Veterans returning to the United States may face many challenges while trying to adjust to civilian life. Unfortunately, many veterans face employment discrimination, and they may have difficulty obtaining and maintaining employment. Often, employers are reluctant to hire individuals who suffer from disabilities related to their deployment. This can have startling consequences for the workforce, since almost a third of the 12 million veterans report having some type of disability.
In response to the rising reports of employment discrimination, Congress enacted the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). At its inception, the VEVRAA provided Vietnam veterans with protection against employment discrimination. Some common forms of employment discrimination veterans face are when an employer claims a job is no longer available, an employer states they do not want to hire veterans for fear of future deployments, an employer counts military leave against accrued vacation time, or an employer harasses or otherwise retaliates against a service member.
Although the name suggests otherwise, the VEVRAA protections apply to several categories of protected veterans. Protected veterans include those who were:
- Released from active duty because of a service-connected disability or entitled to compensation under the Veterans Administration;
- Recently released;
- On active duty; or
- Campaign or Armed Forces medal recipients.
The VEVRAA applies to federal contractors and subcontractors with contracts with the United States that are worth over $100,000. In addition to prohibiting employers from discriminating against veterans, the VEVRAA requires these employers to engage in affirmative hiring practices. The Act requires employers to set hiring benchmarks, invite individuals to identify as veterans, comply with document requests, affirmatively recruit veterans, provide veterans with access to job postings, and communicate with subcontractors.
Protected veterans who believe they are suffering from discrimination under VEVRAA may file a complaint with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). These complaints must follow specific procedural and evidentiary rules, and veterans should retain an attorney to assist them with this process.
Additionally, veterans may be entitled to protections against employment discrimination based on other federal laws, such as the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Has Your Employer Discriminated Against You Based on Your Military Status?
The attorneys at our law firm, Rob Wiley, P.C., are skilled at handling these complex employment discrimination lawsuits. We understand how difficult returning to the civilian workforce can be for a veteran, and we are dedicated to advocating on behalf of these individuals. Our attorneys have successfully represented many individuals in claims against their Texas employers. Contact our office at 214-528-6500 to schedule a consultation with an attorney on our team.