Q. How does the recent amendment to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) affect employers?
A. The Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act amended USERRA to recognize claims of hostile work environment harassment based on the individual’s military status. It prohibits discrimination based on military status with respect to “the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.”
This amendment establishes the same standard as a Title VII hostile work environment claim. As a result, individuals can bring a hostile work environment cause of action under USERRA.
For more on returning veterans, see “The ‘surge home’: Welcome service members back to work”.