Are veterans considered a protected group under the apprenticeship Equal Employment Opportunity regulations? May a sponsor specifically seek them out or give them preference in hiring?

Equal Employment Opportunity

The apprenticeship Equal Employment Opportunity regulations do not specify veterans as a protected group.  However, a sponsor may specifically seek out veterans or give them preference in hiring as long as doing so does not discriminate on the basis of any of the protected characteristics.  For example, a preference for veterans – who are more likely to be male than female – might have a disparate impact on women that is neither job-related nor consistent with business necessity.  Therefore, sponsors should proceed with caution in creating “veteran-only” apprenticeship programs.

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