Veterans Are Protected from Employment Discrimination
Not all Veterans realize private employers cannot discriminate against them because of their military history. Multiple federal laws, including the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), protect Veterans from discrimination during the hiring process and in the workplace. As a Veteran, you receive these protections even if you do not have a service-connected disability. Several states have also enacted additional anti-discrimination laws protecting Veterans.
Examples of employment discrimination a Veteran might face include:
- Wrongful termination
- Retaliation (including demotions, pay reductions, unfavorable work assignments, and other forms of unfair treatment)
- A hostile work environment (which could include frequent comments or insults about a Veteran’s military history, perceived mental state, or service-connected disability)
- Not being hired specifically because of their status
If you are a Veteran without a disability who was less-than-honorably discharged, the law affords you fewer protections. However, depending on the circumstances and your state, you may still have options if you feel a prospective, current, or past employer discriminated against you because of your military history. Our Veterans employment attorney can evaluate your situation and advise whether you have a case.
Wage & Hour Violations
You deserve to be fairly compensated for all of the hours you work, without exception. You also deserve the rest and meal breaks (both paid and unpaid) as required by law. Unfortunately, some employers will go to great lengths to avoid paying their employees what they are rightfully owed.
Some of the most common types of wage and hour conflicts involve unpaid overtime. No matter your state, you are always entitled to overtime compensation for applicable hours worked. Under federal law, overtime pay triggers when an employee works more than 40 hours in a single workweek. All hours in excess of 40 hours must be paid at one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay. (Some states have more favorable overtime rules, including “double time” in certain situations.)
There is no getting around overtime pay. Employers must honor these rules if you are a non-exempt employee.
Misclassifying An Employee
Some employers will try to take advantage of overtime “loopholes” and attempt to misclassify non-exempt employees as independent contractors or “exempt” employees. Workers with these classifications are not entitled to overtime, but they must meet very specific job requirements. If you are not sure whether you are truly an exempt employee or an independent contractor, you should get legal advice right away.
Veterans deserved to be fairly compensated in the workplace, no matter what. Our national Veterans employment attorneys is ready to assist you with all types of wages and hour problems. We can help you hold your employer accountable for misconduct and recover the compensation you have earned.
Veterans Wrongfully Terminated
Like all employees, veterans have certain legal rights under state and federal labor laws. Veterans also have additional protections under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994. If you were fired without cause or believe you were targeted because you are a veteran, you may have a case for wrongful termination.
Other examples of wrongful termination include:
- Retaliation for filing a workers comp claim
- Retaliation for reporting sexual harassment
- Discrimination for age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc
- Retaliation for whistleblowing
- FMLA leave or pregnancy discrimination
Compensation for Labor Violations
A successful discrimination claim can allow Veterans to recover compensation for back pay, front pay, out-of-pocket costs, emotional distress, legal fees, and punitive damages. An at-fault employer may also be required to reinstate a wrongfully terminated Veteran, change their company policies, and implement a requested reasonable accommodation. We understand how to effectively navigate Veteran discrimination complaints and will help you pursue all available legal options.
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