Veterans and Federal contractor employment discrimination

You have certain employment protections as a protected veteran.

Certain categories of veterans who are employees of or applicants to covered federal contractors or subcontractors have specific protections under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). A veteran is considered a “protected veteran” under VEVRAA if he or she is a: disabled veteran; recently separated veteran; active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran; or Armed Forces service medal veteran.

Under VEVRAA, certain federal contractors and subcontractors must take proactive steps to recruit, hire, retain, and promote protected veterans. It’s illegal for these employers to discriminate against you when making employment decisions related to firing, pay, benefits, job assignments, layoffs, training, and other employment-related activities.

Cheerful mid adult African American female meets with Caucasian male veteran. She is smiling and is holding a clipboard. The back of the veteran is seen in the photo.

We’re here to help.

We are committed to helping you understand your rights as a worker. Many questions about your rights may be answered by using the following elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors:

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) investigates complaints alleging discrimination based on protected veteran status, including disabled veterans.

For additional assistance, please contact:

OFCCP: 1-800-397-6251 (TTY 1-877-889-5627)

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.

These protections provided by VEVRAA are in addition to the broad anti-discrimination protections already provided under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) to any past, present, or future service member, and the reemployment rights provided to eligible service members.

You have the right to file a complaint and participate in an employment discrimination investigation without being retaliated against by your employer.

Additional resources

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.