Q & A Session – Veterans’ Preference with Internal Promotions


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I am a veteran and feel that agencies can discriminate against veterans by choosing to post a job “internal” to the agency, which allows them to skirt the veterans’ preference rules. Can I take action to ensure they follow hiring regulations?


Veterans’ preference does not apply to internal promotions, when that is the hiring authority used. If a different hiring authority that includes outside applicants is used, an agency does not have to make a selection. Those are well-established rules. An agency may not simply ignore veterans’ preference in making a selection if the job opportunity is open to outside applicants. If you think your rights have been violated, you may file a claim with the Secretary of Labor under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA). VEOA claims are ultimately appealable to the Merit Systems Protection Board.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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