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National Guard Members’ Next Battle: The Job Hunt

NPR Online (04/29/12) Tom Dreisbach; Rachel Martin

Service members returning to civilian life may find it difficult to secure a civilian job, especially when they belong to the National Guard and could be called to active duty, but experts say that it can be difficult to prove whether a veteran’s service has cost him or her jobs or promotions. Michael Haynie, executive director of Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families, says the Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act puts the burden of proving discrimination on the individual, and the burden is high because “very often the discrimination is not necessarily explicit.” Kenan Torrans of the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service says complaints of discrimination are on the rise as more service members return to civilian life, and he says most disputes stem from a misunderstanding of the law. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), chair of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, has introduced legislation to beef up laws to prevent labor discrimination against veterans.