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Cement contractor sued for not giving Iraq veteran his old job back

A contractor in south central Wisconsin is being sued for not giving an Iraq War veteran his old job back.

Rocco Sylvester Jr., Portage, is the second veteran in Wisconsin, and the 20th nationally to file such a lawsuit this year.

Sylvester was a full-time foreman for Mort's Concrete of Rio before he served with the National Guard in Iraq from mid-2004 until late 2005.

The company hired two foremen while he was gone. And when Sylvester got back, he said he was given a non-supervisory post with fewer hours.

The law requires companies to give veterans their old jobs back, or comparable positions.

Sylvester's lawsuit was filed this week in Federal Court in Madison. It seeks lost wages and benefits.

His father said Sylvester left the concrete firm in 2006 and got behind on his mortgage because it took him so long to find another job.

The Guard eventually hired him in Camp Douglas before they sent him back to Iraq this year.

The Labor Department tried to resolve Sylvester's complaint before referring it to the Justice Department.

Mort's Concrete has not commented.