CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 466 is being considered on the floor under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage on Tuesday, May 19, 2009. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) on January 13, 2009. The bill was referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, which held a mark up and reported the bill, as amended, by voice vote on May 6, 2009.
H.R. 466 would prohibit an employer from discriminating against an individual because of any receipt of treatment for an illness, injury, or disability that the Veterans' Affairs Department (VA) has determined was caused by, or aggravated during, military service. The bill would provide protection for individuals with service-related injuries under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Such employees would have their seniority, status, retention, and pay protected under the bill. The bill would, however, give an employer an opportunity to not re-employ a service injured veteran if it would impose an "undue hardship" on the employer.
According to the Office of Special Counsel, USERRA ensures certain job protections to individuals who have served in the Forces, Reserves, or the National Guard. The purpose of the legislation is to make sure that service members are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their service, are promptly reemployed in their civilian jobs upon their return from duty, and are not discriminated against in employment based on past, present, or future military service. H.R. 466 would expand the scope of USERRA to prohibit discrimination against military personnel who have been injured or received treatment for an injury incurred during military service.
A CBO score for H.R. 466 was not yet available at press time.