Michigan’s Private Employer’s Veterans’ Preference Policy Act

Michigan’s Private Empl…

While discrimination in employment decisions is prohibited under a myriad of state and federal laws, rules, and regulations, beginning January 14, 2015, the Private Employer’s Veterans’ Preference Policy Act (the “Act”) allows private employers in Michigan to adopt policies giving veterans preferential treatment in certain employment related decisions.

The Act defines a “private employer” as a sole proprietor, corporation, partnership, limited liability company or other private entity with at least one employee. A “veteran” is defined as an individual who served on active duty with the armed forces of the United States for more than 180 days and was not dishonorably discharged, or who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.

Under the Act, a private employer may (but is not obligated to) adopt a policy stating the employer’s voluntary preference for hiring, promoting, or retaining veterans over other qualified individuals for employment – whether job applicants or existing employees. The policy must be in writing and must be applied uniformly to employment decisions regarding the hiring, promotion, or retention of veterans during reduction in workforce layoffs.

The Act joins the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), the federal Veteran’s Benefits Improvement Act of 2004 (VIBA), and a number of State law provisions, all of which are intended to protect the rights of veterans to at least equal treatment in employment-related decisions.

As always, feel free to contact Wright Beamer if you have any questions regarding this or any other employment policy.

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