Veteran"s Preference in Federal Employment

To provide assistance to preference eligible individuals who believe that their rights under veterans" preference statutes and regulations have been violated.

Recognizing their sacrifice, Congress enacted laws to prevent veterans seeking Federal employment from being penalized for their time in
military service.

Veterans" preference recognizes the economic loss suffered by citizens who have served their country in uniform, restores veterans to a favorable competitive position for Government employment, and acknowledges the larger obligation owed to disabled veterans.

Veterans" preference is not so much a reward for being in uniform as it is a way to help make up for the economic loss suffered by those who answered the nation"s call to arms.

Historically, preference has been reserved by Congress for those who were either disabled or who served in combat areas.

Eligible veterans receive many advantages in Federal employment, including preference for initial employment and a higher retention standing in the event of layoffs.

However, the veterans" preference laws do not guarantee the veteran a job, nor do they give veterans" preference in internal agency actions such as promotion, transfer, reassignment, and reinstatement.

By law, veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over others in hiring from competitive lists of eligibles and also in retention during reductions-in-force.

Preference applies in hiring for virtually all Federal jobs, whether in the competitive or excepted service.

In addition to receiving preference in competitive appointments, veterans may be considered for special noncompetitive appointments for which only they are eligible.

Agency - Department of Labor

The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of job seekers, wage earners and retirees by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities, protecting their retirement and health benefits and generally protecting worker rights and monitoring national economic measures.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

Contact the nearest Department of Labor, Veterans" Employment and Training Service office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

To assist persons who perform service in the uniformed services to secure Federal employment and to ensure a higher retention standing in the event of a reduction-in-force.

To provide information and assistance to veterans, employers, labor organizations, and other elements of the community concerned with veterans" preference in Federal employment and retention.

The Department of Labor - Veterans" Employment and Training Service investigates complaints with the goal of voluntary resolution of veterans" preference problems.

Unresolved complaints can be pursued by the complainant veteran to the Merit Systems Protection Board.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Specialized group (e.g.

health professionals, students, veterans): Employment/Labor/Management

Beneficiary Eligibility

Specialized group (e.g. health professionals, students, veterans); Pension Recipient


For veterans" preference, general proof of honorable separation such as discharge certificate or DD Form 214. In addition, for 10-point preference, a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs or military department certifying existence of service-connected disability. When the 10-point preference is based on the award of a Purple Heart, official documentation of the award is sufficient. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. Application forms are available from Service Centers of the Office of Personnel Management and from Federal agency personnel offices. Veterans eligible for noncompetitive appointment should make personal contact with the Federal agency where they would like to be considered for employment. Veterans who believe that they have not been properly accorded their rights have several different avenues of complaint, depending upon the nature of the complaint and the individual"s veteran status: The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 allows preference and other eligibles to file a complaint with the Department of Labor"s Veterans" Employment and Training Service (VETS) when the person believes an agency has violated his or her rights under any statute or regulation relating to veterans" preference. Eligible veterans seeking employment who believe that an agency has not properly accorded them their veterans" preference, or failed to provide special placement consideration noted above, may file a complaint with the local Department of Labor VETS representative (located at State employment service offices). To be eligible to file a complaint a veteran must: Have served on active duty for more than 180 days and have other than a dishonorable discharge; have a service-connected disability; or served on active duty during a period of war, or received a campaign badge or expeditionary medal (e.g., the Southwest Asia Service Medal). The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) prohibits discrimination in employment, retention, promotion, or any benefit of employment on the basis of a person"s service in the uniformed services. Complaints under this law should also be filed with the local Department of Labor VETS representative (located at State employment service offices). Since a willful violation of a provision of law or regulation pertaining to veterans" preference is a Prohibited Personnel Practice, a preference eligible who believes his or her veterans" preference rights have been violated may file a complaint with the local department of Labor VETS representative, as noted above. A disabled veteran who believes he or she has been discriminated against in employment because of his or her disability may file a handicapped discrimination complaint with the offending agency under regulations administered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Award Procedures



Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


Veterans Preference Act of 1944, Public Laws 78-359, 93-508, 94-502, 95-520, 95-454, 97-72, 97-306, 98-543, 99-576, 101-237, 102-16, 102-568, 105-339, and 106-117; 109-163; Executive Order 11521, March 26, 1970.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Under Public Law 95-454, retired members of the armed forces will no longer be considered preference eligible as of October 1, 1980, unless they are disabled veterans or retired below the rank of Major or the equivalent. Under Public Law 97-306, enacted October 14, 1982, a 2-year minimum active duty service condition for those entering military service after September 7, 1980, or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty, must be met, unless they are disabled veterans.





Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.

This program has no matching requirements.

This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

not applicable. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: none.

Post Assistance Requirements



Not Applicable.


Not applicable.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Federal Employment) FY 08 $0; FY 09 est $0; FY 10 est $0 - Obligations are devoted to Federal Management; and, are not separately identifiable.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

not applicable.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Not Applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. Contact the nearest Department of Labor, Veterans" Employment and Training Service office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Robert Wilson 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20210 Phone: 202-693-4719

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.

The Great Social Enterprise Pitch, a project of Assets Lancaster and the Lancaster County Community Foundation, has now opened its voting portal for people who will donate money to the projects they like best.

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