Posted on Nov 25, 2013
Lt Col Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program Manager
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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigates discrimination complaints based on an individual's race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, genetic information, and retaliation for reporting, participating in, and/or opposing a discriminatory practice. Discrimination based on transgender and "sex-stereotyping" of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals as a form of sex discrimination also became illegal.

QUESTION - should veteran status be added to this list? Do you believe discrimination based on veteran status become an issue at a similar level of the above status?

Do you feel that you have ever been discriminated against in the workplace?
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Responses: 39
SFC Agr Tng Nco
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Yes it should added to the list. There is a ton of Veterans out there that cant get a decent job because of the fact that they are Veterans. People automatically think that they are crazy, PTSD and the fact that they think we/they will be getting called up again to deploy. So it is an issue and like I mentioned earlier, civilian sector needs to be awaken and realize that we are not all that bad, in fact we poses some very good qualities.
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SSgt John MacIntire
SSgt John MacIntire
>1 y
As a disabled vet, I am beyond proud of my wife and my affiliation with a powerful company helping families, small businesses & others across North America! Only restrictions on "employment" are a burning desire to succeed & ability to make it happen! You own your own business & if you treat it like a business, it will treat you like a business! We share information; you make the decision! God bless! 
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SSgt Forensic Meteorological Consultant
SSgt (Join to see)
>1 y
<p>Agreed.&nbsp; While I was homeless the VA was giving me a song and dance about nothing being homeless enough.&nbsp;&nbsp; You would think that cynicism would not be directed at someone needing help but it was and they did.</p><p><br></p><p>One night while I was sleeping in my car and at a rest stop,&nbsp; I woke up and saw a guy leaning on my driver's side door,&nbsp; and I told him to get off my car.&nbsp;&nbsp; He got loud and stupid,&nbsp; so I said,&nbsp; I am homeless and have PTSD and an anxiety disorder, so do this at your own risk.</p><p><br></p><p>During the five months on the road,&nbsp; I helped place people as far away as California and here in North Carolina.&nbsp;&nbsp; Where these office warriors couldn't,&nbsp; I did.&nbsp;&nbsp; I am not a quitter and I will fight for the right thing. </p><p><br></p><p>And props to Senator Burr for his help.&nbsp;&nbsp; It is nice to be out of the car and safe in a house with my cat.&nbsp;&nbsp; </p>
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SSG Laureano Pabon
SSG Laureano Pabon
>1 y
<p>I can relate to SSG Olson, serving from 76 to 86, active and stepping into a world I was not to use to, was hellish for me. How the Vietnam veterans were treated in that time kind of followed me as well. Looking for work was not easy, until I ended up homeless as well. Only I was in salt lake city when it happened. I found myself 300 miles from no where, between salt lake city and los Vegas Nevada. that was almost all desert. No help, no money, no food no place to sleep. What helped me was the military skills I learned. I found myself as if I was in a field problem with a Special Forces like assignment. No VA, no one to talk too, when I was hungry I had no choice but to eat nothing. 3 days later the hunger left me, I felt no more hunger. I was in a free way and slept under the bridges. I didn't have anything to loose since I had nothing. I looked up in the sky and saw the bright stars at night. when I was close by small towns, I didn't even stop, but I saw how worry these people were having to work to pay off their rents maintain and support their families,</p><p>yet even though I was homeless, when I looked up I noticed I was not homeless, I was home, the earth is my home. &nbsp;I did get some rides from 3 good&nbsp;people whom are always in my prayers. but to make a long story short and to&nbsp;bring it to the present time, I learned a few things, Jobs any one can get, careers are not job's, when I decided I had about enough, I came back to my mothers home and found myself doing something every day, working with computers, it was my hobby at the time. One day I decided to go to school to get my A++ certification and converted a hobby into a full time&nbsp;career. That is what happened. I can work for myself or work for someone or both. I did this alone, with help from anyone, public assistance didn't help me rather&nbsp;tried to suppress my actions, the VA didn't need to help, but what I went through to get where I am, took 12 long weeks,&nbsp;walking 6 miles from my home to the school and back, with out missing a day. in the winter time with all the snow and rain and what have you.&nbsp;</p><p>Today I can say I'm a rather happy person&nbsp;with a family of my own, a dad to a 4 year old and a skill that I can use to work for myself when I want. I'm not going to recommend any veteran nor SM to go homeless, but what I am going to say is that if it happens get out of small towns and cities, look for larger cities where you can get better support from any programs they may have, VA or not the objective is to get back on your feet larger cities have shelters, soup kitchens and survival&nbsp;is greater in larger cities then small towns or very small cites. Once you know what you would like to work in and seek that education, no one will be able to hold you back. &nbsp;What seemed to be every thing gone wrong, turned out to be destiny taking its course. I didn't die because it was not my time. It made me wiser enough to be here to tell it and share it with you.&nbsp;</p>
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PO2 Alex M.
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This is an interesting topic. I think that the process for this happening is already underway. Some states like California already have laws of this nature in their states. There is some evidence that points in that direction. Ask a Vietnam veteran what happened when they returned from the war.
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SSgt John MacIntire
SSgt John MacIntire
>1 y
I can tell you what happened when we returned home! Discrimination yes; then set your sights on not being a willing participant and make things happen! After thirty years of owning two businesses, pursuing different endeavors helping vets & others & getting paid to make a difference!!!
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SSgt Forensic Meteorological Consultant
SSgt (Join to see)
>1 y
I fell just outside the Vietnam War entering in 8/74 and departing on 8/85.   I have a disability and working to make sure there are resources 24/7 for veterans and I am working on that.   Suffice it to say, but keep up the good work.   We have to fight against scoundrels who use our cause for their own selfish gain.
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SGT Chris Birkinbine
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Before the military I had never been turned down for a job in my life. After I got out I spent 4 months being turned down for every job I applied for, and was qualified to do. A couple times I found out I was passed over for someone with no experience in the field. I finally caught a break when a friend in a position high enough to give weight basicly got me a job. Once I got in I excelled, being promoted into a position of supervision within a year, and I held a job in that field until I graduated College.


