The State of Ohio is moving toward passing a bill that would make it legal for companies in the private sector to favor veterans and their spouses in their hiring and promotion practices. If the bill goes through, these workers would also have protection during layoffs.
It was passed by the House with a unanimous vote and now goes to the state Senate. This type of preferential treatment does not violate Ohio laws against discrimination based on protected class, and with the large number of unemployed veterans today, some states are looking for ways to help them out after their service to the country has ended.
There are more than 900,000 veterans in Ohio, and their rate of unemployment in 2013 was 6.8%. In 2011, that rate was nearly 12%, showing that veterans are finding jobs. Many employers prefer to hire veterans, because they’re looking for the skills and work ethic many people who have served their country have to offer. Nearly 10% of Ohio residents are veterans, and this bill could help more of them find jobs and move up through the ranks in companies that do hire them.
Another advantage veterans would see with the passing of this bill is course credit for their military education and experience at state and local colleges. This could help them move toward degrees that would make it easier for them to gain employment, or allow them to get involved in a career that matters to them.
However, there are still federal laws in place against discrimination, and employers would not be exempt from those laws. If a job seeker felt he or she was passed over for not being a veteran, a complaint could be filed as long as the company that did not hire that person was large enough to have more than 15 employees.