Veterans Should Know This About Job Discrimination.

Veterans should already know this about job discrimination

But in case you don’t, I’m going to tell you anyway.  If you ever are in need of a job,  or trying to return to a job after military service (and all this applys to homeless veterans as well), or you are disabled and your employer is not accomodating that disablement, you may not know about some programs designed specifically to help you find a new job or return to a job after service.  The first of these is USERRA.


The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA)  covers virtually every individual in the country who serves in or has served in the uniformed services and applies to all employers in the public and private sectors, including (but not limited to)Federal employers.


The law seeks to ensure that those who serve their country can retain their civilian employment and benefits, and can seek employment that is free from discrimination because of their service (public or private employment) . USERRA also provides special protection for disabled veterans, requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability.


Basically this law gives veterans certain rights to return to their old jobs if they leave for military service.    Veterans are also protected from civilian/private (non federal) employees denying new employement just becasue of your military service (such as an employer just will not hire former military for some reason).  


Veterans that are disabled have a further advantage in requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability.  Veterans applying for federal jobs have a special preference (points) assigned that give them an advantage over non veterans when applying for those jobs.


Are you covered by the Law?

Click here to find out if you are covered under this law:   Answer the questions and determine if you are covered. Some of these are service related by particular years. 

Do you think you have been discriminated against?

If you think you have been discrimated against, click here: eLaws USERRA Advisor – Discrimination read what it says, then press “continue” and you will find a series of questions that will lead you to an answer as to whether you have a case.

 If you appear to have a valid basis for filing a complaint, how do you file a claim?

Before filing a complaint, you should discuss your concerns with your supervisor and/or the Federal agency personnel office that took the action. Anyone you choose, including an official of a veterans’ service organization, may help you at any time. If you are unable to resolve the matter with the agency, you should:

  • contact your local State Employment Service office and speak to a Veterans’ Employment Representative or a Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program Specialist. He or she will make sure your information is complete and forward your complaint to the DOL State representative for the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS);


  • file a written complaint directly with a DOL Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) Office. Please review the instructions on how to file a complaint form . You will find a link to the form on the instructions page.   This involves downloading a form 1010 available at the instructions link above..

What are your remedies?

Remedies to a claimant under the law may flow from two different processes. The first is the administrative route (handled by the United States Department of Labor, VETS). The second is the litigation route (handled by the U.S. Attorney General or the Office of Special Counsel). Remedies may differ depending on which route is chosen.

Remedies available through the administrative route can include:

  • Return to a job
  • Back pay
  • Lost benefits
  • Corrected personnel files
  • Lost promotional opportunities
  • Retroactive seniority
  • Pension adjustments
  • Restored vacation

The courts can require the employer to comply with the law and restore all compensation referred to above. Where violation is considered willful the court may double any amount due as liquidated damages. The court may NOT, however, impose any punitive damages under USERRA.

There is a lot more to this topic. What I’ve tried to do above is muddle through some of the links and find some shortcuts.  You should go to the USERRA Advisor home page for the full scoop.

I will cover another of these programs designed to help veterans in need of a job tomorrow.



11 responses to “Veterans Should Know This About Job Discrimination.

  1. I have looked at some of the case histories and a lot of the cases have dragged for years with very few under this act ever really being settled unfortunately. This act is pretty much wide open for a lot of interpretation on the side of the emolyer.

  2. Nobody cares!!! If they do please tell how to reach them!! I am a 50 percent disabled veteran with a federal job that, for the past 4 years, has abused it’s power to slowly remove me. The main reason is because of absenteeism due to the disablity that I have and I provide 100 percent care for my elderly, disabled Mother, which requires me to be off sometimes as well. I have tried every avenue I can possibly think of to get fair and equal treatment and all that has gotten me is black balled (retaliation from my management) and put on the hit list of personnel to remove. All I did was exercise my rights under the “NEW” No Fear Act and that has turned out to be a political nightmare. Where do I go and where do I turn to find someone who cares!?!?!? My money is nil as I have not received a pay check now in over a couple of months and my mortgage company and creditors all want theire money or else! I served 13 years on active duty in the Air Force and have 12 + years with my current employeer and that will not even get me a glance or word from NOT ONE SINGLE SOLE that wants to do the right thing!! Why are laws put in place if they are only to be ignored….where is the justice?

  3. How can an American company(contractor) doing bussiness with the federal government be without a veterans preference program? How can an American company(contractor) hire non-american over veterans and Americans for work done on a federal site? The taxes for doing so should be equivilent to the American employees costs that was not hired. United!

  4. You want to see discrimination against veteran employment? Go to ANY VA Medical Center!!! My guess would be that over 50% of the doctors at the Atlanta VA are foreigners, 85% of all other employees are NOT veterans. The clerk staff is rude and makes a veteran feel as if they are doing YOU a favor by being there. I had to remind one check out clerk that refused to hang up from talking on a personal phone call when I was late to meet the DAV shuttle back home that she would NOT have a job had it not been for the Veterans. Her supervisor came over and told me to sit down. I told her “no” and she phoned security. The security guy asked me some questions, went back to the supervisor and the supervisor signed me out. A month later when I went back, I found the supervisor and clerk still there and just as rude. I filmed their behavior on my cell phone and showed it to the Directors Secretary and her comment was “what do you expect me to do about it”. I said that I wanted the Director to see it. She told me that “he was out of town”. I called every day for 2 weeks and he never took my call….imagine that!

    • I’m unhappy this has happened to you. The problem is, they are in control of what you need, and unfortunately they are somewhat protected in that job. i suggest an immense amount of patience on your part would go a very long way toward speeding up your service. Wait for service now but complain afterwards with a personal note that their organization needs to serve our Veterans with respect and dignity. God bless your service.

