It takes a lot of courage, dedication, and sacrifice to serve your country. However, despite their service, many veterans suffer from discrimination, difficulty finding decent employment, and other unfair treatment.
We at Just4Veterans (J4V) aim to help every veteran claim their benefits and ensure they receive every right they deserve. Veteran protection is essential for veterans so they can have a decent lifestyle and enjoy the benefits of serving our country.
I In this article, let’s explore the meaning of protected veterans and what makes you a protected veteran.
What is a protected veteran?
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) implemented the protected veteran rights that stem from the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974’s affirmative action laws.
This statute, often known as the VEVRAA, requires companies that do business with the federal government to take steps to find, hire, and advance protected veterans in their employment and ensure they have equity in the workplace.
It also prohibits these businesses from discriminating against veterans who have received protection from discrimination concerning employment decisions such as hiring, firing, salary, benefits, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, and other employment-related activities.
Understanding the protected veteran’s meaning can give you the benefit of being a protected veteran; however, it still begs the question of whether or not you are a protected veteran. There are, of course, qualifications to help determine if you are a protected veteran.
Am I a protected veteran?
To confirm if you are a protected veteran, you will need to determine your veteran status. Your qualification as a protected veteran requires only that you meet one of the following criteria:
- Disabled Veteran: you qualify for compensation if you receive VA disability benefits with a VA rating of 10% or higher or if you were released from the military because of a disability-related to your military service.
- Recently Separated Veteran: you were discharged or separated from active duty within the last three years.
- Active-duty wartime or campaign badge veteran: This protected veteran status secures veterans who served during a period of war. Wars such as World War II, the Korean conflict, the Vietnam era, and the Persian Gulf War (or after August 2, 1990, to present).
- Veteran with an Armed Forces Service Medal: If you received a medal during your active service, you are categorized in the last group. You can determine which medals you attained by looking at your DD-214.
What protections do we have?
Once you have confirmed your protected veteran status, you are eligible for some benefits that will be advantageous in your employment. As a protected veteran, it is within your rights to receive the following:
- Your employment cannot be terminated based on your status as a veteran.
- You are entitled to employment that is free from discrimination.
- You are entitled to equal treatment.
- You are entitled to equal pay for equal work.
- You can request and obtain accommodation for a job as long as possible, especially if you are a disabled veteran.
VEVRAA directed contractors and the federal government to provide reasonable accommodation for veterans who have injuries or other forms of disability. These are adjustments, tools, or services to assist protected veterans in the workplace and give them the same opportunity as other employees.
It is mandated to help you perform your tasks effectively and safely without impacting critical job functions. It also provides leeway for veterans to excel and obtain the same benefits as other employees. Here are some of the reasonable accommodations you may be eligible to:
- Special equipment and/or assistive technologies
- Work schedule modification
- Alteration in workplace policies
- Time off to accommodate medical treatment
- Supplementation of written handouts via accessible formats
- Accessible locations for staff meetings.
Discrimination Law for protected veterans
The OFCCP allows veterans to file a complaint when they feel discriminated against. You cannot be punished for filing a complaint for the following:
- Coercion, etc.
Companies that are proven to violate protected veterans’ law can be barred from receiving future contracts with the federal government.
How to file a complaint
You can file a complaint electronically with an OFCCP Regional Office, by fax or mail, or in person within the appropriate OFCCP Regional Office.
J4V understands the predicaments of fitting in with society after serving the country. There are physical and mental struggles that you have acquired, which can be extremely challenging, especially if you are trying to seek a proper lifestyle.
Not to mention the various other discriminatory acts against veterans that they face, not with just individual people but with other corporations as a whole. Just4Veterans’s primary objective is to help you lessen the brunt of these challenges, which is why we dedicate our services to helping you obtain the proper VA disability rating and disability claims.