The Americans with Disabilities Act can help prevent workplace discrimination in New Jersey, especially for veterans of the armed forces. The federal government notes that thousands of veterans come back from active duty every year, going back to their jobs or finding new ones, and they could be struggling with disabilities and ailments from their service.
In fact, this appears to be getting more common. On the whole, about 13 percent of the nation’s military vets report these issues. However, when looking just at recent vets, the number is closer to 25 percent.
Examples of common injuries that the government gives include missing limbs, hearing loss, burn injuries, spinal cord issues and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Under Title I of the ADA, employers are instructed to treat all employees equally, including those that are living with these disabilities. It also notes that employers have to act fairly even if they simply think the employee may be disabled, regardless of what the employer knows for certain.
Areas in which discrimination is prohibited include deciding which potential employees to hire, handing out promotions and raises, giving out job assignments, determining who to train and deciding which employees need to be fired.
This does not mean that employers can’t fire employees with disabilities, but that they must treat them fairly, just like all other employees. In short, they can’t fire them only because they have disabilities that may have come from military service.
If you’re a veteran who is living with war-related disabilities and you believe you’ve been discriminated against at work, you need to know your rights under the ADA.
Source: EEOC, “Veterans and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): A Guide for Employers,” accessed March 11, 2016