The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert D. Morgan, Chief Judge.
This cause arises under Section 9 of the Military Selective
Service Act of 1967, as amended, 50 U.S.C.App. § 459.
Plaintiff's complaint against defendant, Olin Corporation
(impleaded as Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation), demands
judgment requiring Olin to reinstate him as an employee
following his military service and to respond to him in damages
for prior refusal of his request for reinstatement. Following a
bench trial, the merits of the cause are before the court.
As a preface to specifically stated findings of fact,
conclusions of law and judgment, this narrative statement of
undisputed facts is made with some observations thereon, and on
the case in general.
Olin operates a manufacturing plant, at which it has, at all
times here material, engaged in the business, among others, of
manufacturing shotgun shells and other products involving the
use of explosives. On December 5, 1966, plaintiff was employed
by Olin in its slitter department as a table operator. He
submitted to the customary physical examination by Olin
physicians prior to that employment. He subsequently bid,
successfully, for the position of slitter operator. Because of
plant layoffs imminent when that bid was approved, plaintiff
was assigned by Olin to another department as a loading
operator on April 3, 1967.
That employment continued until plaintiff was called to active
service in the United States Navy on May 4, 1967.
Plaintiff was assigned by the Navy to a base in San Diego,
California, for training as a hospital corpsman. Following
training he was assigned to duty at Port Hueneme, California,
and became a "Hospitalman" at grade E-3. In March 1968,
plaintiff attempted suicide with pills and slashing his wrist
with a razor because of depression over supposed unfaithfulness
of a girl friend. Following a short period of hospitalization
and physical recuperation, he returned to his unit, where,
however, he was reassigned to the records section instead of to
his specialty as hospital corpsman. Unquestionably, that change
in his duties led to disciplinary problems which led to
plaintiff's subsequent discharge. He was discharged from the
Navy "under honorable conditions" on December 20, 1968, having
been informed that the reason was "unsuitability."
Within ninety days after that date, plaintiff applied to Olin
for reemployment as a slitter operator. Reemployment was
refused because of Olin's position that his attempt at suicide
during military service rendered him dangerous to fellow
employees and to the company in an explosive plant, and that he
was thus unsuitable for reemployment.
Subsequently, after examination by two psychiatrists on
plaintiff's own behalf, neither of whom was called at the trial
by either party, it was agreed between the parties that
plaintiff would submit himself for psychological and
psychiatric examination at the Madison County Mental Health
Center at Alton, Illinois. Such testing and evaluation were
done at the Center by Doctors Powell and Hempel, to develop
professional opinion on plaintiff's suitability for employment
at defendant's plant. Both doctors concluded, and so reported
to Olin, that plaintiff, while suffering from
"passive-progressive personality," was suited for such
employment.*fn1 Both reports were received in evidence by
agreement. Notwithstanding these reports, Olin continued its
refusal to reemploy plaintiff.
In the interim period between his application for reemployment
and the time of trial, plaintiff had been employed in various
capacities by hospitals and industrial employers. At the time
of trial, plaintiff resided at Dallas, Texas, where he was then
employed as a bus driver.
At the trial of the cause, plaintiff testified in his own
behalf and presented the testimony of Doctor Powell and Doctor
With that background of undisputed facts, the court finds the
specific facts and legal conclusions related to the issue of
plaintiff's alleged right to reemployment as follows:
1. Defendant, Olin, a corporation, has an office and large
manufacturing facility located at East Alton, in Madison
County, Illinois, ...