CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 466 on Monday, June 8, 2009, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. H.R. 466 was introduced on January 13, 2009, by Rep. Doggett (D-TX) and 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 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, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (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.
According to CBO, H.R. 466 would cost $6 million over five years, subject to appropriations. In addition, CBO estimates that the bill would reduce revenues by $15 million over ten years because the legislation would result in more of an employee's compensation in the form of tax-deferred contributions, and less in the form of taxable wages.