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Sen. Banks: Senate Approves Bill to Prevent Employment Discrimination Against Veterans

STATEHOUSE (March 4, 2014) — Legislation sponsored by State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) to prevent employment discrimination against military veterans passed the Senate today by a unanimous vote.

House Bill 1242 would make it illegal for an employer to refuse to hire an applicant because of their status as a U.S. military veteran, National Guard member or reservist. The bill would also require the Indiana Civil Rights Commission to address any alleged violations and the Indiana Department of Veterans’ Affairs to distribute information notifying veterans of this practice.

“It’s a dishonor to these brave men and women to allow employment discrimination to continue,” Banks said. “Indiana’s jobless rate for post-9/11 veterans is more than twice as high as the state unemployment rate, and we can’t let anything get in the way of our veterans securing a career after their service. This legislation sends a message that Indiana cares for its veterans and will continue to advocate for them.”

According to recent statistics from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans in Indiana is currently 20 percent. The state unemployment rate is 6.8 percent.

HB 1242 now returns to the House of Representatives for further consideration. State Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) is the bill’s author.