SB 73: Veterans Hiring Preference

Veterans Bill Package

SB-73 clarifies under law that if a private business establishes a policy granting preference to Veterans applying for work, that policy would not be in violation of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).  


Under existing law, both the California and the Federal Governments give point preference to hiring Veteran applicants for government jobs. Furthermore, the Federal Government provides tax write-offs and tax breaks for private businesses that hire Veterans.

In 2020 alone, California reported the highest homeless populations in the country with about 28% of the nation’s homeless residing in California; California also reported the highest homeless Veteran population with about 31% of the nation’s homeless Veterans. During the same year California businesses reported hiring 12% of the nation’s total of hired at risk Veterans for the Federal tax break. At risk is defined as being on food subsidy(s) / the Veteran reporting to be without employment for greater than four weeks.

Businesses have been inhibited from creating friendly Veteran hiring policies due to the combination of California’s FEHA policy of anti-discrimination and the recent clarifications of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEO) under Title VII. Recent claims in a lawsuit draw into question the ability to give preference to one protected class over another as a possible violation of FEHA. The EEO has provided clarification to a business policy vs personal preference when businesses apply hiring preferences.


SB-73 will enshrine under state law that FEHA mimics and supports the decisions passed down by the EEO and court rulings by codifying the ability of businesses to establish hiring policies that give Veteran preference, without violating anti-discrimination laws. 


Click here to read the bill language
Click here to read the press release