Department of Justice: Veterans Preference Put to the Test

U.S. Department of Justice

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) recently requested that the Merit Systems Protection Board prohibit the Justice Department from hiring a non-veteran for 45 days in a case where it appears Veterans Preference might have been circumvented, until the OSC is able to investigate.

A recent Washington Post article titled, "Veterans Preference in Federal Hiring: Is It Too Strong?" details a situation in which two veterans were rated "best qualified" for a job opening, and therefore would be offered the job before a non-veteran who was considered better qualified, under Veterans Preference hiring rules.

The Justice Department would have been required to make an offer to one of the veterans, since they qualified for Veterans Preference, unless they both pulled out of the application process. They did not.

However, the department reposted the position with a new requirement that the veterans did not meet. The Office of Special Counsel is now investigating.

Some members of the Senate believe Veterans Preference should be limited to a veteran's first job with the government.

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