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New Guidance on Hiring and Managing Disabled Veterans

Mondaq (06/01/12) Anne R. Yuengert

Two new publications from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Understanding Your Employment Rights Under the Americans With Disabilities Act: A Guide for Veterans” and “Veterans and the Americans With Disabilities Act: A Guide for Employers,” aim to assist both employers and veterans with the hiring process as the U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down. The guidance states that employers can question candidates about their status as disabled veterans only as part of the affirmative action program, though candidates are not required to provide the information, and they can give preference to disabled veterans over nonveteran and nondisabled applicants.

Employers cannot ask about obvious disabilities, such as when, where, or how the injury occurred, but they can ask candidates whether a reasonable accommodation will be needed. Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act, employers must “go further than the ADA by making reasonable efforts to assist a veteran who is returning to employment to become qualified for a job whether or not the veteran has a service-connected disability.”