Public employers in Minnesota have been able to give employment preference to veterans for years, but private employers that favor hiring vets have always run the risk of facing discrimination claims from other applicants who lack military experience.
A new state law, Minnesota Statute 197.4551, gives some limited protection to private employers with hiring policies that give preference to hiring veterans. The law also allows hiring preferences for spouses of disabled or deceased veterans.
The new statute states that private-sector employers with veteran hiring preferences no longer violate the law.
However, it makes clear that employers may not use veterans’ preferences to conceal discrimination under federal or state anti-discrimination laws.
Advice: Consult your attorney when devising any preferences to ensure they comply with all federal and state anti-discrimination laws.