Army reserve doctor comes home to pink slip
While many military personnel returning home from a war zone receive the thanks of their employers, Dr. Loren Simpson got a pink slip.
Simpson, an Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, Washoe Tribe member and 1983 Douglas High School graduate, had completed his fourth tour, a 90-day deployment to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, in May.
On his first day back at work, he received a letter of termination from the Tribe.
As a doctor, Simpson is an at-will employee, and the Tribe can fire him without cause.
But, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 prohibits an agency from firing someone within 180 days of returning from military service.
Simpson said that before he’d left he’d filed some grievances with the tribe, but nothing he felt would get him fired.
“I’ve always loved to work,” he said. “My dad ingrained that into me. I’ve never been written up or disciplined.”
Simpson said that if he had done something he could understand the tribe’s action.
“If I’d made a mistake, tell me,” he said. “I love medicine too much.”
After he was fired by the tribe, Simpson said he knew he had resources and filed with the Department of Labor. In August the department ruled in his favor.
He didn’t stay idle long, finding work with the South Lyon Medical Center & Yerington Paiute Tribe.
“My goal is to inform the public of what can and does happen to service members locally,” he said.