Beattie returned home from combat, he stayed in the reserves, retiring from the U.S. Air Force Reserve in 1993 as a full colonel.
Everyone, including Eastern Air executives, thought Trump had paid too much for the troubled carrier. But Trump, determined to put his name on a fleet of jumbo jets, was ecstatic. At the launch of the new Trump Shuttle, guests were treated to a string quartet and champagne. Asked by a reporter whether the airline takeover was boost to his ego, Trump replied, “Truthfully, it was great for the Trump ego.”
As part of the deal Trump signed with Eastern for the shuttle service, Trump was required to offer employment to all Eastern personnel. All told, Trump Shuttle hired around 200 pilots from Eastern Air. But it did not hire Beattie.
According to a judicial opinion in Beattie’s 1990 lawsuit against Trump Shuttle, the new company insisted that all pilots be available to start work on Feb. 1, 1989.
Beattie had applied for a job with Trump Shuttle, like the rest of his fellow Eastern pilots, but his orders from the Army college required that he stay until June to complete his assignment. For his would-be bosses at Trump Shuttle, that was a deal-breaker.
According to U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Flannery, this is how it played out:
(1) Trump extended offers of employment to all Eastern employees based upon their seniority status; (2) Beattie was an Eastern pilot possessing the requisite seniority; (3) Trump declined to hire Beattie based upon his unavailability on the specified commencement date; and (4) Beattie’s unavailability was caused by his military commitment.
In response to Beattie’s legal claim, Trump’s lawyers argued that Beattie had been denied a job because he was “unavailable,” not because he was a reservist. They also claimed that Beattie’s attendance at the Army college was “voluntary,” and therefore not a real military “obligation.” The judge threw out these arguments. According to case files, Beattie’s case was settled with a consent judgment in November of 1991.
Trump Shuttle, which never turned a profit for Trump, was turned over to his creditors in early 1992, as part of the assets Trump had to sell to settle the first of three corporate bankruptcies.
Beattie died in 2014, and attempts to reach his surviving relatives were unsuccessful. A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization did not respond to an inquiry from The Huffington Post about Beattie’s case.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

Iraq War Vet: Trump University Fired Me ‘Because I Was In The Military’--Her boss allegedly called her military reserve duties a problem.

[My Comment Below the article]

By Christine Wilkie -- Huffington Post Reporter

Iraq War veteran Corinne Sommer is not allowed to talk about the settlement she reached with Trump University after she was fired in 2007.

But in a deposition first made public on Tuesday, Sommer said she believed the real estate seminar provider terminated her because her military commitments as a reservist interfered — a little — with her work as an events planner for the company.

“I was fired because I was in the military,” she told attorneys as part of an unrelated fraud case against Trump University. “At the end of my [performance] evaluation, they wrote that it was a problem that I was in the military.” Sommer was an Army staff sergeant who had deployed to Iraq in 2003.

Veterans’ issues have become a central theme of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. This week, the presumptive Republican nominee revealed some long-awaited details about the $6 million, give or take, that the billionaire helped raise for charities that aid military vets. Trump has also promised to “put our service men and women on a path to success” if he is elected president.

But at the Trump-owned Trump University, the time required by some reservists to fulfill their military commitments clashed with the demands of their seminar-providing duties. And some of their managers were seemingly unaware that it is a violation of federal law to penalize an employee for absences caused by military service.

A few months before Sommer was fired from Trump University in 2007, another veteran, Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Richard Wright, was fired from his job as a mentor at the Trump Institute, an affiliate of Trump University. Wright had just returned from a deployment to Afghanistan when his bosses told him that “all of your absences” had forced the company to “reevaluate your position with the Trump Institute.”

In some ways, Sommer is an atypical veteran. A graduate of the University of Connecticut with a degree in cultural photography, she enlisted in the Army in May 2001 and deployed to Tikrit, Iraq, in the early months of the 2003 U.S. invasion.

“Imagine driving to work everyday and having to worry about getting shot, IED’d (improvised explosive device) or RPG’d (rocket-propelled grenade),” Sommer told the Danbury News-Times in a 2004 interview from Iraq. “Imagine going to sleep listening to explosions going off around you. Imagine walking to chow and listening to a whizzing of mortars overhead, and thinking, oh God, don’t let it hit me. Imagine listening to your friends tell stories how they were hit by an IED and the pure terror they felt. And then imagine your friends who were not so lucky to tell that story.”

Three years after she returned home, Sommer started working for Trump University.

There, she said in her 2012 deposition, her boss David Highbloom “complained when I would take days off to do my military service.” Sommer said that she would take those days off during the week so that she could be at Trump U events over the weekend. Her reservist commitment amounted to two days a month, she said.

Her supervisors at Trump University wrote that she was a “weekend warrior” on her performance review, according to Sommer. She considered that term “derogatory ... especially when I’m an Iraq veteran.”

The Huffington Post left messages for Sommer at her home and Highbloom at his workplace. Neither of them returned calls.

According to the deposition, Trump University would claim that Sommer was fired for poor performance. But she said the company was pushing her to work even more hours just before they fired her. She refused and returned home from a vacation trip to learn that she didn’t have a job anymore.

In her employment lawsuit, Sommer recalled, she accused Trump University of firing her because of her military commitments and of discriminating against because of her age (she was in her early 20s at the time).

She said she “won” her case when the company agreed to settle with her, rather than go to trial. “They found that there was probable cause enough to settle,” she said. The exact resolution of the case is covered by a “confidentiality provision,” Trump U’s lawyer noted in the deposition.

A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization told HuffPost, “While we do not comment on the circumstances surrounding the termination of employees, the allegations in Ms. Sommer’s lawsuit were completely meritless and Trump University in no way admitted the allegations in settling the dispute.”

Trump University, which closed down in 2011, is now facing fraud charges in multiple states. Thousands of former customers and staff, including Sommer, contend that the real estate seminars were little more than a two-bit scam.

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump has sought to defend those seminars while also downplaying his involvement in the company.

The class action lawsuit in California alleging fraud by Trump is moving forward, and is expected to go to trial in late November.

This story has been updated with a comment from the Trump Organization.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

My Comment: Trump committed an illegal act IF he fired an employee because they took too much time in the military. How STUPID can a alleged sharp businessman be? When all is said and done it would not shock me if the entire Trump charade is left with nothing. Can one see Trump on the street with a cup wondering why he ever ran for the most powerful office on earth and why he EVER thought he would not be scrutinized with a microscope EVEN by members of his own Party? What WILL defeat Trump? His RUDE mouth and his pathologically sick ego! Just my opinion.

TRUMP IS DEAD MEAT IF there is evidence to prove these deadly allegations! Hillary did NOTHING wrong. She did what other Secretaries of State did and what others in the State Department did because they all were protecting private emails and other ones they wanted to remain private. Should she have done it differently? Yes, she admits that BUT her INTENT was NOT to do harm to this nation. As to the other NON issues like Benghazi she has testified for HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS about them and she did so successfully. Ambassador to Libya Stevens KNEW the risk of remaining in Benghazi and chose it anyway. The fake Republicon outrage was the disloyal's opposition to anything Clinton. The Republican killing machine of all things Democrat is unjustified always significantly aimed at her and her husband. As they say in my ethnic lingo Republicons have BUBKAS ... NOTHING ...on her and they know it. Go Hillary go, jump over the obstacle course that is Sanders and the worse one by far that is Trump. Then crush the entirety of the Republican disloyal opposition.