The Legion supports the Department of Labor’s strengthening of federal hiring practices of certain veterans, including those who served during a military action for which a campaign badge is offered. U.S. Army photo

Legion supports affirmative action for vets

The American Legion supports the U.S. Department of Labor’s decision to ensure that federal contractors offer jobs to military veterans as mandated by law.

The department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is proposing a rule that would strengthen the affirmative action required of federal contractors and subcontractors regarding recruitment and employment of certain military veterans. The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 mandates the offer of jobs to veterans with disabilities and those recently discharged, as well as those who served during a military action for which a campaign badge is offered.

The proposed rule would target federal contractors and subcontractors who fail to follow the affirmative action law by imposing sanctions upon them, such as withholding payments on contracts in progress, terminating existing contracts and disqualifying them from bidding on future contracts.

“With an increasing number of servicemembers, including many combat veterans, coming home to a challenging job market, it is very important that employers – especially ones being awarded federal contracts – do the right thing by these deserving young men and women,” said Jimmie L. Foster, national commander of The American Legion. “All the Department of Labor and The American Legion are asking these employers to do is follow the rules or suffer the consequences. That is not too much to ask.”

The proposed rule has been published in the Federal Register with public comments solicited until June 25. “I urge members of the Legion to comment favorably on this proposal,” said Foster.

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