Protect Veterans from Employment Discrimination

Protect Veterans from Employment Discrimination

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Marc Carter started this petition to State Representative James White of Texas

  I'm a retired District Court Judge and former US Army Captain. I started the first Veterans Treatment Court in Texas and have been fighting for veterans health and justice for years. One of the major factors that side track a veteran's transition to civilian life is employment. Most civilians don't understand the difference between Honorable, Administrative or Bad Conduct discharges. Many veterans have received "other than honorable" (OTH) discharges, and dismissed from service because of mental health issues, inability to cope, sexual orientation, and an assortment of reasons that make them no longer suitable for military duty. 

  The problem only becomes worse when they leave the military and seek employment, and in many cases health care.  Unlike a civilian who loses a job that they are not suited for, the veteran has a discharge paper that follows him the rest of his life.  The OTH discharge is not a "dishonorable discharge" or a "bad conduct" discharge which are generally the equivalent of criminal convictions.  The  OTH is not a criminal conviction, and it should not be treated as one or used to discriminate against veterans in the workplace.

  It is absurd that the person that chooses to serve his country and receives an OTH discharge because they suffer from PTSD and could no longer perform their duties, or self medicated through drug use is discriminated from civilian employment.  While the person that chooses not to serve their country that engages in similar behavior does not have a "status" like OTH to follow them the rest of their life, and forever be used against them to deny them employment and other basic human necessities.

  Other states like Illinois have sought to protect their veteran population from employment discrimination and Texas should do the same. They have made it illegal for an employer to discriminate against a veteran  based on their discharge status with a few exceptions.  One exception is if the employer actually gives veterans a preference in employment.  In that case they can inquire into the discharge status.  Another exception is if the employment position is a fiduciary. The State of Illinois reasoned that a fiduciary has a special responsibility and duty of care, therefore the veteran's discharge status should be disclosed. Lastly, an employer can ask if you received a Dishonorable or Bad Conduct discharge.  That is reasonable because those discharges are the equivalent of criminal convictions.  In that case the veteran is in a similar position as a civilian employee with a criminal conviction. This petition request that you sponsor legislation that protects veterans from employment discrimination based on their discharge status. An employer should not be able to inquire about a veterans discharge status unless they give employment preference to veterans or if the employment is for a fiduciary position. An employer can still ask whether the veteran received a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge which are the equivalent of criminal convictions.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!