Summary: S.646 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.646. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (03/15/2017)

Justice for Servicemembers and Veterans Act of 2017

This bill authorizes the Department of Justice (DOJ) to initiate an action for relief in a service member's employment or reemployment rights action with respect to: (1) a private or state employer, or (2) a state or private employer that is engaged in a pattern or practice to infringe upon such rights.

The bill provides that: (1) a person may bring an action against a state, state instrumentality, or state officer or employee acting in his or her official capacity in U.S. district court or state court (currently, only in state court), and (2) the state employer shall not be immune from such action under the Eleventh Amendment or under any other doctrine of sovereign immunity.

No such state, instrumentality, officer, or employee that receives or uses federal financial assistance for a program or activity shall be immune under the Eleventh Amendment or under any other doctrine of sovereign immunity from suit in federal or state court for any employment rights violation related to such program or activity.

The bill expands judicial venues for an action against a private employer.

DOJ may issue civil investigative demands in the enforcement of employment and reemployment rights of members of uniformed services with respect to states and private employers.

Service-related disability coverage is extended.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is amended to revise protective provisions for service members regarding: (1) default judgments, including the requirement that a court shall not enter a judgment until it appoints an attorney for the defendant; (2) termination of residential and motor vehicle leases upon relocation; (3) DOJ issuance of civil investigative demands; and (4) vacating or setting aside judgments.

The bill provides for the portability of professional licenses of service members and their spouses who are relocated under military orders.