February 16, 2015
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC | Law Firm Newswire
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) February 16, 2015 – The Michigan House of Representative and Senate have both unanimously passed a bill that permits Michigan employers to begin using a hiring policy that would give preference to veterans.
Previously, Michigan employers were forbidden by law to use any sort of preferential hiring policy. Federal law prohibits preferential hiring policies except in the case of veterans, for which states must adopt laws specifically allowing preferential treatment of veterans.
“This is a significant victory for Michigan’s veterans,” commented Jim Fausone, a Michigan veterans disability attorney with Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC. “Our state in particular has struggled with veteran unemployment, and this is a huge step in the right direction.”
According to the Dearborn Press and Guide, veteran unemployment in Michigan has been significantly higher than the national average in recent years. In 2013, for example, the Michigan veteran unemployment rate was 13.5 percent, while the national average was closer to eight percent.
Many Michigan employers have expressed a desire to adopt a veterans preference policy, reports the Press and Guide, but were unable to do so because Michigan law did not permit it.
The bill was introduced by Representative David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights), a veteran who served in Iraq. He has recounted his own experience coming home and struggling for months to find employment, and he has vowed to keep pushing for more employment opportunities for veterans.
“Today’s veterans face too many obstacles, and it is encouraging to see our state government making real change,” said Fausone. “I hope that the passage of this bill will go a long way toward correcting the veteran unemployment problem in our state.”