It was a very eye opening experience. I have a theory I have been tossing around. I think Military experience is a detriment to your resume if you are looking for non-degree requiring jobs. I think most employers don't care about your military experience if you were not an officer, or senior NCO. 

From my experience, I have seen a lot of officers and senior NCO's get hired on to large salary jobs as "Consultants" who are really just being hired for their military contacts, which I think is a huge ethical problem.

Probably more info than you were looking for, but that is my experience.
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SFC James Baber
SFC James Baber
>1 y

Chris, I understand and agree completely on some aspects of your response. I had no problem getting a contract position before I was off transition leave, as it was with one of the contractors on post, I think it was more a numbers game than my background or experience. Most contracts have to have so many personnel at all times, so I think some companies just fill the numbers whether you are qualified or not. But then you are at the mercy of either yearly or every two years of not having the contract renewed. Had that happen back to back years with the contractor who would release everyone and then over a few months offer to bring people back, not a reliable position to be in. That is when I decided to go back to school to work on my degree. However , at the same time I was witnessing the brush-off from potential employers when they had discovered I had multiple deployments and were thinking the worse from all the stories of military personnel with PTSD. Although it is difficult to prove, many employers will bypass a former service member for someone with no experience so they don't have to deal with their ignorance or fears. PTSD is something that happens in the civilian sector as well, but most people don't know or realize that, so that stigma follows most veterans/retirees, especially ones with combat experience.

 

Thanks for your response.

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SGT Chris Birkinbine
SGT Chris Birkinbine
>1 y
Yes, I think that is exactly what I was experiencing, especially during those times in which I later found out that someone with no experience was hired. It is hard to prove though, and at the end of the day, all they have to claim is that you weren't right for the position.
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