AUSTIN, TX – Senator Van Taylor today passed Senate Bill 664, the Stolen Valor Act, by unanimous vote in the Texas Senate. This bill authorizes an employer to fire an employee, or terminate a contract, if the employer reasonably determines that the employee or contractor falsified their military record.
"When I heard news stories of individuals claiming fictitious military records, I was dismayed to learn that Texas law did not give express legal authority for employers to terminate a contract for such actions," stated Taylor. "After talking with fellow veterans in our community, I immediately got to work drafting legislation to fix this problem. The sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform are beyond measure, and by unanimously passing the Stolen Valor Act, the Texas Senate has sent a unified message of support to all those who have bravely served our nation."
While, in Texas, it is currently a Class C misdemeanor for a person to claim a military record known to be fraudulent or fictitious, state law remains silent with regard to the disposition of jobs and employment contracts secured through the use of a falsified military record. While a person may be found guilty of having used a falsified military record, they may still keep their job secured through the use of that record.
The Stolen Valor Act, authored by Senator Taylor with the advice and counsel of local veterans, is intended to provide employers with clear authority to terminate employees, or contractors, who falsify their military service records in obtaining employment or any benefit relating to their employment.
As a Marine Officer and paratrooper, Taylor volunteered for duty as a platoon commander with the Marine Corps’ C Company, 4th Reconnaissance Battalion. He deployed to Iraq where he fought with 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company. Taylor led the first platoon into Iraq for his brigade and led a mission that rescued 31 wounded Marines during the pitched Battle of An Nasiriyah. For his service in Iraq, the Marine Corps awarded Taylor the Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, and the Navy Commendation Medal with “V” for valor.
A seventh generation Texan and local small businessman, Van Taylor serves the majority of Collin County and a portion of Dallas County in the Texas Senate where he is widely recognized as a conservative leader. Taylor was named Vice-Chairman of the Nominations Committee and also appointed to serve on the Education, Health and Human Services, and Transportation Committees. Van and his wife, Anne, married after his return from Iraq and are the proud parents of three young girls. Van and his family reside in Plano near the land his great-grandfather farmed during the Great Depression.