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Everything You Need To Know About Being A Protected Veteran

Table of Contents

A protected veteran is an individual who served in the U.S. military and falls under one of four categories: disabled veterans, recently separated veterans, active duty wartime or campaign badge veterans, and Armed Forces service medal veterans. These individuals are granted special employment rights under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA).

The main difference between a protected veteran and a regular veteran lies in their eligibility for special employment protections. Protected veterans have specific legal rights due to their service-related status, while regular veterans do not receive these additional benefits. However, both groups may qualify for various other government programs and services.

As part of our discussion on “what is a protected veteran from the US military,” we’ll also provide guidance on filing complaints against discrimination and introduce VA Claims Insider Services as an additional resource for support. We’ll also take a look at how veterans are characterized within the American Armed Forces and pay tribute to their efforts with festivities such as Veterans Day. Armed Forces context and celebrate their contributions through events such as Veterans Day.

Understanding Protected Veteran Status

protected veteran is someone who has served in the United States military and is safeguarded from discrimination under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA). This legislation prohibits employers from discriminating against veterans based on their military service, covering disabled veterans, recently separated veterans, active-duty wartime or campaign badge veterans, and Armed Forces service medal veterans. In this section, we will discuss VEVRAA and its implications for protected veteran status.

The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA)

VEVRAA was enacted to protect those who have served in the United States armed forces from employment discrimination due to their veteran status. The law specifically covers four categories of protected veterans:

  • Disabled Veterans: Those with a disability rating issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or Department of Defense (DoD) resulting from a service-connected injury or illness.
  • Recently Separated Veterans: Veterans within three years after discharge or release from active duty.
  • Campaign Badge Veteran: Veterans who participated in a U.S. military operation that received an authorized campaign badge or expeditionary medal.
  • Armed Forces Service Medal Veteran: Veterans who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded.

Categories of Protected Veterans

Each category has specific criteria that must be met to qualify as a protected veteran under VEVRAA. Understanding these categories can help veterans and employers alike ensure compliance with federal contract compliance programs and promote equal opportunities for all service members, regardless of their protected veteran status.

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Employment Rights for Protected Veterans

Under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA), employers doing business with the federal government are required to recruit, hire, and provide upward mobility for those with protected veteran status. Subcontractors and contractors engaged in dealings with the federal government are subject to a mandate for employing and promoting veterans of protected status.

Federal Contractor Requirements

Federal contractors must adhere to specific requirements when it comes to promoting protected veterans in their workforce. These include:

  • Taking affirmative action steps towards hiring qualified disabled veterans, Armed Forces service medal veterans, recently separated veterans, and active-duty wartime or campaign badge veterans.
  • Listing job openings with appropriate state employment services that cater specifically to these groups of individuals.
  • Including a statement on all job advertisements expressing support for employing and advancing protected veteran candidates.

Protection Against Workplace Discrimination

The VEVRAA prohibits discrimination against employees based on their veteran status. This means that if you belong to one of the categories of protected veterans covered under this law, your employer cannot treat you unfairly due to your military background or any service-connected disability. Examples of such unfair treatment may include denying promotions, unequal pay compared to non-veteran colleagues, or wrongful termination without just cause.

By understanding your rights as a protected veteran within the workplace environment, you can ensure fair treatment from employers while also contributing positively towards diversity initiatives aimed at supporting members from various backgrounds within our society.

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Reasonable Accommodations for Disabled Veterans

The Department of Labor (DOL) defines reasonable accommodation as any adjustment made in the workplace that allows a disabled veteran to perform job duties effectively. These accommodations are essential for promoting protected veterans’ inclusion and success within their chosen careers.

Definition of Reasonable Accommodations

A reasonable accommodation can be a modification or adjustment to the work environment, policies, or practices that enable an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. The goal is to remove barriers and provide equal access without causing undue hardship on the employer. Some examples include:

  • Making facilities accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities
  • Modifying work schedules or granting leave when necessary
  • Acquiring or modifying equipment, devices, or software applications
  • Providing qualified readers, interpreters, or other support services

Examples Provided by DOL

The Department of Labor offers several examples of potential accommodations for disabled veterans in various fields. For instance:

  1. Veterans with visual impairments: An employer may provide materials in braille format for visually impaired employees.
  2. Veterans with mobility limitations: An organization might modify equipment so it can be used by workers who use wheelchairs.
  3. Veterans experiencing PTSD symptoms: An employee could receive flexible scheduling options allowing them time off during triggering events such as fireworks displays on holidays like Independence Day.

By understanding and implementing reasonable accommodations, employers can create an inclusive work environment that supports the success of disabled veterans.

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Filing Complaints Against Discrimination

If you think that, as a veteran with protected status, discrimination has been inflicted upon you at work, it is critical to act within three hundred days of the occurrence. The first step in filing a complaint involves downloading the appropriate complaint form from the Department of Labor’s (DOL) official site. These forms are available in various languages to accommodate all potential complainants.

  • Downloading and submitting complaint forms: Once you have completed the necessary paperwork, there are two ways to submit your complaint. You can either send it via email attachment directly to, or mail them addressed to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ nearest Regional District Area office location within all 50 states.
  • Email address for complaints: Remember that when submitting your complaint through email, use this specific address: This ensures that your claim reaches its intended destination and receives proper attention from relevant authorities.

In addition to filing a formal complaint with DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), consider seeking legal advice or representation if needed. Many organizations provide free or low-cost services specifically designed for veterans facing employment discrimination issues,