Veterans’ preference can help you get a federal job

Armed Forces veterans receive preference in the hiring process for certain Federal jobs. Veterans’ preference acknowledges the nation’s obligation to disabled veterans. It recognizes the economic loss suffered by those who have served our country and restores veterans to a favorable competitive position for Federal employment. However, there are some limitations on when veterans’ preference applies and who qualifies for it.

When does preference apply?

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Vet Guide says veterans’ preference applies to permanent and temporary positions in the competitive and excepted services of the executive branch. Preference also applies in hiring from civil service examinations conducted by OPM and agencies under delegated examining authority, for most excepted service jobs. These jobs include Veterans Recruitment Appointments and temporary, term, and overseas limited appointments.

In addition to receiving preference in competitive appointments, veterans may apply for special noncompetitive appointments only available to veterans.

When doesn’t preference apply?

Veterans’ preference does not apply to Senior Executive Service positions or to executive branch positions that require Senate confirmation. Positions in the legislative and judicial branches are also exempt unless the positions are in the competitive service (for example, in the Government Printing Office) or have been otherwise designated.

Preference does not apply to promotion, reassignment, change to lower grade, transfer, or reinstatement. For selections under the merit promotion process, the preference-eligible receives only a right to apply and an opportunity to compete for the position. Additionally, preference does not apply to Veterans Health Administration appointments of physicians, dentists, and other positions made under 38 USC § 7401. Nor does it apply to defense intelligence positions in the Department of Defense filled pursuant to 10 USC § 1601.

Do I qualify for veterans’ preference?

To qualify for veterans’ preference, you must have served in the United States Armed Forces. The Armed Forces include the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. To be eligible, you must have been released from active duty with an honorable or general discharge. Also, you must fall under one of the preference categories on Standard Form 50, Notification of Personnel Action.

Contact Alan Lescht and Associates today if you have questions about veterans’ preference.  Call us at (202) 463-6036, or email us. We offer strategic and results-driven legal services to federal government employees around the world.

Discipline for AWOL: Show up for work or face the consequences.

face discipline for AWOL charges

Thinking about taking leave while your leave request is still pending?  Think again or face discipline for being absent without leave (AWOL).

Federal government employees may face disciplinary action —including removal— for unexcused absences. An agency can charge an employee as AWOL if he or she doesn’t show up to work and fails to get approval for leave.

Employees may be charged with AWOL for being absent in many circumstances, including but not limited to the following:

  • The employee failed to request leave.
  • The leave request did not comply with the agency’s policies and procedures.
  • Management properly denied a leave request.
  • The employee fails to report to work during work hours.
  • Upon returning to work after approved leave for a medical reason, the employee fails to provide medical documentation supporting his absence.

How can the agency prove that I was AWOL?

If you receive a notice of proposed discipline for AWOL charges, the agency should include supporting documentation. This might include swipe records and security camera footage, showing when you entered and exited the work building. However, other types of evidence may also support an AWOL charge, especially for employees who telework. For example, records showing when an employee logged into or out of email or intranet may indicate that he or she was not working. Similarly, an employee’s repeated failure to promptly respond to emails or phone calls may also support AWOL charges.

Does management have to approve LWOP?

AWOL issues often arise when an employee who has a disability requests leave without pay (LWOP). Remember, management has the right to deny LWOP requests. However, if a supervisor knows that an employee is too ill to request leave, the supervisor should consider granting the employee LWOP or allowing donated leave before charging the employee as AWOL. An agency may require an employee to submit medical documentation to support his request for LWOP. Management can deny a request for LWOP if the employee fails to provide sufficient medical documentation.

Are you facing discipline for time and attendance issues?

If you are facing discipline due to AWOL charges, Alan Lescht and Associates can help! We offer strategic and results-driven legal services to federal government employees around the world. Call us at (202) 463-6036 or email us today.