Protection from retaliation for exercising rights

Even if you are not a veteran or service member, you are protected against retaliation for exercising your rights or the rights of other veterans or service members.

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We are committed to helping you understand your rights as a worker. If you have questions, you can contact the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) or the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your status as a veteran or service member or because you have attempted to enforce your rights, or someone else’s rights, as a veteran or service member, you have the right to file a complaint and participate in an investigation without being retaliated against by an employer.

Additional resources

You can’t be retaliated against based on your attempt to exercise your rights or someone else’s rights as a veteran or service member. This means your employer may not take any adverse action against you because:

  • you have participated in an investigation regarding a violation of rights as a veteran or service member, whether your own or someone else’s;
  • you have spoken up at work about exercising the rights of a veteran or service member, whether your own or someone else’s; or
  • you have exercised your rights as a veteran or service member, such as reemployment.

This is regardless of whether the employer is a private employer, the federal government, a state government, a local government, or a covered federal contractor or subcontractor.

Need more information?
The elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors are a set of online tools developed by the U.S. Department of Labor to help employees and employers understand their rights and responsibilities under Federal employment laws.