Bills Target Bias Against Military Service

NGAUS Washington Report

(July 16, 2013) Bills introduced in the House and Senate last week target discrimination in employment and housing for current or former military service.

Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., both introduced the Veterans and Service Members Employment Rights and Housing Act of 2013, H.R. 2654 and S. 1281.  

The lawmakers cite a study by the Center for a New American Security that found more than 50 percent of employers had a “negative stereotype” of military members and veterans. Also, AMVETs, a veterans service organization, reports people being fired or denied rent applications because of their military status.

Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, a cosponsor of the House bill, said, “Under no circumstances should the brave men and women of our armed forces face job or housing discrimination based on the service they provided our country.”

The lawmakers note that some states have this type of legislation on the books, but say no comprehensive federal law sufficiently addresses these issues.