Resources for Employers: Applicants and Employees Returning from Military Service

Employer’s lawyers have seen an increasing number of questions regarding the obligations relating to employees and applicants returning from military service. There are two important laws that may apply to such individuals–the ADA and USERRA. Although the ADA has been on employer’s radar for years, most are less familiar with USERRA. Now is the time, though, to become familiar. The law imposes many obligations on employers and many of those obligations are different than other employment-discrimination laws.

The EEOC has published a new Guide for Employers titled, Veterans and the ADA. The Guide is intended to provide answers to some of the questions employers can be expected to face as veterans return home from military service and seek employment in the private sector. Some of the points covered by the Guide include:

  • What qualifies a disabled veteran for the protections of the ADA;
  • Information about hiring preferences for disabled veterans;
  • When and how an employer may ask whether a veteran with a disability needs an accommodation;
  • Some of the basic differences between the ADA and USERRA.

The Guide includes references to several helpful online resources–all of which are free. One of the references is to the U.S. DOL’s VETS program. Once on the VETS site, be sure to bookmark the Pocket Guide to USERRA, a detailed and fairly comprehensive FAQ about USERRA’s requirements.

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