Thursday, May 21, 2009

Veterans Employment Rights Realignment Act Passes House

The Veterans Employment Rights Realignment Act breezed through the House on Tuesday with a roll call vote of 423-0 (with 10 not voting).  

It will allow veterans employed by federal agencies to pursue employment and unemployment rights through the Office of Special Counsel. Specifically, rights afforded under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Currently they must file complaints with the Secretary of Veterans affairs. As Rep. Sandlin explained:
"By granting the Office of Special Counsel initial jurisdiction over all of these Federal USERRA claims, we give claimants a single agency to investigate and resolve their complaint. This will be more efficient than the current circumstance where first the Department of Labor investigates the claim, and then the claim is then transferred to OSC at the veteran's request if the Department of Labor fails to find a resolution, which then prompts a second investigation."
The bill was received in the Senate yesterday where it was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans Affairs.