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Veterans discriminated against in the workplace after active duty

Military service members likely encounter many difficult situations while serving our country. It is unfortunate, then, that many face discrimination in the workplace when they return to the country and perhaps to jobs they held before leaving to serve.

While this discrimination occurs, multiple laws protect military members' rights in the workplace. For instance, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) entitles military service members to receive any promotions, pay increases, or vacation time that would likely have been given or accrued if the military service member had continued working at that location during their active duty.

In addition, many military members return from active duty with disabilities acquired during their service. Sometimes employers may turn away a military member because of a disability. Because of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) employers cannot fire, demote, refuse to hire, or harass a veteran because of a disability. If the veteran can perform the job duties with a reasonable amount of accommodation and the employer can provide this accommodation, the employer must hire or maintain the employee and provide accommodations to help them adjust to working with a disability.

Sometimes employers may not wish to hire or rehire a veteran because they worry that the veteran may require a lot of time off to recover from injuries. However, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects veterans from this happening. There are particular guidelines for who can receive time off, in what circumstances, and for how long.

If you are in a veteran and think a previous or potential employer is discriminating against you, seeking guidance from a legal professional may be very valuable. Military members do so much for their country. Their employers can pay them back for this service by treating them fairly, according to workers' rights laws.

Source: AOL Jobs, "7 signs of discrimination against veterans at work," Donna Ballman, Sept. 27, 2012

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