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Clark v. Virginia Department of State Police, No. 151857 (Dec. 1. 2016)

Articles Discussing Case:

Virginia Supreme Court Rules Sovereign Immunity Bars Private USERRA Claims Against State Employers in State Court

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • December 13, 2016
The Supreme Court of Virginia, in Clark v. Virginia Department of State Police, No. 151857 (Dec. 1. 2016), recently ruled that the doctrine of sovereign immunity barred a private plaintiff’s claim under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”) against the Virginia Department of State Police (“VSP”), an arm of the Commonwealth. The Clark decision has made clear that service members working for the Commonwealth of Virginia as the employer cannot bring a lawsuit alleging a violation of USERRA. This decision, however, does not impact the ability of the federal government to bring suit against a state for USERRA violations on behalf of an individual or a private plaintiff’s ability to sue a private employer under USERRA.