I-Team: Air Force reservist fighting to get unused PTO paid out


A local Air Force reservist is facing a fight based on principle here at home.

She’s working to get paid for vacation time that she earned with the City of Dayton but couldn’ t use because of her service in the armed forces.

Jennifer Godsey says she’s serving out a dream in the Air Force.

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“I'm with the 445th Airlift Wing out at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,” she said. “It’s just an honor to represent our nation that way.”

But what she isn’t thrilled with is the dispute she’s in with the City of Dayton.

Godsey retired in August after serving 24 years as a Dayton police officer.

But last year, she was with the police department when she was deployed with her reserve unit to Kuwait.

“I had excess vacation time as a result of my deployment that I was not able to use,” Godsey said. “That excess was 16 days.”

So she filed a request to have the 16 days paid out.

Documentation and emails Godsey provided to News Center 7’s I-Team show the police department approved the request, but the city’s human resources department denied it.

So she filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Right Act (USERRA).

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“They found that there was merit in the complaint that I filed and there was wrongdoing on the city’s part for taking those days as a result of my military service,” Godsey said.

The feds recommended the city pay Godsey for the full 16 days based on the USERRA complaint, but Dayton only paid her for seven.

News Center 7 I-Team reporter John Bedell reached out to the City of Dayton and asked the city to explain its decision.

They responded with the following statement: “The City of Dayton will not comment on this matter due to ongoing litigation.”

Godsey told the I-Team her next step it to talk with the Department of Justice — which may lead to civil action against the city.

“If this is not resolved, that is absolutely what I intend to do,” she said.

This isn’t about the money for Godsey.

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She knows there are plenty of other city employees who are in the military.

She’s continuing this fight so it doesn’t become someone else’ battle.

“It’s just a matter of principle,” Godsey said. “And right is right and wrong is wrong. And that was vacation time that I had accrued and earned over the 24 years that I worked for the City of Dayton and it was turned around and taken away while I was serving my country.”

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