NH Senate Bill Would Give Vets Protected Status in University System

CONCORD — Amidst a pending federal lawsuit against the University of New Hampshire brought by a former professor claiming UNH passed over him for employment due to his veteran status after it chose not to renew his contract, the state Senate took action to better protect veterans from discrimination in the university system.

The Senate on Thursday passed SB 455, which amends the state law governing hiring practices, admissions, promotions and recruiting within the state university and community college systems. That law already prohibits discrimination and preferential treatment on the basis of race, sex, national origin, religion or sexual orientation.

Lead sponsor Sen. Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, said he filed the bill last fall when he heard of former UNH professor Nathan Webster’s lawsuit against the university Sept. 30, 2019. Bradley’s bill would amend the law to include active military members, veterans and individuals with a law enforcement background as persons with protected status when they interact with state universities and community colleges as students or employees.

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