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Updates to Discrimination Against Military Status

Guha Law Dec. 22, 2021

Over the years, there have been a number of efforts to combat discrimination in the workplace, including discrimination toward military service members. California work agencies and the federal government are continuously working to update their laws regarding military status discrimination.

Updates to Discrimination Laws

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, or USERRA, forbids employers from discriminating against employees based on their military status. In 2020, new updates to the USERRA and the Americans with Disabilities Act were issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

These new rules protect military veterans and active service members from being denied employment based on their military affiliations. This is particularly important in reducing the rates of unemployment among veterans. A major concern among employers is that veterans may have physical and mental health problems. Another common concern is that military servicemen and women may travel often and not remain committed to their civilian duties.

How Federal Laws Protect Military Status

The EEOC prohibits workplace discrimination against several classifications of workers. Past and current members of the military face special forms of discrimination due to people’s stereotypes about soldiers, veterans and other military personnel. Similarly, the ADA protects any veteran who has a disability as defined by their guidelines, whether it is or is not connected to military service.

New Changes to Employment Laws

There have been numerous movements to end discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. The U.S. government is including new laws to end discrimination based on military status, which can leave veterans and service members unemployed or earning low wages. Individuals facing discrimination may be able to find help from the EEOC.