Military Status - HB 2161

Under Virginia state law, “veteran status” has been expanded to “military status” as a protected class. Military status includes:

  • Veterans (w/non-dishonorable discharge)
  • Active duty military
  • Active duty reserves
  • Military dependents (spouses & children)

Web content should be reviewed and updated, as appropriate.

  • Identify all policies, procedures, contracts, communications that refer to “veteran status”
  • Determine whether the situation demands retaining only references to “veteran status”
  • Where inclusion of new protected class identities should be included, change the reference to “veteran status” to:
    • “military status (including veteran status)”

Examples

Example 1: Preventing and Responding to Discrimination policy

Currently: [VCU] prohibits unlawful discrimination in the workplace, academic setting or any of its programs or activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin (including ethnicity), age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions), parenting status, marital status, political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information (including family medical history), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or disability.

Change Required?: Yes — this is an inclusive listing of protected classes upon which the university will not discriminate, based on various state and federal laws and regulations

New Version: Virginia Commonwealth University (“VCU” or the “university”) prohibits unlawful discrimination in the workplace, academic setting or any of its programs or activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin (including ethnicity), age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions), parenting status, marital status, political affiliation, military status (including veteran status), genetic information (including family medical history), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or disability.

Example 2: VCU Jobs

Currently: Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution providing access to education and employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or disability.

Change Required?: No — this “EEO Tagline,” including the specific references to these categories, is a requirement for federal contractor OFCCP compliance.

Example 3: Veterans’ Experience

Currently: A news article headline that states, “Veterans process trauma through camaraderie and art.”

Change Required?: No — the legislative change is not intended to preclude research or programming related to veterans-specific issues or experiences, or to remove the term ‘veteran’ from our vocabulary. Need assistance in determining whether the reference should be changed?

Contact for questions

For any additional questions or consultation, please contact:

Patrick Noonan
Director, EEO & Affirmative Action Programs
noonanpr@vcu.edu