Application of Veterans' Preference While Still Serving

echster

Trusted Contributor
Messages
73
Since I have some time, and this issue seems to come up every job announcement, I thought I would post this explanation as to why veterans still serving must be within 120 days of discharge in order to receive veterans' preference for hiring.

Quite simply, in the words of the sponsors of the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-56), a change in Federal law was required to ensure service members received a head-start in their Federal job search (and award of their veterans preference entitlements) despite not having a DD-214 to submit with their résumés.

Prior to President Obama signing the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, service members were required to have been discharged or released from active duty service, with DD-214 in hand, before applying for Federal jobs if they wanted to receive veterans' preference. This Act amended Federal law to require Federal agencies to treat certain active duty service members as veterans' preference eligible even though they have not yet been discharged or released from active duty.

Agencies are required to accept, process, and grant tentative veterans’ preference to those active duty service members who submit a certification - in lieu of a DD-214 - along with their job application materials.

Certification is defined at 5 CFR § 211.102(h) as "any written document from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted for consideration in the hiring process, at the time and in the manner prescribed by the applicable job opportunity announcement. Prior to appointment, the service member's character of service and qualifying discharge or release must be verified through a DD-214 or equivalent documentation."

The certification letter should be on letterhead of the appropriate military branch of the service and contain 1) the military service dates including the expected discharge or release date; and 2) the character of service.

Note: If you are a veteran applying and not requesting veterans' preference because you have more than 120 days of service remaining, an Agency may consider hiring you under VEOA, if offered. The FAA, however, rarely uses VEOA hiring authority for new hires since VEOA is only applicable to positions currently filled by status applicants (aka "current competitive service employees"). For example, the FAA will not use VEOA for a general experienced controller announcement for "anywhere in the U.S." positions open to everyone; however, the FAA may consider doing so for a targeted experienced controller announcement (like at N90, although I do not believe it did so in the most recent announcement).
 

DankVectorz

Legendary Member
FAA
Messages
705
Facility
N90 New York Tracon
As someone who had a TOL 16 months before I got out of the Air Force, the real reason you have to be within 120 days now (even though it was on my announcement as well) is because of the CTI students who talked of suing the FAA and went to their lawmakers after the genpub announcements came back out. This brought scrutiny down on the FAA hiring practices and everything is now done by the book.
 

echster

Trusted Contributor
Messages
73
"...the real reason you have to be within 120 days now...is because of the CTI students who talked of suing the FAA and went to their lawmakers...[t]his brought scrutiny down on the FAA hiring practices and everything is now done by the book."
This isn't directed at you but toward your reply. I was not fully aware of the specifics you mentioned since I largely ignore anything CTI-related.

That noted, having to threaten to sue a federal agency to follow federal law is ridiculous. As citizens, we do not get to choose which laws to follow and which laws to not follow. The expectation is we will choose to follow them all. That, to me at least, was indicative of some of the ad hoc, half-ass, do-what-the-hell-we-want-to-do of the FAA in years prior. Things may not have changed too much, but the FAA is likely to do the right thing when they know someone is watching and ready to call them on their BS.
 

DankVectorz

Legendary Member
FAA
Messages
705
Facility
N90 New York Tracon
This isn't directed at you but toward your reply. I was not fully aware of the specifics you mentioned since I largely ignore anything CTI-related.

That noted, having to threaten to sue a federal agency to follow federal law is ridiculous. As citizens, we do not get to choose which laws to follow and which laws to not follow. The expectation is we will choose to follow them all. That, to me at least, was indicative of some of the ad hoc, half-ass, do-what-the-hell-we-want-to-do of the FAA in years prior. Things may not have changed too much, but the FAA is likely to do the right thing when they know someone is watching and ready to call them on their BS.
They weren't threatening to sue to force the FAA to follow law. They threatened to sue because the FAA got rid of the CTI-only hiring bids in favor of the GenPub bids and because of the bio-q.
 
Top