It is unfortunate and unacceptable that men and women who served their country should be forced to suffer from workplace discrimination after returning home. One of the most common reasons for this discrimination is because veterans may suffer from disabilities. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claims the most common injuries experienced by veterans are missing limbs, spinal cord injuries, burns and post-traumatic stress disorder. While these disabilities may create hardships, there are many disabled veterans who are still able to work.
Workplace discrimination against veterans can target workers or jobseekers. However, this form of discrimination may be illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
Is Workplace Discrimination Against Disabled Veterans Illegal?
- USERRA: Under USERRA, employers cannot discriminate against employees or applicants for their military status or obligations. If a veteran is not qualified for a position due to being disabled, an employer must make certain reasonable efforts to accommodate this disability. However, service members and veterans must meet specific criteria to receive protections under this law. It is important to discuss options for utilizing workplace protections under USERRA with an experienced attorney.
- ADA: Employers subject to this law must make reasonable accommodations for veterans (or workers) who suffer from conditions considered disabilities under the ADA. If a disabled veteran can perform the duties of a job with or without reasonable accommodation, he or she may be entitled to protections under this law. Reasonable accommodations, which are modifications that allow disabled workers to carry out job functions, should not impose undue hardships on employers.
There are multiple state and federal laws that address workplace discrimination against veterans. One of the difficult aspects of any workplace discrimination case is putting together the evidence. An experienced attorney knows which types of evidence will be useful for your case, and can defend you against employer retaliation.
Veterans with disabilities who are experiencing workplace discrimination should contact one of the Los Angeles employment law attorneys at the Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob to explore legal options.