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Discrimination in the workplace, especially in terms of hiring, can span across race, gender, disabilities, or religious or cultural beliefs. However, discrimination can also take place against veterans and disabled veterans, taking away opportunities from those returning from war.

To counteract this discrimination, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) was enacted in 1974. Under this act, federal contractors and subcontractors must make jobs available to qualified veterans. The act was further expanded in 2002 with the Jobs for Veterans Act (JVA), which extended the aforementioned benefits to special disabled veterans and disabled veterans, veterans who have enlisted in the Armed Forces, and those in the active reserves or National Guard.

How can recruiting veterans benefit your company? With experience in the military come unparalleled leadership skills. Veterans are also used to working in teams, making their skills easily transferable to a workplace setting. They may have background and security clearances, if you are looking to hire for a government job. Veterans are also used to working with the latest technology from their time in the military. Couple these abilities with a strong sense of discipline, strong organizational skills and the imperative inclination to perform well in high-stress situations, and you will see that hiring veterans is a no brainer.

The next question is how to recruit veterans. The most important point is to determine whether a veteran’s skills are transferable to the workplace. To do this, you must carefully screen all veteran’s resumes, paying close attention to the skills listed. Internships could also work, allowing the potential hire the privilege of on–the–job training, and allowing you the extra time to observe the veteran in question.

Perhaps a program specifically focused on hiring veterans is the direction you want to go in, and this can be built into your organizational and employee development plan. This may also involve networking with the veteran community, using resources like the Veterans Service Organizations, and utilizing job websites that cater to veterans.

As is the case with any OFCCP compliance strategy, you should review and understand the compliance laws that are put in place to minimize discrimination. It’s vital to pay attention to small details and amendments in past acts, for example, the Jobs for Veterans Act that was added to the VEVRAA. Make sure that all potential employees, whether they be minorities, women, those with disabilities, or veterans are getting a fair shot by informing state employment agencies of vacant positions. Finally, understand and keep up with the OFCCP reporting requirements, keeping track of hiring data in the event of an audit, and on an annual basis.

A culturally diverse workplace is essential to any successful company, whether that involves minorities, women, those with disabilities, and especially veterans. Returning veterans have experience that is completely unique to those in the armed forces, and incomprehensible to those who are not. With superlative leadership and organizational skills, as well as an unwavering sense of discipline, hiring a returning veteran will almost always be beneficial.

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