WASHINGTON – President Obama recently signed into law a bipartisan measure cosponsored by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) that will help protect the employment rights of veterans, Reservists and National Guardsman who work at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The new law, Public Law No: 112-171, will make TSA a more viable and attractive job prospect for veterans returning to the civilian workforce by amending the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001 to ensure TSA is subject to the provisions of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. The measure was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) in December of last year and was co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 39 Senators, including Sen. Carper.
Prior to the new law, TSA was exempt from complying with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, which protects civilian job rights and benefits for veterans, Reservists, and National Guardsman who are called up to active duty. Upon the law's implementation, veterans, Reservists, and National Guardsman will receive the same employee protections as other TSA employees. TSA, which employs about 3,500 Reservists and 15,000 veterans, has 270 days to implement the change.
"As our service men and women return to the civilian workforce after serving our country in the military, we have a responsibility to ensure that they have the proper resources and support to re-enter the workforce, particularly in this difficult economic environment," said Sen. Carper, a veteran. "The Transportation Security Administration is a vital agency that currently employs thousands of our veterans, with the potential to hire many more. This new law eliminates unfair loopholes, better protects employment rights and encourages even more well-qualified veterans and military personnel to apply to the agency. This law takes the right – and fair – steps to extend employment protections to cover our nation's heroes."
The Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion are supporters of the measure.