In connection with Veterans’ Day, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and Veteran’s Employment and Training Service (VETS), and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division have issued an omnibus resource, “Protections Against Employment Discrimination for Service Members and Veterans,” to help veterans and service members determine which laws and federal agencies are responsible for enforcing their workplace rights and where to seek assistance if they believe those rights have been violated.
The resource identifies the following antidiscrimination laws as potentially applicable to veterans and service members, and further explains when they apply, what protections they offer, and which agency is responsible for enforcement:
- The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on military service and provides extensive reemployment rights.
- The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, which prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from employment discrimination against veterans and requires affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote and retain them.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals based on disability and requires reasonable accommodation.
- Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discrimination against qualified individuals based on disability and requires reasonable accommodation.
- Title VII prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), and religion.
- The Equal Pay Act requires equal pay for men and women for equal work.
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits discrimination against those age 40 or older.
- The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act prohibits discrimination based on genetic information (including family medical history).
- The Immigration and Nationality Act’s Anti-discrimination Provision prohibits discrimination based on citizenship., immigration status, and national origin.
- Executive Order 11246 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, and requires affirmative action to promote equal opportunity. It also provides pay transparency protections.
The resource notes that employees, including veterans and service members, are also protected from retaliation for asserting rights under these laws – such as by filing a complaint or participating in an investigation.
The resource further provides links to each agency’s website with additional resources for service members and veterans.