8th Circuit Sends Military Discrimination Case Back to Arkansas Court

MAUMELLE, AR - A federal appeals court says a federal judge in Arkansas shouldn't have dismissed a claim by an Arkansas man who said he was fired from his sales job because he took too-frequent military leaves from work.

In his 2003 lawsuit, Darold Maxfield claimed that Ohio-based Clintas Corporation, a company that makes uniforms and other products, terminated him for his military service and because he is black.  In 2005, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis ruled that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas was correct to rule for Clintas on the race discrimination issue.  But that appeals court said the Arkansas federal court needed to hear Maxfield's military discrimination claim again.

The case was dismissed last year by U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright.  Yesterday, the appeals court ruled that Clintas didn't provide any new evidence justifying Maxfield's firing since the first hearing before Wright, and sent the case back to federal court.

Maxfield worked at a Clintas facility in Maumelle.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)