Veterans with PTSD May Face Employability Issues
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) August 14, 2012 – A diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder may change the hiring, retention and termination of veterans.
“It is no surprise that post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is becoming a significant issue, as it relates to the hiring of veterans returning home. Close to 200,000 U.S. soldiers are discharged from active duty every year. They either return to work or seek a new job. Thirty percent of them, or about 60,000, attempt to enter the law enforcement field or work for private security companies. No one knows exactly how many vets suffer from PTSD, or to what extent it affects them,” said James Fausone, veteran’s disability lawyer with Legal Help for Veterans.
To work in law enforcement, entry level candidates must submit to a deep background investigation involving psychological tests and medical assessments. The intention is to spot any mental, psychological or physical issues. If the individual does not provide true information or does not reveal any pre-existing medical conditions, they may face disqualification or prosecution. Private sector companies do not have the same stringent hiring processes, and a veteran with PTSD may slip under the radar on hiring.
Private security companies rarely check the mental health and status of applicants. Instead, they check their credit rating and whether or not they have a criminal record. This may result in an unexpected incident that arises without warning. For example, a security company unknowingly hires a returning veteran, rated with 50 percent PTSD, who has completed four combat tours as an armed security guard. The veteran is assigned patrol duty at a medical clinic in a rough neighborhood.
At 4 a.m., gunfire erupts out behind the clinic, startling the veteran out of a catnap. In transitioning from half asleep to fully awake, he suffers a PTSD flashback and is certain the enemy is firing at him. He snaps off several answering shots, killing a woman crossing the street on her way to an early morning cleaning job. Who is responsible for the unintended death of the woman? If the veteran did not inform the company of his PTSD rating, would that be considered fraud?
“There are a number of other critical questions that need to be answered with some degree of certitude in order to determine how veterans with PTSD must deal with revealing it or not. There also needs to be some equitable balance between hiring returning heroes and the potential liability, if their PTSD is rated as more than mild. It is a difficult question, but it needs to be dealt with to ensure employers have guidelines in place to provide returning vets with a job,” suggested Fausone.
James G. Fausone is a Veterans disability attorney and Veterans attorney with Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC. To learn more or to contact a Veterans disability attorney or Veterans attorney call 1.800.693.4800 or visit http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com.
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800
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