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What if I suspect violation of veterans' preference rights?

Those who volunteer to serve our country in the military sacrifice a great deal. Most would agree that the pay isn't great. That may be made up for in some respects through the benefits that may be provided, but there can be gaps.

One of the perks that can come with successful military service that ends under honorable conditions is veterans' preference. This is a set of rules that grant veterans who meet the eligibility standards a leg up in being considered for federal employment in either the competitive or excepted service. But as the Office of Personnel Management makes clear, the rules have limits.

Veterans' preference doesn't guarantee a job, and it doesn't apply to opportunities that might come up once a person gets a government job. However, if you believe you are eligible for veterans' preference and believe your rights have been violated, there are measures that you can take. One of the first might be to consult with an attorney.

In addition to that, you should know about the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) within the U.S. Department of Labor. In addition to helping veterans determine their eligibility for preference, the service has the responsibility of investigating claims of those who suspect their preference rights have been violated. But it should come as no surprise that even the rules for filing a claim can be cumbersome. For example:

  • Complaints have to be filed within 60 days of the alleged violation.
  • Cases can be appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board, but no sooner than 61 days after the filing with VETS.
  • If the MSPB fails to issue a decision within 120 days, the case can go to federal court.

You can see there are plenty of hoops to jump through. To know what all of them are and learn what it may take to clear them, consulting an attorney would seem to makes sense.

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