With PA Veterans Unemployment Rate at 7.3%, Casey Unveils Legislation to Combat Job Discrimination Against Returning Troops

County-by-County Data Show Unemployment Rate for Vets Across PA

Senator Makes Case to Pass Bill that Strengthens Vet Employment Rights

WASHINGTON, DC- With Memorial Day approaching and veteran unemployment in Pennsylvania at 7.3%, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) unveiled legislation today to combat job discrimination that veterans often confront when they return home.

During a conference call, Senator Casey highlighted county-by-county unemployment data for veterans across Pennsylvania and called on Congress to quickly take up and pass his bill, the Servicemembers’ Access to Justice Act.

“The men and women of our armed forces have given their all for our country, and it’s essential that we protect them in the workplace when they come home,” Senator Casey said. “No veteran should face job discrimination when they return from war, and passing this bill will ensure our servicemembers are protected.”

Senator Casey’s bill, the Servicemembers’ Access to Justice Act, would strengthen existing laws that prohibit discrimination against returning veterans at the workplace. Specifically, Senator Casey’s bill would:

  • Make it easier for servicemembers to obtain justice when their employment rights are violated by prohibiting employers from requiring servicemembers to give up their ability to have their old job back as condition of employment. For example, under the bill an employer could not force a servicemember to automatically give up his job when he or she is called into service. A service member could voluntarily leave their job upon deployment but could not be forced to as a condition for being hired.
  • Enhance the remedies available to servicemembers who prove that their rights under existing veteran anti-discrimination laws were violated, by adding minimum liquidated damages for willful violations and punitive damages for violations committed with malice.
  • Require that federal agencies provide notice to contractors of potential Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) obligation.
  • Include a provision for a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report requiring study of current employer education programs and soliciting recommendations for ways in which government agencies such as the Small Business Administration and the Defense Department Employer Support for Guard and Reserve could cooperate to enhance employer education.

All across Pennsylvania, veterans face obstacles as they attempt to return the workplace upon coming home. Below is a county-by-county breakdown of veteran unemployment across Pennsylvania:

County

Veteran Population

Veteran Unemployment Rate (%)

Adams County, Pennsylvania

10153

5.7

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

93804

10.5

Armstrong County, Pennsylvania

5409

6.4

Beaver County, Pennsylvania

15354

8.7

Berks County, Pennsylvania

30021

7.2

Blair County, Pennsylvania

11640

15.5

Bucks County, Pennsylvania

42497

8.8

Butler County, Pennsylvania

17040

8.9

Cambria County, Pennsylvania

14005

9.9

Carbon County, Pennsylvania

5596

8.5

Centre County, Pennsylvania

9236

12.4

Chester County, Pennsylvania

34122

9.5

Clearfield County, Pennsylvania

8079

15.5

Columbia County, Pennsylvania

4877

3.9

Crawford County, Pennsylvania

7989

20.3

Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

21917

3.1

Dauphin County, Pennsylvania

23674

7.3

Delaware County, Pennsylvania

37430

8.2

Erie County, Pennsylvania

21527

9.4

Fayette County, Pennsylvania

11976

15.3

Franklin County, Pennsylvania

13375

9.4

Indiana County, Pennsylvania

7808

12

Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania

19068

8.1

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

32787

9.7

Lawrence County, Pennsylvania

8220

14.8

Lebanon County, Pennsylvania

11786

2.4

Lehigh County, Pennsylvania

24837

13.4

Luzerne County, Pennsylvania

28083

7.8

Lycoming County, Pennsylvania

11029

3.9

Mercer County, Pennsylvania

11012

10

Monroe County, Pennsylvania

14506

16.1

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

54234

10.3

Northampton County, Pennsylvania

23770

10.6

Northumberland County, Pennsylvania

10738

8.3

Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

77641

16.6

Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania

15807

7.6

Somerset County, Pennsylvania

7427

9.2

Washington County, Pennsylvania

18689

9.8

Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

34921

8.4

York County, Pennsylvania

35840

9.1

 

*SOURCE: U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, 2010 AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY 1-YEAR ESTIMATES

** Data not available for all counties

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