VEVRAA: Definition, Rights & Responsibilities

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

VEVRAA is legislation that protects many returning veterans from employment discrimination. In this lesson, you'll learn more about VEVRAA, who it applies to and employer responsibilities that are part of it.

Working Veterans

Eric served two tours of duty with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. He has experience working with heavy machinery and a deep understanding of complex computer programs and hardware. His patience, loyalty and bravery earned him accolades and awards from his commanding officers.

VEVRAA and other acts like it was designed to help military veterans secure employment.
veteran, job, employment, VEVRAA, Vietnam, Readjustment, Assistance, Act, Discrimination, Disability

Yet, in the two years since he's returned from the Middle East, Eric has been fighting another battle: the ability to find a stable job.

Eric is a fictional character created for this lesson, but a very real representation of the roughly 370,000 unemployed veterans of the armed forces living in the United States, according to a 2017 survey.

Why do so many veterans struggle to find employment after their years of military service? In particular, veterans with disabilities are unemployed in greater number than veterans without disabilities. Enter VEVRAA.

Let's Talk About VEVRAA

VEVRAA is a handy acronym that can help us remember a mouthful: the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act. This act was originally passed by Congress in 1974 to provide assistance to Vietnam veterans and protect them from discrimination in the hiring process. The Vietnam War was considered by many to be controversial, with many protests taking place throughout the country. Many believed that these veterans would face troubles finding employment upon returning to the United States, something that VEVRAA sought to eliminate.

Even though veterans of the Vietnam War are specifically referenced in the act, it is not only Vietnam veterans who are covered by its rules. VEVRAA safeguards the employment rights of many types of protected veterans, including veterans with disabilities, veterans who were recently discharged from active duty (within the past three years), active duty wartime or veterans who earned a campaign badge and veterans who have been awarded the Armed Forces Service Medal.

Employer Obligations

There are other laws, such as the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, that protect veterans in employment matters. VEVRAA, however, applies specifically to a certain category of employer: those who have federal contracts or subcontracts valued at $100,000 or more.

Under VEVRAA, these employers are asked to actively recruit and hire protected veterans. A good example of an employer that would be subject to VEVRAA might be the aerospace and defense company, Lockheed Martin. On its website, Lockheed Martin states that one in five of its employees has military service in their background.

Employers like Lockheed Martin and others may not discriminate against protected veterans when they're hiring, setting pay or considering promotions, for example. But, these companies have certain other requirements they are expected to abide by:

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