The American Legion — discrimination against disabled veterans
This is to inform one and all of a situation at the American Legion Post 470 at ADDRESS in Fishers Indiana. I am attempting to contact the officers of the American Legion Post 470 and, if you are not one of the officers, you share the last name of one of the officers.
I am a Disabled Vietnam Veteran. I served with honor as a Combat Medic during the Vietnam War, but now I am a professionally trained and experienced bartender. After applying for a bartender position at the American Post 470 in Fishers, IN, I discovered that the American Legion discriminates in their hiring practices based on gender but, even more outrageous, they discriminate against Disabled Veterans as well. I discovered that the American Legion Post 470 hired two FEMALE bartenders which were much less qualified than I was and neither were Disabled Veterans. This statement is NOT just my belief, Post 470s Commander, Mike Beaumont, told me himself that the two bartenders they hired were less qualified than I was. Further, once I had informed the American Legion of Indiana Headquarters, they not only did not seem a bit concerned of this, but they even told me to grin and bear it and that they could discriminate when ever they so desired. One individual with the Legion Headquarters told me that discrimination was a way of life and I should not be complaining about it. Another told me that the Legion Headquarters did not get involved in Post affairs and that it was none of their concern if I was discriminated against, even if the discrimination was due to my status as a Disabled Vietnam Veteran. And, finally, one other individual with the State Legion Headquarters stated I should not hold the entire American Legion accountable for this one incident of discrimination. Lets examine that statement for a minute: not a single person at any post, State headquarters, or National Headquarters bothered to do anything about the discrimination, not even bothering to discover if discrimination took place. Remember, not a single person, of the over 800 people I contacted, ever denied that discrimination against me as a Disabled Veteran took place, they simply berated me for complaining about it. So, doesnt that indicate that the ENTIRE American Legion participated in the discrimination and, therefore, should not the entire American Legion be held accountable.
Now here is the kicker. Most bars, nightclubs, and restaurants discriminate, usually based on gender, in their hiring practices. But the American Legion states The American Legion supports Veteran issues, but then discriminates against Veterans and Disabled Veterans in their hiring practices. The same people that claim they support Veterans, but then discriminates against them in their hiring practices at their Legion Posts. Note: not one person, from the FEAMALE bar manager, to the Post Commander, to the highest levels of the Indiana American Legion and the National Headquarters of the American Legion ever denied the discrimination, they just said that they are ALLOWED to discriminate against whom ever and when ever they so desire. Go to any American Legion Post you choose and youll most likely see a female standing behind the bar in over 90% of the cases. If you check into the matter, youll also find that less than one percent of the bartenders are Veterans and even fewer are Disabled Veterans. And even another kicker, the State of Indiana allows discrimination if you are a non-profit organization or if you employ less than 6 people. In other words, the State of Indiana grants licenses to places to discriminate, if you are a non-profit organization or employ less than 6 people. So, if you are a non-profit organization, like the American Legion, or if your business employs less than 6 people, then you can discriminate on any basis you so desire. If you dont want African Americans working for you, then you can refuse to hire them based on their race, according to the State of Indiana. You are granted a license, in fact, to deny employment based on any factor you so desire, be it based on race, sex, disability, age (for that matter Indiana doesnt list age as a protected class), or national origin. I have to wonder how many of our elected representatives own business that employ less than 6 people and have made the law this way so they can discriminate.
I have brought this matter the the attention of over 300 Officers within the American Legion and, to date, not a single one has bothered to even investigate this matter. Instead, the responses I have received have only served to berate and belittle me. Just think, other Veterans have chosen to abandon a fellow Veteran and, which is even more distasteful, continued to support an organization that allow, condones, and even encourage discrimination against Disabled Veterans within their own ranks.
The American Legion collects millions of dollars every year on the idea that they support Veterans and Veteran Affairs, while all the time allowing discrimination against Disabled Veterans within their own ranks. To me they are guilty of receiving donations under false pretenses.
Do you really want to support an organization that discriminates against Disabled Veterans.
In addition, I have filed a complaint against the American Legion with the EEOC that has dismissed this case. Why? The American Legion is claiming exemption from the Civil Rights Laws because they are a non-profit organization. Notice, they have never denied that discrimination was the factor I was denied employment, they just say they are allowed to discriminate because they are a non-profti organization. The Federal Government granst a license to discriminate to non-profit organizations and to bussiness that employ less than 15 people. Indiana Civil Rights Statute are just as bad and unjust, they grant a license to discriminate to business that employ less than 6 people or are non-profit organizations. In point of fact, Indiana Civil Rights Statute actually rob you of the Right to a Jury Trial. Under the Indiana Civil Rights Statute you do not have a right to file a discrimination case in Superior or Circuit Court. This is a blatant violation of both the Constitution of the U.S. and the Constitution of the State of Indiana, both of which establish your absolute right to a trial by jury in a civil case.
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