Braley Introduces Bill Strengthening Job Protections for Returning Veterans Print
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 14:40

Legislation would allow 12 weeks of job-protected leave for treatment of service-related injuries 

 

Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today introduced a bill aimed at strengthening job protections for wounded veterans returning from service overseas.  Braley is the highest ranking Democrat on the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.

The Disabled Veterans Employment Protection Act would provide military and National Guard veterans up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a calendar year to be treated for an injury incurred in or aggravated by military service without having to worry about losing their jobs.  The legislation would also allow injured or disabled veterans to use sick or vacation leave they have accrued to receive pay while getting treatment, but would not require them to do so.

“Federal law protects the jobs of servicemen and women while they’re serving our country,” Braley said.  “But there are no protections for injured veterans who need to seek treatment for their injuries once they return home.   With thousands of injured veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s time we strengthen protections and allow veterans the ability to seek out the care and treatment they need.”

 

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) provides that employers must reemploy individuals who have been called to active duty military service and have to be absent from their jobs.  However, the law does not cover protections for treatment these individuals might need after they return from service

Late this summer, 2,800 members of the Iowa National Guard returned from a deployment to Afghanistan.  According to the National Guard, 60 Iowa servicemembers who went on the deployment are currently hospitalized receiving treatment for injuries.  Another 50 servicemembers are receiving outpatient treatment at facilities near their homes.  About 500 Iowans have been wounded during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The Disabled Veterans Employment Protection Act is modeled after the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for family and medical reasons like the birth of a child, a serious health condition, or caring for a spouse or child with a serious health condition.

The full text of the bill can be viewed at the following link: http://go.usa.gov/527

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