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Employment – Veterans -Employee Redress and Appeals for Federal Government Employment Actions

Employment – Veterans -Employee Redress and Appeals for Federal Government Employment Actions

Veterans who are federal government employees have certain rights of appeal and redress when they are aggrieved by governmental actions. The avenues available to them, however, depend upon the type of governmental action involved, such as adverse employment actions, reductions in force, actions relating to restorations, and actions violating statutory or regulatory protections.

Adverse Employment Actions

Veterans who qualify as eligible for veteran employment preferences under federal law have adverse action rights when they are aggrieved by demotion and removal decisions, as well as suspensions longer than 14 days and furlough less than 31 days. To receive these rights, employees must fall into one of the following three categories: (1) non-probationary career appointments or career-conditional appointments; (2) non-temporary competitive service appointments with service of at least one year; and (3) most excepted service appointments in executive agencies, including the United States Postal Service and the Postal Rate Commission, with service of at least one year. Adverse action rights include the rights to advance notice, to respond, to representation, to a final written decision, and to appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

Reductions in Force

Unless a negotiated employment agreement requires an employee to use a negotiated procedure to resolve reduction in force disputes, the employee may appeal most of those actions to the MSPB. However, if an employee is assigned to a different position in the same grade level, he or she may not appeal.


Aggrieved veterans who believe their restoration rights have been violated can complain to the Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment and Training Service (Service) or to the MSPB.

Violations of Statutory or Regulatory Protections

The Service is also the proper venue for preference eligibles to complain about alleged violations of U.S. laws and regulations relating to veterans’ preferences, including discrimination based on veteran status. Additionally, veterans who are eligible for veterans’ preferences who believe their hiring rights were violated by federal agencies may file a complaint with the Service if they meet one of the following criteria: (1) active duty service for at least 181 days and a general or honorable discharge; (2) a service-connected disability; or (3) a Reservist ordered to active duty under certain authority or active duty service during a period of war or receipt of a badge or medal. Complaints may also be filed with the Office of Personnel Management. Yet a third avenue of complaint is available for veterans who are discriminated against based on their disability. Those veterans may file complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.


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