I’m A Veteran With A Disability. What Are My Rights Under ADA?
The United States protects workers with a disability from discrimination, including securing the rights of any veteran who has sustained a permanent injury or disability from his or her service. Therefore, a number of laws provide for the veteran. We will go into the laws below.
What Laws Protect A Disabled Veteran From Employment Discrimination?
There are a few. The two notable ones are Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) enforce USERRA. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) administers ADA.
Notably, if a current or past member of the uniformed services receives workplace discrimination based on his or her service to the government, he or she may privately sue their workplace and their boss, or whoever enacted the discrimination.
What Do USERRA And ADA Do For Me?
USERRA protects those who have military obligations from employment discrimination and provides for the homecoming of uniformed services from active duty or training to return to their positions with their previous company. USERRA serves the uniformed services. The law expects employers to do everything in their power to provide the same or equal job for the returning veteran or uniformed member. USERRA covers your right to return to work after military service.
ADA requires that job candidates or current employees with a disability experience no workplace discrimination in hiring, firing, training, benefits, and discipline. ADA defines disability very broadly. ADA also pledges to ensure that employers arrange for reasonable accommodation for qualified employees with a disability. Veterans with a disability are covered by ADA.
Of course, be aware that these laws have certain standards for the eligibility of who they cover.
Can An Employer Ask About My Obvious Disability? Do I Have To Tell An Employer About A Disability That Is Not Visible During The Job Interview?
No, an employer should not ask about your disability, whether it is obvious or not. The employer cannot ask where, when, or how you obtained this disability. However, they may ask you to show them how you will perform a job-related task or they may ask if you will need accommodation so that you can perform necessary duties.
And, no, you do not need to tell an employer about a disability. You may choose to disclose your disability to them. At that point, the employer may ask what reasonable accommodations you might require.
What Should I Do About Disability Discrimination From An Employer?
The goal of ADA is to protect workers with a disability from discrimination. USERRA champions veterans. These laws are broad for the intent and purpose of protecting against every and any time of discrimination that may occur in the workplace. Since the law can be very far-reaching yet nuanced, seeking legal counsel will be your best chance for finding out your rights clearly.
Formal action will require that you file a complaint with the EEOC about your situation. Next, the EEOC will either seek mediation for your case or will open an investigation. Usually, the EEOC prefers to settle complaints informally rather than taking problems to the court level. If, however, you try mediation and the issue is not resolved, you may choose to file a private lawsuit against the employer. Knowing what the EEOC is and filing with the EEOC before choosing to pursue a private case will build credibility.
If you find yourself in the stressful situation of discrimination because of your service to the United States military, contact an employment lawyer who will know how to navigate your case and your rights under the law.