Employers Cannot Discriminate Based on Past, Current, or Future Military Service

Texas is home to a large number of the country’s veterans. In fact, it is estimated there are over 1.6 million veterans in Texas, putting Texas behind only California as the country’s most veteran-populated state. As a result, veterans make up a sizable portion of the Texas workforce.

Unfortunately, veterans, like many other groups, are still facing issues of discrimination in the workplace. However, under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), public and private employers are prohibited from discriminating against an employee based on an employee’s past, present, or future military service.

Unlike other types of workplace discrimination, such as discrimination based on an employee’s race, color, national origin, sex, gender, or religion, discrimination against veterans is not included in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Instead, veterans are protected by USERRA, which provides comprehensive protection to veterans. The Act protects those who are currently serving in, or previously served in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Army National Guard, Coast Guard, Air Force, Air National Guard. Additionally, the Act protects those whose service was both voluntary and involuntary.

While the Civil Rights Act applies only to employers with a certain number of employers, USERRA applies to all public and private employers, regardless of size. As a result, every employer in the United States is covered under the Act. Additionally, the Act applies to both full-time and part-time employees.

How USERRA Protects Veteran Employees

Employees are protected from all adverse employment actions that might be taken against them because they have served, are currently serving, or plan to serve in the military. One of the most common types of discrimination Texas veterans encounter is a company’s failure to reemploy them after returning from service. Provided an employee gives notice to their employer, was not dishonorably discharged from service, and returned to work a reasonable amount of time after deployment, the employer must offer the employee the same position he or she had before leaving for service.

In addition to an employer’s refusal to make an employee’s previous job available to them upon their return from service, the Act also prohibits employers from not hiring, firing, failing to promote, or failing to make any other benefit of employment available to an employee based on their military service or status as a veteran.

Is an Employer Using Your Military Service Against You?

If you are a veteran or are currently in the armed forces and are experiencing discrimination based on your military status, contact the attorneys at the law firm of Rob Wiley, P.C. If you have experienced any kind of adverse employment action based on your military status, you may be entitled to lost wages and other benefits. To learn more, call 214-528-6500 to set up a consultation in which we can explain how we can help you in your current situation.

More Blog Posts:

Can a Texas Employer Require Employees to Pool Tips?, Dallas Employment Lawyer Blog, October 25, 2018.

Responsibilities of Texas Employers under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Dallas Employment Lawyer Blog, November 2, 2018.

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