Court: Veterans can’t sue for bias under Title VII or Florida Civil Rights Act

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in Employment Law,Firing,Human Resources

Employers, take note: The 11th Cir­cuit Court of Appeals has refused to recognize veterans as a protected class under either Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act or under the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA).

That means claims based on military service must generally be brought under the Uniformed Serv­ices Em­ployment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

Recent case: Army veteran John Woods applied for more than 30 positions at Florida Atlantic University. He also filed 24 separate complaints with the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, claiming the university was violating USERRA and the Florida Veterans Preference Act (FVPA). The agency ordered the uni­versity to hire Woods for an open position.

But Woods didn’t last long. He was fired five months later for insubordination, poor performance and other problems. That’s when he sued under both Title VII and the FCRA, alleging he had been discriminated against because of his veteran status.

The court said vet status is not a protected characteristic under either law and tossed out the case. (Woods v. Florida Atlantic University, No. 10-12958, 11th Cir., 2011)

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elias evans January 13, 2012 at 11:23 am

It is a far cry to no one for a vetran that file a complaint with the VA with leads to a sue or court date in the court systems to be discriminated against because of his veteran status. I to have been discriminated aginst by FSU and the city of Tallahassee. Far to many Employers don’t understand or care about a Vet’s protected status. even with new aid by the “vow to hire heros Act of 2011″ mean little to anyone in the interview process or court system. I hope we as american keep our our word to our war vets.

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