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.
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:
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.
An applicant does not receive Idaho veterans preference for every public position. Idaho veterans preference does not apply to:
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.
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.
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.
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.
An Equal Opportunity Employer and Service Provider
Brad Little, Governor
Jani Revier, Director