Job seekers in Tennessee are legally protected against many types of discrimination that could prevent them from gaining employment. These protections extend to current and former military members. However, job-related discrimination against veterans isn’t always as obvious as refusing to rehire a veteran after they serve. It may also involve subtle actions, such as recruiters not considering equivalent military experience like driving complex military vehicles or serving in a leadership role in combat situations.
Even an interviewer asking a vet if they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could be considered a type of employment discrimination under certain circumstances. There are several federal laws pertaining to discrimination in the workplace, many of which extend protections to workers regardless of their military standing or work history. The Uniformed Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) specifically applies to veterans.
Under USERRA, military personnel must also be reinstated to their pre-deployment position when they return from duty. Provisions of this act must be followed by both private and government employers. Additionally, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations if a veteran returns from military service with a new or further aggravated disability because of their military duties. Applying to federal jobs only, the Veterans’ Preference Act of 1944 allows for a preference for qualified veterans over non-veterans, which extends to layoff decisions but not to job promotion decisions.
If a veteran suspects they are having difficulty obtaining a job after their service is over, a workplace discrimination attorney can take appropriate steps to determine if state or federal laws have been violated. This process may involve inquiring about what type of questions they were asked during the interview process. For instance, asking if a veteran is undergoing counseling or planning to return to active duty soon could be considered discrimination.