Obtaining employment in Texas is often difficult for veterans who have been discharged from the military for relatively minor offenses. A human rights commission in Connecticut warned employers in the state that they may be breaking anti-discrimination laws by actively selecting against this group of veterans. Members of the commission hope to spread the word about this type of discrimination to bigger employers throughout the nation.
Veterans groups believe that less-than-honorably discharged service members are part of a protected class because they are disproportionately black, Latino, gay and disabled. Furthermore, these veterans have been discharged administratively and never had the opportunity to go to court. Their offenses, which are often described as "bad paper" by veterans, can include everything from minor fighting and drug use to tardiness and issues related to PTSD.
Veterans with an honorable discharge are given a lot of employment assistance and protections. Activists are fighting to get these benefits for bad paper veterans as well. Chris Murphy, U.S. Senator from Connecticut, believes that eliminating bad paper discharges in the military is a better path forward than enacting new laws. More than 13,000 service members are affected by this type of discrimination.
A veteran who is denied employment due to their discharge status may be a victim of workplace discrimination. When facing this situation, veterans could seek advice and support from a lawyer who will be their advocate in and out of court. In some cases, an employer may agree to a settlement, but others will only respond to a lawsuit. It's the job of an attorney to evaluate the circumstances of a case and recommend a personalized legal strategy.