  5. I know a 32 year old man who served 6 years in the military (he was a helicopter repairman) part of his military service and was in harms way in dangerous locations – got out of the military went to college got a BS degree and only lacks taking and passing a comprehensive test (which he cannot afford financially right now) to get a masters degree. He is currently working as a temp at a furniture manufacturer. He is very smart, well mannered and computer, technical savy – has applied over and over to companies that say they honor veterans and have events honoring veterans and he cannot even get an interview. He can type as good as anyone catches on quickly and has a vast knowledge and skills on many things. It seems only the way people want to honor a veteran is if they are dead. It seems like we have a veteran-a-phobic society in the US. They are still being treated just like the Vietnam vets with no respect when they come back from war. A lot of these young men are highly intelligent and mentally sound even though they have seen and been through a lot. I say hire the VET especially if our tax dollars have paid for his or her college plus some have student loans to pay off in addition to what the government paid for their college. What a waste of talent and money.

  6. It is all B.S. I even went to my local state department of labor because I saw an ad on USA The job was to be a state service rep at the department of labor. I talked to the guy who headed up that department, provided him with my resume. He said it looked great, that I was EXACTLY what he was looking for. I was rated at 40% at the time. I have no family that depends on me so I would not be absent except for a once every 6 month appointment at my local Veterans clinic, and was willing to make it the last appointment of the day (3:30pm) and the office closed at 4pm, so I was looking at 2 hours in a YEAR that I wold have asked for time off, or could have used a vacation day. Well, I was passed over as they said the job had been phased back. With the unemployment rate at 10% at the time, this is when they need employment agents helping veterans, and the job required that 1) that the individual be a veteran, and 2) he be a disabled vet. I had owned my own company for 18 years and had plenty of contacts that were hiring, but they really needed younger guys (18-30) and I was in my mid 50s. I had never missed a day of work since I got out of the service. Well, being denied this job, and with the age/Vietnam combat veteran status, being a disabled vet, and when they told me the position was cancelled I realized I was running out of options.

    Low and behold, a month later I was back at the department of labor looking for another job and what do I see? The position had been “reopened” and nobody called me like they had promised. I filed all the paper work again, and even talked to the same Veterans rep again. Glad you came in he says, you got the job, we just needed to post the position again in accordance with the rules, I will walk your papers through this afternoon. He said he would take two weeks for H.R. to get my package together, but in one week I’ll call you to just meet the director, and it was a slam dunk! I went home very happy.

    Having not heard back from him in a week, I went back again. Here is the kicker… they had another guy in there, only 10% disability (tinnitus which pays 10%, but evidently enough to push me aside), and he is the director’s son’s buddy from high school! The director, said SHE had the final word.

    I accepted that, filed my complaints (as this site had suggested) and now I am black listed I am sure. Yes, veterans discrimination is very much alive.

    I suggest to these young people DO NOT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR VETERANS STATUS. Be a regular citizen. After you get the job….if you get the job… AND after you have been there 6 months or so, just let the hint out that you are a veteran! They will do all they can to discriminate against you.

    The ONLY was you can make your veteran status work for you is to be YOUR OWN BOSS. This comes from a guy that owned his own business and has first hand knowledge of how the VA treats veterans, and how employers that are not veterans themselves treat us. We are decision makers, leaders, and know how to make things happen in our world. Why work for someone for $10-$12 an hour when you can be your own boss and make at least double that. Just know how to handle your money, know your product or service and say the hell with the corporate world.

    • Thank you for your testimony. I hate that this has happened to you. I run across many veterans that have good results, but far too many such as yourself that have run into buzz-saws and disappointment. Good luck to you and thank you for serving your country!

  7. I am a 30% rated disabled veteran. I have applied for numerous jobs with the FAA and have been found qualified various positions. I recently requested a reasonable accommodation concerning local commuting area. I have a sister that lives 20 miles from where I would be employed so I used her address with the following statement for work purpose. I explained to the FAA rating official that I would live with my sister on work days and travel home that is 87 miles away on my days off. I had been denied prior reasonable accommodation for a bid to this same location and they had me living over 115 miles from the work location when I only live 87 miles away. I sent them a reasonable accommodation to use my sisters address as place of residence. This request was denied since I had not place the address on the bid package. The supervisor said in the future place my sisters address on the bid package and I did and still my application was denied due to area of consideration. I inquired about the VEOA act of 1998 that states when jobs are open to external candidates current and former employee’s that it is also open to veterans honorably discharged with 3 years of active duty. The FAA changed the name of the VEOA act to EVHO and states it does not have to follow this policy since it was open to the all US citizens. Note: the VEOA states that local area of consideration need not apply and the may apply for the position. The EEOC judge says there is no nexus with my reasonable accommodation request since this is an agency policy and I should have asked for them to make an exception to their policy. I am in the process of appealing this to a higher court and clarification on reasonable accommodation when being barred from employment I am qualified for.

  8. They still discriminate against veterans like the senior official in northern CA
    Veteran Administration who hired an inexperienced intern over a Vietnam era veteran with experience. He wants to complaint but is reluctant in fear of retaliation. He thinks also he was not hired because if his age too. He feels discriminated on 2 fronts– age and veteran status. It is hard to find jobs and the VA human resource department in Sacramento knew this and does not care.

  9. Call the VA MC in Augusta and the canned greeting is “Thank you for calling the Charlie Norwood Veterans Medical Center where we do all that we can for our veterans…”. This place is as bad at VAMC Atlanta. No return calls (if you can get through in the first place), lost files, and they will call you a liar unless you produce written evidence that you have obtained through the freedom of information office. I urge every veteran to obtain a complete copy of your medical record. Update it regularly, be organized, because one day, you will need it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s