Employers will face more changes to their responsibilities to employees serving or returning from military service and their families if Congress adopts certain proposed legislation scheduled for hearings by members of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs this week. Concerned businesses should communicate any concerns to members of these committees and other Congressional contacts as soon as possible.
As Congress continues to consider additional expansions to existing federal veteran re-employment rights and retraining programs, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs is holding hearings on several pending proposals. On Thursday, June 4, 2009, for instance:
- The Subcommittee on Health of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs plans to mark up H.R. 1211, Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act and then hold a hearing on “Meeting the Needs of Family Caregivers of Veterans” beginning at 10:30 a.m. Eastern in Room 334 Cannon House Office Building; and
- The Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs plans to hear testimony about a proposal to extend existing military employment leave and reemployment rights to individuals called to full-time National Guard duty set forth in H.R. 1879, the National Guard Employment Protection Act of 2009, at a hearing to consider several pieces of legislation scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, 2009 See Hearing Schedule.
The June 4 hearings are the latest in a series of Congressional activities hearings focusing on promoting employment and health care rights for individuals serving or returning from service in the military and their families. In addition to H.R. 1879, other legislation scheduled for mark up during the Thursday afternoon hearing includes:
- H.R. 1037, Pilot College Work Study Programs for Veterans Act of 2009 would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct a five-year pilot project to test the feasibility and advisability of expanding the scope of certain qualifying work-study activities under title 38, United States Code;
- H.R. 1098, Veterans’ Worker Retraining Act of 2009 would increase the amount of educational assistance payments made by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to individuals pursuing an apprenticeship or on-job training under: (1) the Montgomery GI Bill educational assistance program; (2) the Post-Vietnam Era Veterans educational assistance program; (3) the Survivors and Dependents educational assistance program; and (4) the Selected Reserve Montgomery GI Bill educational assistance program.
- H.R. 1172, Pat Tillman Veterans’ Scholarship Initiative would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to include on the Internet website of the Department of Veterans Affairs a list of organizations that provide scholarships to veterans and their survivors;
- H.R. 1821, Equity for Injured Veterans Act of 2009 would increase vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits for certain veterans and provide child care reimbursement for certain rehabilitating single veterans; and
- H.R. 2180, would amend title 38, United States Code, to waive housing loan fees for certain veterans with service-connected disabilities called to active service.
If you need help responding to these proposals or with other questions relating to compliance or risk management under other federal and state military leave and veterans rights laws or regulations, please contact Curran Tomko Tarski LLP Labor & Employment Practice Group Chair, Cynthia Marcotte Stamer at (214) 270.2402 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Board Certified In Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, “Cindy” works with businesses, speaks and publishes extensively on these and other labor and employment, employee benefit, internal controls and compensation matters.