Category Archives: USERRA

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Hire Vets First – VETS

I hope that all veterans that need jobs or considering changing jobs know about this site on your nearby internet:  Veterans’ Employment & Training Service (VETS).

It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.  “Veterans Succeeding in the 21st Century Workforce”.

The mission statement for VETS is to provide veterans and transitioning service members with the resources and services to succeed in the 21st century workforce by maximizing their employment opportunities, protecting their employment rights and meeting labor-market demands with qualified veterans today.

Down the left side of the page are boxes of clickable information for 

Service providers

What grants are available?
2007 HVRP Urban and Non-Urban SGA
What are the requirements for priority of service?

Veterans, Service Members and Families

What is Veterans Preference?
USERRA Questions?
Where can I find help with employment?
What should I know about licensing and certification? 
 

Employers

How do I find qualified veterans?
What does USERRA require?
What is required of Federal contractors?

Down the right side of the page are clickable links to Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Information and other valuable resources.  If I were a veteran looking for help in preparing for a job, I would start down the right hand column and click every line and at least scan what they have to offer, then sign up.  Everything from how to get your documents, how to prepare a resume, how to convert your military experience into civilian readable lingo, how to convert your rank into comparable rank in a civilian organization, how to determine what jobs you may be qualified for, how to schedule interviews, what to wear, what to bring, what to say, how to conduct yourself, and where to find listings for both federal and civilian jobs that give veterans preference.

Here is what Department of Labor says about the TAP program:

The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) workshops have provided job-search assistance to well over one million separating and retiring military members and their spouses since 1990. Studies have indicated those who attend TAP workshops find employment sooner than those not participating.

 The Departments of Defense, Labor, Veteran Affairs and Transportation are dedicated to providing you with these important workshops for years to come. TAP workshops are conducted by professionally trained facilitators. Participants will learn how to write effective resumes and cover letters, proper interviewing techniques, and the most current methods for successful job searches. The workshops further provide labor market conditions, assessing your individual skills and competencies, information regarding licensing and certification requirements for certain career fields and up-to-date information regarding your veteran benefits. Information addressing the special needs of disabled veterans is also available

If you are out of a job with time on your hands, what do you have to lose?  There is enormous resource information here.   The manual can be downloaded and viewed on line – all 184 pages of it.   Check it out!

Use the site above to decide what documents you need to get for your portfoleo and begin building a resume now.  Enroll in the TAP program through VETS.  Keep looking for a job with whatever you have, but if you want top dollar and want the very best chance of beating the other guy out, plan out a strategy and build a resume as a special project.  It will make a difference, but don’t stop looking/trying just because you have not completed this program.   Look for a job, work on the program, and if you have not been placed yet or are not satisfied with what you took, finish the program and apply again.  You will be better prepared and better accepted. 

There are some Special Programs you could be interested in – look at the very bottom of the right hand column and find

Helments to Hardhats  

Troops 2 Truckers  

Troops to Teachers  

(These links here are shortcuts to the programs, the logos were added from the sites by me)

Next:  Job listing site for current employment opportunities for veterans

Oldtimer

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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.

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);

or

  • 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.

 

Oldtimer