Laws and Legal Research


Key words on federal legislation are "H.R." and/or "S.B." followed by a specific number which is public record. Do not trust anything referring to legislation in the "rumor mill" that doesn't quote a specific number. Also, if calling a Representative or Senator, having a bill number is an inside track into making your voice heard concerning that piece of legislation you are referring to.


H.R. 366
106th Congress
1st Session

H.R. 366 --

To amend the Small Business Act to establish programs and undertake efforts to assist and promote the creation, development, and growth of small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans of service in the Armed Forces, and for other purposes.


Petersen v. Department of the Interior, 71 M.S.P.R. 227 (1996):
(Access URL below, also.)

"With respect to his allegations of harassment, the appellant contended that '[d]uring the application process and since the time of his hire, supervisors and co-workers have made negative comments about [his] status as a disabled veteran.' He asserts that a supervisor informed him that the agency was forced to hire him because he was a disabled veteran. The appellant further alleged that he and other veterans were belittled by agency workers, that he was called various derogatory names, such as 'psycho,' 'baby killer,' and 'plate head,' and that he complained to the agency personnel office, but that no effective steps were taken to end the hostile conduct.

"Based on . . . the well-established principle that discrimination encompasses hostile environment claims, we conclude that harassment on account of prior service in the uniformed services, which is sufficiently pervasive to alter the conditions of employment and create an abusive working environment, is a violation of 38 U.S.C. sec. 4311(a). Applying these principles, we find that the appellant has made non-frivolous allegations of fact sufficient to entitle him to a hearing on his hostile work environment claim . . . ."

As with other forms of harassment law, of course, "veteran status harassment" law would also apply not just to one-to-one insults, but also to posters, overheard conversations, department-wide e-mail, and so on. See, e.g., Conciliation Agreement Between the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and The Ohio State University, Sept. 14, 1992:

"[The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs'] onsite review revealed that the University had not maintained a working environment free of harassment, intimidation, and coercion based upon covered veteran status for special disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam Era. For example, in one of the departments Professors displayed inflammatory pictures and postings, offensive to Vietnam-era veterans, on their office windows facing the corridors. But a Vietnam-era veteran was required to remove a poster considered offensive by members of a non-protected group.

"During the most recent military action of Operation Desert Storm, the negative attitude toward Vietnam-era veterans became vocal. Complaints regarding the offensive postings and verbal harassment were brought to the attention of University Executives. . . . However, no action was taken to effect change prior to OFCCP's review. [This constitutes a v]iolation of 41 CFR 60-250.4(a) [ban on discrimination against veterans] and 41 CFR 60-250.6(a)."

See generally:

UCLA Law School
January 1998

Revised 03-05-99 by DGSH