MR. JUSTICE BURTON delivered the opinion of the Court.
In both No. 28 and No. 29, the issue is whether, under the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940,
In each case, a veteran sought, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, a declaratory judgment and an order restoring him to the seniority which he claimed he would have had if he had remained continuously in his civilian employment. In No. 28, Oakley, the petitioner, alleged that when he was inducted into the Armed Forces on May 7, 1944, he was employed as a locomotive machinist at Loyall, Kentucky,
The District Court heard the motions together and dismissed both actions.
The court below recognized that § 8 (c)
In the Fishgold case, we did not deal with the effect, if any, upon a veteran's seniority, of the expiration of his first year of reemployment. We there dealt with the initial terms of his restored position. We stated, in effect, that an honorably discharged veteran, covered by the statute, was entitled by the Act to be restored not to a position which would be the precise equivalent of that which he had left when he joined the Armed Forces, but rather to a position which, on the moving escalator of terms and conditions affecting that particular employment, would be comparable to the position which he would have held if he had remained continuously in his civilian employment. Fishgold v. Sullivan Corp., 328 U.S. 275, 284-285; see also, Aeronautical Lodge v. Campbell, 337 U.S. 521, 526. In the Trailmobile case, supra, at pages 56 and 60, we dealt with the one year of special statutory protection given to the veteran in his restored position. We said, in effect, that this provision protected him not only from the total loss of that position by "discharge" from it "without cause," but that it also protected
The instant cases take us one step further. In them we hold that the expiration of the year did not terminate the veteran's right to the seniority to which he was entitled by virtue of the Act's treatment of him as though he had remained continuously in his civilian employment; nor did it open the door to discrimination against him, as a veteran. Section 8 (c) of the Act requires that the veteran shall be restored to his position "without loss of seniority, . . . ." He therefore assumes, upon his reemployment, the seniority he would have had if he had remained in his civilian employment. His seniority status secured by this statutory wording continues beyond the first year of his reemployment, subject to the advantages and limitations applicable to the other employees.
In the instant cases, the respective complaints stated, in effect, that the complainants therein had not been restored to the places to which they were entitled on the escalators of their respective civilian employments. In No. 28, the allegation was that the petitioner was entitled, by virtue of the status he would have enjoyed had he remained continuously in his civilian employment, to the seniority of a locomotive machinist at Corbin from July 1, 1945, rather than from July 17, 1946. If he were entitled to the higher rating upon his reemployment, the Act did not deprive him of that rating merely by virtue of the expiration of his first year of reemployment. The motion to dismiss this action because of the expiration of that year, accordingly, should have been denied.
In No. 29, we reach the same result. That result is not affected by the failure of the veteran, in this case, to file his complaint until nearly three months after the expiration of his first year of reemployment. The Act did not establish a one-year statute of limitations upon the assertion
The judgment of the Court of Appeals in each case is therefore reversed and the respective causes are remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.
Reversed and remanded.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON concurs in the result.
MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS took no part in the consideration or decision of these cases.
"This cause coming on to be heard on the motion of the intervening defendants to dismiss the cause on the ground that the question presented has become moot, because more than one year has elapsed since the date of the plaintiff's restoration to employment with the defendant, L. & N. Railroad Company, and the Court being advised, it is ordered and adjudged that said motion be, and the same is hereby, sustained, and this action is now dismissed as moot, without cost to either the plaintiff, or the defendant, or the intervening defendants."
In No. 29, the entry was the same except for the name of the defendant railway.
"(c) Any person who is restored to a position in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (A) or (B) of subsection (b) shall be considered as having been on furlough or leave of absence during his period of training and service in the land or naval forces, shall be so restored without loss of seniority, shall be entitled to participate in insurance or other benefits offered by the employer pursuant to established rules and practices relating to employees on furlough or leave of absence in effect with the employer at the time such person was inducted into such forces, and shall not be discharged from such position without cause within one year after such restoration." 54 Stat. 890, as reenacted, 60 Stat. 341, 50 U. S. C. App. § 308 (c).