Veterans return to tough job market

Finding a job in the U.S. amidst talks of recession and the weakening dollar is tough for many Americans, even harder for returning veterans.

Compared to civilians of similar age and education, veterans have less of a chance of being hired.

Eighteen percent of the veterans recently back from overseas tours of duty are unemployed. Of employed veterans, 25 percent earn less than $21,840 a year, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The data was compiled from a survey of 1,941 veterans who left the military between December 2004 and January 2006. The survey matches up with Census Bureau and other data showing employment rates and wages are lower for troops returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones than their civilian peers. Read the full article in the Washington Post.

With soldiers returning to work, there are federal laws businesses must abide by. Particularly, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, most commonly known as USERRA.

Recently, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart to defend the employment rights of an Air Force veteran.

The Air Force veteran claims that Wal-Mart denied him of his civilian employment position as a cashier in Orange City, FL. Subject to certain limitations, USERRA requires that individuals who leave their jobs to serve in the military be reemployed by their civilian employers in the same position that they would have held had they not left to serve.

Read the full Department of Justice press release.

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