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Veterans’ Preference Guidelines. Human Resource Conference 2006. Veterans’ Preference. Background Information

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Veterans preference guidelines

Veterans’ Preference Guidelines

Human Resource

Conference 2006

Veterans preference
Veterans’ Preference

Background Information

  • Florida laws related to veteran’s preference date back to the 1949 passage of Chapter 295, Florida Statutes, which followed the passage of similar federal legislation. As such, Section 295.065 and Section 295.07, Florida Statutes, address preference in appointment, reinstatement and reemployment.

  • This 1949 statute, together with numerous revisions, administrative rulings, and District Court of Appeal decisions, continues to be Florida’s basis for granting veterans’ preference with the state and its covered political subdivisions including counties, municipalities, special districts, public universities community colleges, and public school districts.

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Veterans’ Preference

  • This presentation addresses frequently asked questions and may be used as a reference tool for State agencies, human resource staff, and hiring mangers of the State Personnel System.

  • It is intended to provide general guidance in administering the provisions governing Veterans’ Preference.

  • The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs (FDVA) is the final authority in the Veterans’ Preference statutes, rules, policies and requirements.

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Veterans’ Preference

  • Who is Eligible for Veterans’ Preference?

    A Florida resident who is:

  • A veteran with a service-connected disability who is eligible for or receiving compensation, disability retirement, or pension under public laws administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Department of Defense, or

  • The spouse of a veteran who cannot qualify for employment because of a total and permanent service-connected disability, or the spouse of a veteran missing in action, captured, or forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign power, or

  • A veteran of any war who has served on active duty for one day or more during a wartime period, excluding active duty for training, and who was discharged under honorable conditions from the Armed Forces of the United States of America, or

  • The un-remarried widow or widower of a veteran who died of a service-connected disability.

  • A veteran who has served in a qualifying campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge or expeditionary medal has been authorized; including any Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal or Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, if otherwise eligible.

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Veterans’ Preference

  • What is Reinstatement or Reemployment Promotion Preference?

  • When an employee in a covered position leaves employment of the state or its political subdivisions for the purpose of serving in the Armed Forces of the United States and is separated there from with an honorable discharge, the state or its political subdivision must reinstate or reemploy such persons under the following conditions:

  • Reinstatement reemployment is made to the same or to an equivalent position.

  • Reinstatement or reemployment is made within one year of the date of separation from the military service

  • Persons reinstated or reemployed under this law shall be awarded preference in promotion within the employing agency

  • Eligibility for preference in promotion shall apply only to a veteran’s first promotion after reinstatement or reemployment, without exception. F.S. 295.09

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Veterans’ Preference

  • When does preference commence and/or expire?

  • A veterans’ preference claim must be indicated by the applicant on the employment application form.

  • A DD214 or comparable document must be furnished at the time of application.

  • Applicants claiming categories 1, 2, 4 or 5 must furnish supporting documentation in accordance with the provisions of Rule 55A-7.013, F.A.C.

  • Veterans’ Preference shall expire after an eligible person has been employed by the state or an agency of a political subdivision of the state.

  • Veterans’ preference is a “single entitlement event.” Preference cannot be “saved” for use at a later time.

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Veterans’ Preference

  • "Pursuant to F.S. 295.085, preference in appointment shall be given by the state to those persons in categories 1 and 2 and then to those in categories 3, 4 and 5." What does this mean?

  • In cases where two veterans’ preference candidates are otherwise equally qualified for the position, the candidate who selected category 1 or 2 will have preference over a candidate who selected category 3, 4 and 5.

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Veterans’ Preference

  • The law references “covered employers” and “political subdivisions”. To whom are those terms referring?

  • Pursuant to Rule 55A-7.004, F.A.C., covered employers refers to the State, including the State University System, the State Community College System, the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, and the State’s political subdivisions.

  • The term “political subdivisions” means counties, cities, towns, villages, special tax school districts, special road and bridge districts, bridge districts, and all other districts in the state.

