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  • By: Moss Bollinger
  • Published: February 8, 2021
A soldier in uniform hugged by another holding an American flag against a blue sky- Moss Bollinger LLP

When you have proudly served this Nation, you deserve respect. Employers who discriminate against service members not only violate the law, but they offend us. Unfortunately, this has been a very real problem for veterans. In fact, there are numerous Federal and State laws that exist to protect service members from employer discrimination.

Under Federal law and the California Military and Veterans Code, it is illegal for an employer or potential employer to discriminate against an officer or enlisted member of the armed forces when it comes to employment-related decisions. This means that employers cannot engage in the following conduct as because of a person’s (or family member’s) military service:

  • Make an adverse hiring decision, such as denying or disqualifying an applicant based on their service.
  • Take employment action against a person, including demotions, denial of promotions, changes to their job status, and termination of employment.
  • Create company policies that disproportionately affect service members.
  • Terminating an employee or taking any adverse employment action due to their ordered military duty or training.

Violations can lead to serious consequences for employers and individuals to the tune of criminal penalties and civil damages.

AB 1710

In October 2017, the governor approved Assembly Bill 1710, which is called “Prohibited discrimination against service members.” Effective in January 2018, this amendment expands the existing protections for service members against discrimination regarding the “terms, conditions, or privileges” that come with employment.

Now, the Military and Veterans Code, Section 394 states that:

“A member of the military forces shall not be prejudiced or injured by an officer or employee of the state, or of any county, city and county, municipal corporation, or district in terms, conditions, or privileges with respect to thatSilhouetted figure salutes against vibrant American flag, creating a powerful image of universal respect and honor. 🇺🇸- Moss Bollinger LLP member’s employment, appointment, position, or status or be denied or disqualified for or discharged from that employment or position by virtue of membership or service in the military forces of this state or of the United States.”

This new language, found throughout the military discrimination sections of the code provide the broadest possible protections against employer discrimination and leaves them with no ambiguity as to how military members are expected to be treated.

You Need an Attorney

As a uniformed service member, you are legal protected from discrimination. Unfortunately, the law does not prevent employers from making bad choices. If you feel like your employer or a prospective employer has held your military service against you, contact Moss Bollinger. We will take you seriously and treat you with the respect you deserve. Contact Moss Bollinger today by phone at (310) 982-2291 for a free consultation or reach us online.

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