PTSD: National Center for PTSD
Information for Employers about Veterans
Information For Employers About Veterans
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Returning Veterans often resume the job they had before they left home. Other Veterans may start a new job after discharge. Veterans make very good workers because of their military training. They learn skills in leadership, teamwork, and performance under pressure. Military experience fosters respect for procedures. Veterans are not afraid to tackle tough problems.
However, Veterans all go through some readjustment after they get back from a war zone. Employers can benefit from understanding their employees' needs and rights. Informed employers can help make the process smoother for both the returnee and the workplace.
The National Guard and Reserve
About half of those returning from deployment in the current conflicts are U.S. National Guard and Reserves. We are counting on these service members more than ever before. Employers must realize, though, the challenges they face.
When they are deployed, the normal "civilian" lives of Reserve Component members are highly disrupted. The lives of their families are also disrupted. Spouses must suddenly make decisions without a partner. Families go through financial changes and emotional upset. At the same time these families often lack the close ties and support that full-time military families share with each other. The change from active duty back to everyday life is not always smooth for Veterans. It can be even harder for Guard and Reserve. They no longer have others around them who have shared the same war experiences.
Rights of employees
Employers also need to be aware of the rights of their Veteran employees. The law applies to all public and private employers in the United States. For service members meeting criteria, employers must provide:
- Prompt job reinstatement
- Accumulation of seniority, including pension plan benefits
- Reinstatement of health insurance
- Training or retraining of job skills, including accommodations for the disabled
- Protection against discrimination
Managers and supervisors can help by learning how Veterans may react after being in a war zone. Employers should know the common reactions to trauma. Be aware that most service members will return to normal, given time. Our website www.ptsd.va.gov contains much information that applies to returning Veterans and their families.
Of special note for employers:
- Returning from the War Zone: A Guide for Military Personnel
Describes common reactions after deployment to a war zone. Discusses problems that can occur and what can be done if they do.
- Returning from the War Zone: A Guide for Families of Military Personnel
Coming back from a war zone means adjustment for all involved. Covers the effects of homecoming on family life. Discusses the role of the family in problem-solving.
- Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
ESGR helps both military reservists and their employers adjust after deployment.
- Vet Success
Describes the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VRE) program. Serves Veterans with service-connected disabilities.
- Veterans' Employment & Training Service (VETS)
This US Department of Labor program helps Veterans to maximize their job opportunities and protect their employment rights.