Veterans and Employment: Laws, Protections, Incentives…

For your reference, here’s a quick roundup of recent legal updates covering the multi-faceted and hugely important topic of employment of veterans:

New Veterans Law Offers Tax Credits to Employers and Recognizes Hostile Work Environment Claims Under USERRA

From Poyner Spruill: “…this new legislation provides for job training and transition assistance to veterans, which is a direct attempt to reduce their unemployment rate. The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that the jobless rate for those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan is 12.1% – much higher than the national average of 9%. A more detailed analysis of this figure reveals that approximately 2/3 of these veterans are under the age of 35 which, when broken down further, translated into an alarmingly high unemployment rate of 21.9% in 2010 for males ranging in age from 18 to 24. The new law provides a range of methods to address this situation, among which are increases in education and training, job counseling, transition and placement assistance, and additional help for disabled veterans.” Read on»

Coming Home – Service Members Bring Value, Benefits to Workplace

From Dinsmore & Shohl: “While an understanding of the rights afforded to service members by these statutes is essential, employing these individuals provides much more than a sense of patriotism for employers. Specific tax incentives exist (and more have been proposed) to get these individuals back to work. Many possess unique skills and abilities that would be an asset to any workforce. This article provides simple guidance about the laws that employers need to be aware of that impact the hiring of veterans and provide incentives for doing so…” Read on»

Recruiting Veterans and Respecting Their Rights

From Lane Powell: “While preferential treatment of veterans and their families may be permitted, discriminatory treatment of veterans and service members is prohibited by applicable federal and state laws.

For example, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”) protects veterans and service members against discrimination based on past, present or future military service.

Employers should also keep in mind that applicable federal and state leave laws may provide additional leave rights for protected service members and their families. USERRA guarantees an employee returning from military service or training certain reemployment rights and benefit protections. Employees with military family members may be entitled to take leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, provided coverage requirements are met…” Read on»

Protections for Veterans Returning to the Workforce

From Howard Ankin: “If an employee is a past or present member of the military service, has applied for membership in the military, or is obligated to serve in the military, an employer may not deny reemployment, retention in employment, promotion or any benefits of employment because of his or her military status. Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against anyone (whether military personnel or not) that pursues the enforcement of USERRA rights, such as testifying in connection with a USERRA proceeding or filing a USERRA complaint…” Read on»

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