We have a young man that recently joined the police department, in Nashville, that was blown up when his tank was destroyed during OIF. He was knocked out, and he woke up 50 meters from the tank with injuries. He was just diagnosed with ulcers and he has a “rash” on his face that was not there before OIF. The rash is across his nose and cheeks and appears to be Resaca or the rash caused by lupus. I tell you this to let you know the extent of his problems, and to tell you he missed work today because the ulcer is getting worse.
He was told by the doctor, who is over department physicals, that he would have to “Give UP” his disability from the military or he could not be considered for a job on this department. I was told by two other vets from his graduating class that they had to do the same thing to get hired. Keep in mind, this is the same doctor that told my 12 years ago that he would have to see my medical records before he could let me come onto the department. I told him where to get a copy of my records and he looked upset. He examined me and all he did was to tell me to touch my toes and do the duck walk across the room. He then snatched the record from the floor, where he had thrown it when he came in, and put it against the wall and signed off on my hire. As he was walking out he turned to me and said, “If you don’t make it through the academy they will kick you out anyway.”
I thought I was mistreated, but these poor guys are being discriminated against. I believe they would even have a right to sue under title 7 for a violation of their civil rights. These guys are new to the department though and they are afraid of getting fired. I thought about bringing this to the attention of the local media, but the mayor and police chief seem to have them in their back pocket. I am looking for any legal advice anyone may have that could help these guys. I don’t think any veteran should be treated this way, much less one that was literally blown up for his country.
Posts: 205 | From: Nashville, TN | Registered: Mar 2006
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Oh my, Bless and keep those that want to be cops!!! I am really afraid for combat vets that want to be cops. My husband, a retired Marine became a cop after service. He did not deploy - but served 20 FULL years. He just could not take the B.S. crappy situation of being a cop, terrible over paid Chief who was a lair, micro-managing LT who made him write reports over and over, all that hard work and lawyers who pleed out, it was a horror to listen to him after work. My hubby was a university cop - and they had no emergency protocols!!! Even after VirgTech. This freaked me out because I have worked many a command post - I am a combat vet and could hardly tolerate what I heard, but attempted to be a good supportive wife. Still his weapon had no safety, and his holster was knocked ajar several times during pursuits - which he reported and this brought no concern. I couldn't take it - you don't plan for the bad stuff it just happens. He left the job. Praise God. My prayers really go out to cops. The job is just SO hard - even for those who never got blown up in tanks. This person, blown up - thrown - most certainly has to have TBI . . . this is not going to get better. It really sucks the situation. To be honest I wish he would work on healing and would want him to know what ever happens and his heart is in the right place . . . maybe it is for the best for him, even if he can't see it - that he chose a different path. Please do line these valiant war serving veterans up with this site. Talk to them and listen and try to stay in touch for a while even if police work doesnt' work out for them, or they don't make it through the academy. Help them understand the VA. Acknowledge the situation is crappy. A big fight to get on a department that already has problems to me is not worth it - especially if you need to heal. This might not be what you were looking for when you posted this, and I am beat down and tired of fighting . . . but I just want these guys to have a chance at a good life - and sometimes the reality of life is that it is real hard to find a good life if you have to beat your way in. But by all means I think this doc should legally be dealt with. What an A-hole. Maybe an anynomous letter to the editor of the local paper . . .
I pray for this guy, I think he should keep his disability from the service, and I think he should sue, under the people with disabilty act. What nerve this yo yo has, doesn't he realize that young man and the other service folks, are keeping this country free?and protected? If the local paper dosn't cover rhe story, go for the state paper. arrrrrgggghhhhhh.
-------------------- May God bless and keep you. Posts: 218 | From: bunker #19 | Registered: Jul 2005
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It would appear that the employer in this case may be violating USERRA, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. USERRA prohibits discrimination in hiring based upon military service. It also addresses the Service Member's rights dealing with disability from military service and employment afterward.
Any Service Member who feels that he/she is being discriminated against can contact Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. They (we) are online at www.esgr.mil or can be reached at (800) 336-4590. An ombudsman will contact the complaining Service Member and begin an informal investigation. If the ombudsman cannot resolve the issue, a formal complaint can be filed with the Department of Labor, Veterans Education and Trainings Service (DOL/VETS). The DOL has subpeona power, and can compel testimony from the employer. If the DOL cannot resolve the issue, it is referred to the Department of Justice.
As an ombudsman, I can tell you that municipal governments, and police departments in particular, are among the worst violators of USERRA. The seem to think that they are above the law, and a power unto themselves.
I would suggest that anyone who feels that they have been discriminated against in any way due to their service to our country contact ESGR. Discrimination in hiring is illegal, but difficult to prove. On the plus side, it costs nothing to file, and the entire process is done without cost to the Service Member. If you don't file, we can't help you.
If anyone needs more information, please contact me by private message or e-mail me at email@example.com.
Ken Baker, Ombusdman, NJESGR
Ombudsman of the year (NJ 2007)
Posts: 106 | Registered: Mar 2007
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