Posts Tagged ‘Memorial Day’

Memorial Day Chance to Reflect on Fallen, Also How to Help Jobless Vets Once Pandemic Fades

Part of how we honor the dead this Memorial Day is to make sure the living also aren’t forgotten.

The economic pullback because of Covid-19 is taking its toll on the nation’s veterans.

One in eight veterans, or nearly 12 percent, were unemployed in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. All this as the country’s total jobless rate rose to its highest levels since the Great Depression because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic won’t be with us for ever, and when it recedes, and when the economy reopens, veterans will be in the mix to re-fill the workforce.

The Labor Department has resources to help with that, at And there’s this teaser at the bottom of the page: Employer Guide to Hiring Veterans Coming Soon!


Paid Vacation Often Going Unused, But Why?

On this Memorial Day, when many workers’ thoughts turn to taking paid vacation, some workers are leaving unused vacation hours on the table.

On average, workers took 16.8 days of vacation in 2016, which more than in recent years, years, but still below the average 20.3 day long-term average between 1976 and 2000, according to a survey of 7,331 Americans by Project Time Off: an initiative of the U.S. Travel Association.

Survey respondents said they get 22,6 days of vacation a year, meaning they are leaving about 2 days unused.

A survey by Glassdoor of 2,224 U.S. adults found that U.S. workers on average took 54 percent of their alloted vacation time.

There’s also a gender gap in the use of vacation time. 51 percent of young men reported they had used all their vacation days, compared with 44 percent in 2015, On the other hand, fewer than half of millennial age women (44 percent) took all their vacation time, compared to 46 percent the year before.

The increase in “paid-time-off banks” in which companies put vacation days, sick time and personal days into one bucket, may partly explain why fewer true vacation days are being used.

Another possible explanation is that workers would rather forfeit some vacation than use all it and return to work with a big to=do list waiting for them,

For more findings from the Time off report, click here.

Honor Returning Veterans by Hiring Them

On this Memorial Day, the day set aside to remember the soldiers who have died in our country’s wars, let’s honor their memory by giving their returning comrades a fair shot at gainful employment.

Wal Mart Inc. has done just that. In 2013, the company committed to hiring 100,000 veterans nationwide by 2018. Last week, the company expanded that commitment, pledging to hire 250,000 veterans by 2020.

According to, the retailer hired 800 veterans over the past two years at its stores in Nebraska.

There’s more good news when it comes to hiring veterans. In a report last March, DOL Secretary Thomas Perez noted that 2014 was the 4th straight year of declining unemployment for veterans.

And here’s a prior posting I did on federal laws affecting veterans’ employment.

Laws, Tax Credits Aim to Make Life Better for Veterans Returning to Civilian Employment

This Memorial Day is not only an opportunity to recognize the valor and sacrifice of soldiers who gave their lives in defense of this country, but also to renew our efforts to make sure veterans get employment when they return and that they are treated fairly on the job. Here’s a rundown of what our laws require vis-a-vis returning veterans.

Ban on Discrimination: Employers are prohibited under the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act from discriminating in employment against service members upon their return from a period of military service. The laws includes protections for National Guard and reserve call-ups. The law is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS).

Affirmative Action: The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act–or VEVRAA-federal contractors must take affirmative action to hire and promote qualified veterans, including disabled veterans. Despite the law’s name, its protections are not limited to Vietnam Era veterans. They also encompass disabled veterans and veterans who serve in military campaigns for which a campaign badge has been authorized by the Department of Defense. This statute is enforced by DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

Neither of these laws, however, can compel an employer to hire a veteran. The veterans’ unemployment rate remains stubbornly high. To make a dent in that problem, the federal government provides a Work Opportunity Tax Credit to give employers a financial incentive to hire veterans. The credit, which was enacted in 2011, has been extended to the end of 2013.

This tax credit is for hiring the following eligible veterans:

• Short-term Unemployed: A new credit of 40% of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment compensation for at least 4 weeks.

• Long-term Unemployed: A new credit of 40% of the first $14,000 of wages (up to $5,600) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment compensation for longer than 6 months.Wounded Warrior Tax Credit

• Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: Maintains the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for veterans with service-connected disabilities hired within one year of being discharged from the military. The credit is 40% of the first $12,000 of wages (up to $4,800).

• Long-Term Unemployed Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: A new credit of 40% of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been in receipt of unemployment compensation for longer than 6 months.The credit can be as high as $9,600 per veteran for for-profit employers or up to $6,240 for tax-exempt organizations.

Dont let these obligations and opportunities go to waste. Treat veterans the right way–and hire more of them–and they and the nation will benefit.