Military Status Based Illegal Interview Questions in US
Military Status Based Illegal Interview Questions in US is discriminatory against returning service members with military obligation.
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) was signed into law on October 13th 1994 to protect civilian employment of non full time military service members called to active duty. This law applies to all US uniformed services and their reserve components.
The maximum length of time that an individual may be absent from civilian work for military duties with re employment rights can go up to five years. USERRA also requires civilian employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability of disabled veterans unless it is extremely burdensome.
Under the provisions of USERRA returning service members are entitled to be re employed in the job position that they would have reached had they not been absent for military service, on the same seniority, status, pay and other benefits in case of continuity of service. This is invocation of the ‘escalator principle’ that ignores the period of break in service for re employment of the incumbent. Thus this law prohibits discrimination of the returning service members because of their military service or obligations.
Moreover, USERRA prohibits an employer from denying the benefit of employment on the basis of an individual’s obligation for service in the uniformed forces. USERRA also protects the rights of the veterans to reclaim their civilian employment after absence for military training or service.
This law is designed to encourage non career uniformed service staffed by qualified people, so that America can maintain a balance by and between the needs of public and private employers, who can share or draw on the same human resource reservoir.
Examples of improper questions based on military or veteran status:
Do you plan to take leave to serve in the military or armed forces?
Queries on type or condition of military discharge.
Questions on applicant’s experience in other than US armed forces. Request for discharge papers
Such litigious questions can easily be turned into legal queries as follows:-
Examples of proper questions based on military or veteran status:
Describe the relevant work experience that you acquired from U.S. armed forces as it relates to this position.
Inquiries concerning education, training or work experience in the armed forces of the United States. (Note, in many areas, veterans are a protected class.)