IAVA-CT: Protecting Veterans with Bad Paper from Employment Discrimination
The Connecticut Chapter of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA-CT) carries out IAVA’s mission to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans in the state. IAVA-CT is dedicated to ensuring that all Connecticut veterans – including those who were discharged from the military under less-than-honorable conditions – are welcomed back home, and continue to receive effective support and care in their communities.
In partnership with IAVA-CT, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) recently released new guidance to ensure that all veterans receive equal treatment when seeking employment opportunities. The guidance was announced at a press conference hosted by the CHRO and jointly organized by IAVA-CT on April 19, 2018. The CHRO’s actions are made all the more urgent by recent evidence that, due to a number of discriminatory policies and practices, the military issues less-than-Honorable discharges at a significantly higher rate to Black and Latino service members, LGBT service members, and service members with a disability. Accordingly, employers with blanket policies of rejecting these veterans during the job application process may run afoul of antidiscrimination law.
The guidance makes Connecticut the first state to take the position that discrimination based on discharge status can violate protections based on race, sexual orientation and disability. CHRO’s new guidance clarifies that, under the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act and federal law, employers should afford individualized consideration to all job applicants, regardless of their military discharge status. Employers should consider the nature of an applicant’s offense, how long ago the offense occurred, and whether it has any bearing on the duties relevant to the job in question.
Questions and Answers for Employers: The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities Guide to Nondiscrimination in Hiring and Employing Connecticut Veterans
Veterans: Know Your Rights
- Alyssa Peterson and Arjun Mody, How Employers Illegally Discriminate Against Veterans with Less-than-Honorable Discharges, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, May 29, 2018
- Jennifer McDermott, Discharged and jobless, veterans seek hiring rules changes, The Associated Press, May 26, 2018
- Daniel A. Schwartz, CHRO Issues Rare Guidance on Hiring and Employing Veterans, Connecticut Employment Law Blog, May 24, 2018
- Employers urged not to hold discharge status against vets, The Associated Press, April 19, 2018
- Alyssa Peterson, Discriminating against Veterans with Less-than-Honorable Discharges in Hiring or Employment Could Subject Employers to Liability Under Civil Rights Laws, Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities Blog, December 6, 2018