Companies and Veteran Discrimination
Recently, a Forbes.com journalist has suspected that companies have been using hiring veterans as a marketing ploy in the best case scenarios and discriminating against them at worst. He proposes several theories about what might be going on with veteran discrimination. The disturbing part is that in this day and age, with our servicemen fighting on several fronts, that there’s any bias against veterans at all.
A recently separated Air Force veteran named “Melissa M.” at first thought that her formerly highly competitive salary from the Washington, D.C. area was what might be scaring potential employers off. Then, she realized some other force might be behind the constant rejections: she actually had one interviewer tell her, “We don’t hire your kind,” which she thought to refer to her veteran status. She is understandably frustrated that she can’t find a job, though she is was a military analyst. Melissa had believed that since she had received some of the finest training in the world, she would be a desirable job candidate.
Another dire situation pointed out by Forbes.com is the fact that “returning military Reservists or Guardsmen are not necessarily entitled to their job according to — USERRA because if a veteran would have been terminated even if he/she were never deployed, the layoff is completely justifiable, and legal.” The article points out that companies that may be looking for reasons to not hire veterans due to the veteran’s part-time military obligations. These companies might – in protecting their bottom line — view part-time solider/employees “as liabilities because of the cost of maintaining entitlements such as payroll taxes, health benefits and retirement contributions”.
What would be doubly insulting is if any of these same companies who treat veterans deplorably are the same as those who advertise and promote that they welcome veterans into their workforce. Our veterans should not be treated as window-dressing for a company’s PR department.