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Veterans’ Preference

  • What are “covered positions”?

  • All positions under the state Career Service System.

  • All positions under the State University System’s University Support Personnel System.

  • All positions under the State Community College System that are identified as Teaching Assistant/Associate, Specialist/ Support staff, Clerical/Secretarial, Technical/Paraprofessional, Skilled Crafts or Service/Maintenance.

  • All positions under the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind that are under the Career Service System.

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Veterans’ Preference

  • Who determines eligibility of an applicant claiming veterans’ preference?

  • Ensuring that preference is given to eligible veterans remains the responsibility of each employing agency.

  • The People First Service Center assists the agency hiring managers in determining eligibility based on the preference selection made by the applicant.

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Veterans’ Preference

  • What documentation are applicants claiming veterans’ preference responsible for furnishing?

  • A DD214 or comparable document which serves as a certificate of release or discharge. In addition, if other supporting documentation is appropriate, such supporting documentation must be furnished at the time of application.

  • The position number to which the applicant is applying must be indicated on each page of the documentation.

  • The appropriate documentation should be faxed to the People First Service center at 904-636-2627 and must be received prior 11:59PM (EST) on the closing date of the requisition.

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Veterans’ Preference

  • Who is responsible for determining eligibility for promotional preference?

  • Promotional preference pertains to the originating agency only; therefore, it is the responsibility of the originating agency to determine eligibility.

  • Eligible employees are entitled to one opportunity to receive promotional preference.

  • Promotional preference does not expire following reinstatement or reemployment; however, once the employee has been promoted, their promotional preference is exhausted.

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Veterans’ Preference

  • Must an applicant submit documentation to support veterans’ preference eligibility for each position for which he/she applies?

  • Yes, per Rule 55A-7.013 F.A.C., the required documentation should be provided to the Service Center indicating the requisition number for which he/she wants to claim veterans’ preference.

  • Documentation must be received by the Service Center no later than 11:59 p.m. on the closing date of the job posting. The Service Center fax number is 904-636-2627.

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Veterans’ Preference

  • If an applicant becomes employed by a covered entity, but the applicant did not actually claim veterans’ preference at the time of application, is he/she still eligible for veterans’ preference?

  • No. Veterans’ preference is a “single entitlement event.”

  • A veteran’s employment preference expires after a person eligible for appointment preference has become employed by “the state or any agency of a political subdivision of the state,” regardless of whether or not they actually claimed veterans’ preference on the application.

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Veterans’ Preference

  • If employees in the National Guard are called to active guard duty (to provide disaster assistance in the aftermath of a hurricane, for example) will they have any rights for veterans’ preference upon their return?

  • No. Veterans’ Preference is available only to those employees who have been called to active federal military service as identified in 295.07 F.S. and will receive a DD214 upon discharge.

  • Those called to service by the federal government are under the jurisdiction of the President and are no longer in reserve status.

  • The Governor serves as the National Guard Commander in Chief for the State of Florida and may activate the National Guard in response to an emergency or natural disaster. This is state military capacity and does not serve as eligibility for Veterans’ Preference.

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Veterans’ Preference

  • What recourse does a veteran have to ensure preference is enforced?

  • An applicant who believes he or she was not afforded employment preference may file a complaint with the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs at the Mary Grizzle Office Building, 11351 Ulmerton Rd., Rm. 311-K, Largo, FL, 33778.

  • The complaint must be filed within 21 days of the applicant receiving notice of the hiring decision made by the employing agency or within three months of the date the application is filed with the employer if no notice is given.

  • There is no specific form to file a complaint. The complaint should be typed or legibly written and provide sufficient details concerning the employer, position and veteran status so the department can initiate appropriate action.

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Veterans’ Preference

  • For further information regarding Veterans’ Preference, you may contact:

  • Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, 11351 Ulmerton Rd., Rm. 311-K, Largo, FL, 33778.

  • Phone (727) 518-3202, extension 548.


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