Question of the Month

June 2018

Question
Does your state prohibit discrimination against someone because they are a veteran?
Answer from Alabama

There is not a per se anti-discrimination provision under state law.  However, Alabama state law provides preferences for veterans seeking employment or reemployment and advancement with public employers.

For more information please contact Michael Thompson at mthompson@lehrmiddlebrooks.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from California

Yes in California.

For more information please contact Michael Foster at mfoster@fosteremploymentlaw.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Florida

In Florida, there are some protections for public employees, including right to reinstatement and paid leave for public employees only.

For more information please contact Shannon Kelly at skelly@anblaw.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Georgia

For private employers, Georgia has no state law prohibiting discrimination against military veterans.

For more information please contact Doug Duerr at duerr@elarbeethompson.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Hawaii

Hawaii prohibits discrimination based on absences taken due to national guard participation, but not expressly based on veteran status.

For more information please contact Sarah Wang at SWang@marrjones.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Kentucky

KRS § 38.460 prohibits depriving a member of the Kentucky National Guard or “Kentucky active militia” of employment or preventing him from being employed.

For more information please contact Oliver Rutherford at obr@smithandsmithattorneys.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Maryland

No in Maryland, not in addition to the protections under federal law.

For more information please contact Fiona Ong at fwo@shawe.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Massachusetts

Yes. Mass. Gen. Laws Chapter 151B, § 4

For more information please contact Marylou Fabbo at mfabbo@skoler-abbott.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Minnesota

Yes.  Minn. Stat. § 192.34 states that it is unlawful “for any employer to discharge any person from employment because of membership in the military or naval forces of the United States, of this state, or any other state, or to hinder or prevent any person from performing any military service that person may be called upon to perform by proper authority, or to dissuade any person from enlistment in the military service by threat or injury, in case that person shall so enlist, in respect to that person's employment, trade or business. Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a gross misdemeanor.”  In addition, Minn. Stat. § 181.535 prohibits employers from asking job applicants about military status if the intent of the inquiry is to discriminate against the applicant.  Finally, Minn. Stat. § 197.46 et seq. provides public employment benefits and protections to veterans of military service. 

For more information please contact Tom Revnew at TRevnew@seatonlaw.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Nevada

Employers are not prohibited from discriminating against veterans under Nevada law. However, Nevada law expressly permits private employers to discriminate in favor of veterans or their spouses when making hiring decisions. If an employer adopts such a policy, it must apply the policy uniformly. See NRS 613.385.  With respect to applicants for State employment, a preference must be allowed for veterans not dishonorably discharged from military service in the form of additional credit given on a competitive examination.  See NAC 284.260.

For more information please contact Scott Abbott at sabbott@kzalaw.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from New York

Yes. The New York State Human Rights Law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of a person’s “military status”,  which is defined as participation in the military service of the United States or New York, including (but not limited to) the armed forces of the United States, the army national guard, the air national guard, the New York naval militia, the New York guard, and any other authorized forces created by state or federal government. See N.Y. Exec. Law § 290 et seq. The law’s protections are not limited to current participation in military service.  See, e.g., Gorman v. Covidien, LLC, 146 F. Supp. 3d 509 (S.D.N.Y. 2015) (plaintiff failed to establish prima facie case of discrimination on the basis of his status as a veteran  or his disability under state law, but was able to establish a prima facie case of disability discrimination under New York City law (which, at that time, had not yet been expanded to protect veterans)). State law also protects individuals from discrimination based on their association with a veteran. For example, military spouses. See 9 N.Y.C.R.R. 466.14 (discrimination on the basis of an individual’s association with a member of a protected class prohibited). Local law may provide separate protections. See, e.g., N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-101 et seq. (current or prior “uniformed service” protected).

For more information please contact Nick Bauer at NBauer@cfk-law.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from North Carolina

There is no law that expressly prohibits discrimination against veterans, however there is a statute, G.S. 95-28.4, which states that private employers may give preference to veterans in hiring and that this does not constitute discrimination.

For more information please contact Bryan Adams at bryan.adams@vradlaw.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Oregon

Yes.  Under ORS 659A.082, it is unlawful to discriminate against veterans or current service members in hiring or in the workplace.  The statute prohibits discrimination by employers against a person because of his or her past or present service in a uniformed service.  ORS 659A.082(1)-(2); OAR 839-006-0480(1)–(2).  Among other things, employers may not deny eligible veterans the advantages in public employment provided under ORS 408.240 to ORS 408.290, may not deny initial employment, reemployment, retention or promotion based on past or present uniformed service, and may not in any way retaliate against an employee based on his or her past or present uniformed service.  Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries’ (BOLI) Civil Rights Division handles employment discrimination claims arising from unlawful discrimination against veterans. 

For more information please contact Trevor Caldwell at tcaldwell@bullardlaw.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania does not prohibit private sector employers from discriminating against an individual because he/she is a veteran.  However, Pennsylvania has enacted a statute protecting current military personnel.  The statute makes it unlawful for public or private employers to:

Refuse to hire or employ any individual not on extended active duty because of his/her membership in the National Guard or any one of the other reserve components of the armed forces of the United States, or because he/she is called to active duty by the state or federal government; and

To discharge such individual from employment, or to otherwise discriminate against such individual with respect to compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of such membership, or because he/she is called to active duty.

For more information please contact John Ellis at jellis@ufberglaw.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Texas

Texas follows USERRA.

For more information please contact John Freeman at jfreeman@keyharrington.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Virginia

No in Virginia.

For more information please contact Susan Carnell at scarnell@lorengercarnell.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Washington

Yes.  The Washington Law Against Discrimination prohibits discrimination against persons who were honorably discharged from any branch of the armed services, including the National Guard, or were discharged for medical reasons with an honorable record.  RCW 49.60.180, 49.60.040(15), and 41.04.007.

For more information please contact Ken Diamond at ken@winterbauerdiamond.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Wisconsin

Yes. The Wisconsin Fair Employment Act prohibits discrimination against employees or job applicants based on military service.

For more information please contact Laurie Petersen at LPetersen@lindner-marsack.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

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