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Job Seekers

Things You Should Know

Complaints: While the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) provides government-wide leadership on Federal employment programs and policies, OPM does not generally investigate individual complaints alleging prohibited personnel practices, veterans’ preference violations, or employment discrimination. Such complaints should ordinarily be directed as indicated below.

The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) makes a willful violation of veterans' preference a Prohibited Personnel Practice. If you are a preference eligible and you believe an agency violated any of your rights under the veterans' preference laws or regulations, you may file a formal complaint with the Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS). This is the agency, by law, charged with investigating violations of veterans’ preference in Federal employment. If VETS is unable to resolve the complaint within 60 days, you may appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

The Uniformed Services Employment and reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) prohibits discrimination in employment, retention, promotion, or any benefit of employment based on your uniformed service. The Department of Labor, through the VETS, provides assistance to all persons having USERRA claims.

If you are a disabled veteran and you believe an agency discriminated against you in employment because of your disability, you may file a disability discrimination complaint with the agency in question under regulations administered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Miscellaneous Provisions Pertaining to Veterans

Jobs Restricted to Preference Eligibles: Examinations for custodians, guards, elevator operators, and messengers must be filled by preference eligible veterans. (5 USC 3310)

As a 10-point preference eligible, you may file an application at any time for any position that was filled on a non-temporary basis in the preceding 3 years provided that a register (list) of eligibles is maintained that is closed to new applications; or if a register is about to be established. If you want to file after the closing date of the register, you should contact the agency that announced the position for further information. (5 CFR 332.311)

180-Day Restriction on Department Of Defense (DOD) Employment of Military Retirees:  A retired member of the Armed Forces may not be appointed to a civilian position in DOD (including a nonappropriated fund position) within 180 days after retirement unless:

  • the Secretary concerned authorizes the appointment; or
  • the position is authorized special pay under 5 U.S.C. 5305

Although the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) approval is required by law, OPM has delegated the authority to DOD to make these determinations.

You may obtain a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs reflecting your level of disability for preference eligibility by visiting a VA Regional Office, contacting a VA call center or online.

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