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Spouse employment rights

Military Authority Member
Christine Green March 18th, 2012

As a member of the Armed Services I was protected by the soldier, sailor act (I am now retired). But also as the spouse of an Active Duty solder, do I have rights from discrimination from my employer? We are PCSing soon and my employer recently found out I will be moving soon. I am afraid she will terminate me or make my life a living hell with the little time I have left. Do I have any rights here?


Military Authority Member
Jason Van Steenwyk April 16th, 2012

Military spouses do not belong to a federally protected class for employment rights purposes. In the private sector, they are generally treated the same way as any other employee whose spouse is leaving the area soon, for whatever reason.

There is no doubt that military families pay a price in the form of career interruptions for the military spouse. According to the National Military Family Association (citing DoD statistics), military spouse make, on a average, 25 percent less than their nonmilitary counterparts, and 25 percent - three times the national average, are unemployed and looking for work.

From a public policy perspective, it is difficult to craft a law to extend employment protections for military spouses without running the risk of employers being even more loathe to hire them.

Your state law, of course, may vary. You might consider speaking with an employment law attorney licensed and practicing in your state.

If you are a federal employee, however, there are a number of directives and executive orders designed to give military spouses a leg up in the federal work force.

There are also a few positive public/private partnerships designed to foster portable career opportunities for military spouses, as well as streamline the transfer of professional licenses from state to state.

See here, for example:

We do have some upcoming content on these programs, and we'll be working hard to be a resource of information for military members and their families!

Thanks again for reading!

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