Veterans' Employment Opportunities Act of 1998, as amended
When an agency accepts applications from outside its own workforce, the
Veterans' Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) allows preference
eligibles or veterans to compete for these vacancies under merit promotion
procedures. Veterans who are selected are given career or career conditional
appointments. Veterans are those who have been separated under honorable
conditions from the armed forces with 3 or more years of continuous active
Purpose of the Law
The intent of the law is to open up opportunities to veterans that might
otherwise be closed to them because agencies were increasingly limiting
announcements just to "status" candidates - i.e., those who were already civil
service employees. This law requires an agency to allow eligible veterans to
apply when the agency will accept applications from individuals outside its own
workforce. ("Agency," in this context, means the parent agency - i.e.,
Department of Defense, not Department of the Army.) Veterans' preference,
however, does not apply to selections made under merit promotion procedures.
The VEOA also allows a preference eligible who believes an agency has violated
any of his or her rights under the veterans' preference laws or regulations, to
file a formal complaint with the Department of Labor's Veterans Employment and
Training Service (VETS). If VETS is unable to resolve the complaint within 60
days, the veteran may appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). The
law also makes a willful violation of veterans' preference a prohibited
personnel practice under law.
Who is Eligible
To be eligible for a VEOA appointment, a veteran must be honorably separated
and either a preference eligible or have substantially completed 3 or more
years of active service. ("Active Service" under this law means active duty in
a uniformed service and includes full-time training duty, annual training duty,
full-time National Guard duty, and attendance, while in the active service, at
a school designated as a service school by law or by the Secretary concerned.)
A veteran who is released under honorable conditions shortly before completing
a 3-year tour is also eligible.
How to Apply
Agency announcements will say when veterans eligible under this law may apply.
The veterans will be rated and ranked with other merit promotion eligibles.
Those who are among the best qualified may be selected by the appointing
official, but veterans' preference is not a factor. If selected, the veteran
will be given a career or career conditional appointment, as appropriate.
AS OF: 05-16-2000
VETERANS' PREFERENCE can be
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