Veterans Preference FAQ For Job Seekers
Which employers must give Idaho veterans preference?
The Idaho legislature has granted preference to veterans and certain family members when applying for positions with the state, county, city and other local public employers such as taxing districts for sewers, roads, schools and cemeteries.
The United States Congress has also granted preference to veterans. The US Office of Personnel Management produces a guide for federal veterans preference. The guide can be found at www.opm.gov under “Veterans” in the subject tab. Application of the federal veterans preference is outside the scope of this Frequently Asked Questions.
Who receives preference under the Idaho veterans preference?
The following applicants are entitled to Idaho veterans preference:
- Honorably Discharged members of the armed forces of the United States who served on active duty during the following periods:
- In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized
- During the period from April 28, 1952 to July 1, 1955
- For a period of more than 180 consecutive days any part of which occurred between February 1, 1955 and October 14, 1976 (with certain exceptions for reserve service)
- During the period between August 2, 1990 and January 2, 1992
- For a period of more than 180 consecutive days any part of which occurred during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on the date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law as the last date of Operation Iraqi Freedom
* Please note that the above list is flexible in that it changes automatically with a change to the law defining eligibility for federal veterans preference, which can be found at 5 USC section 2108.
- Disabled veterans as defined in section 65-502, Idaho Code.
- The widow or widower of any veteran eligible for preference so long as he or she remains unmarried.
- The wife or husband of service-connected disabled veteran is eligible for preference if the veteran cannot qualify for any public employment because of a service-connected disability.
What do I receive as an applicant qualified for Idaho veterans preference?
Idaho Veterans' preference does not guarantee veterans a public job. Instead, Idaho veterans preference is designed to honor a veteran's service by providing a more favorable competitive position to the veteran and certain spouses when applying for jobs with an Idaho public employer.
Idaho veterans preference varies with the type of position and whether the veteran applicant has a service-connected disability:
- For positions where applicants are subject to a rating system based on experience and qualifications (such as the state of Idaho’s “classified service” system), an applicant qualified for Idaho veterans preference receives a basic preference of a five percentage point increase to the rating otherwise earned from the applicant’s experience and qualifications.
A veteran with a ten percent service-connected disability receives an enhanced preference of a ten percentage point increase to their earned rating. A veteran with a thirty percent service-connected disability is entitled to an interview if they possess all the qualifications for the position.
The public employer may limit the number of interviews to 10 if there are more than 10 qualified applicants with a thirty percent service-connected disability.
- For positions where the applicants are not subject to a rating system, a veteran is entitled to preference with an Idaho public employer over other applicants for the same position who are not more qualified.
Can I lose my Idaho veterans preference?
A public employer can refuse to accept an application from an otherwise qualified preference eligible applicant who is deemed unqualified through his or her actions. Examples include dismissal for cause from a public entity, a felony conviction or conduct unbecoming a public employee.
Do I receive preference for every public employment position?
An applicant does not receive Idaho veterans preference for every public position. Idaho veterans preference does not apply to:
- Internal employer actions such as promotions, transfers and reassignments
- A second position with the same public employer
- A break in service with the public employer does not reinstate the Idaho veterans preference
- Application to another office, division, or agency of the public employer also does not reinstate the Idaho veterans preference
- Certain key employee positions, elected offices, temporary or casual positions, jobs held by patients, inmates or students in or enrolled at a state institution
What are my obligations in the hiring process?
Idaho law requires that applications for Idaho public employment ask if the applicant is claiming preference, whether the applicant has claimed preference for a previous position with the public employer and identify any supporting documentation that is required to support a claim of preference. If the application form or job posting does not allow for veterans preference information, you should ask the public employer how to identify your eligibility for Idaho veterans preference and what supporting documentation must be submitted with the application.
You should document your questions concerning Idaho veterans preference because your ability to appeal whether Idaho veterans preference was properly applied requires that you notify the public employer that you are claiming preference.
Idaho law allows the public employer to request documentation from applicants claiming veterans preference. It is your responsibility to provide the requested documentation at the time of application.
Can I file a late application if I was unable to meet the deadline due to my military service?
In some cases a veteran can file a late application. If a veteran misses the closing date due to military service or for service-connected hospitalization, the veteran can file an application for up to one year after discharge from military service or hospitalization. A disabled veteran can also file a late application to be on an open hiring list if the veteran has not already been examined twice for the same position and grade, is not already on the hiring list, and is not currently serving in a position in the same grade covered by the hiring list.
Late application is not allowed if the hiring list has expired, the selection process is no longer active or the position has been filled.
What can I do if I believe I was not provided Idaho veterans preference?
Idaho law requires the employer give you notice of the appeal process at the conclusion of the selection for a position if you have claimed Idaho veterans preference in your application and were not selected. You have 35 days from the day the public employer issues you this notice to request an appeal with the employer. If the public employer does not issue a notice of the appeal process to you, you have 35 days from the day you learn you were not selected for the position to request an appeal with the employer. All appeal requests must be made in writing.
Public employers are allowed to create their own internal appeal process. The process should be described in the public employer’s notice to you. If the employer does not initiate an appeal within thirty-five days of your written request for an appeal, you have one hundred and eighty days for a period of one hundred eighty days after the public employer’s deadline to initiate an appeal to appeal directly to the Idaho district court.
What are the penalties for failing to apply Idaho veterans preference?
Idaho law allows a court to direct the public employer to properly apply Idaho veterans preference, to award the costs of suit and the reasonable attorney fees of an applicant successfully claiming a violation of Idaho veterans preference, and to award damages. Damages cannot exceed $5,000 or 10 percent of the annual salary of the position, whichever is higher. The damages cap includes any amount awarded for the costs of suit.