General Frequently Asked Questions
I just got out of the service. Where can I go for help finding a job?
The Department of Labor maintains the largest online labor exchange site called Americas Career InfoNet. The Web address is http://www.acinet.org/. There you can find job listings, training opportunities, local labor market information and post your resume. If you need personalized service, every state employment service office (sometimes called a one-stop center) has job specialists designated to work just with veterans. Call your state director for veterans employment and training listed on this web site to find the location nearest you.
Are there people at the Job Service Office with special knowledge to help veterans get a job?
Yes. Most employment service offices (sometimes called one-stop centers) have either a Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) specialist or a Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) designated to serve veterans exclusively. Sometimes these employment representatives can be found at veterans hospitals or other locations. To find the DVOP or LVER closest to you, contact your state employment service.
I have a service-connected disability. Are there special programs for me?
The Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) offers information on a variety of programs specifically designed to assist veterans in employment and other issues.
Im a federal contractor. Do I have to file any forms with Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS)?
If you are a contractor or subcontractor with a federal contract of more than $100,000 you must file a VETS-4212 form with VETS every year you have such a contract. A copy of the form is on line or you can call (866) 237-0275, or e-mail VETS4212firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What is a VETS-4212 form? Where can I get one?
A VETS-4212 form must be filled out annually by all contractors and subcontractors with a federal contract that exceeds $100,000. This form shows the number of targeted veterans in their work force by job category, hiring location, and number of new hires, including targeted veterans hired during the reporting period and the maximum number of employees of such contractor during the period covered by the report. You can get a copy and instructions online or call (866) 237-0275, or e-mail VETS4212email@example.com more information.
How do I find out if I qualify for veterans preference?
Veterans' preference is available to certain categories of veterans when applying for jobs with the federal government. Eligibility requirements and other regulations dealing with veterans preference are regulated by the Office of Personnel Management. States may also have their own veterans preference regulations for state government jobs. If you believe your veterans' preference rights have been violated, contact your local VETS office.
I will be discharged from the service in a few months. How can I get ready for civilian life?
More than 111,000 transitioning service members take advantage of a 3-5 day Transition Assistance Program (TAP) workshop offered at 174 military installations nationwide. TAP workshops give information on finding jobs in the civilian labor force and benefits and services available to veterans and their families. Recently legislation was passed that allows military personnel within one year of separating from the military service and service members within two years of military retirement the opportunity to attend TAP workshops. For further information, contact your installation Family Support Center or military command. The e-VETS Resource Advisor is an online tool designed to help veterans preparing to enter the job market. It includes information on a broad range of topics, such as job search tools and tips, employment openings, career assessment, education and training, and benefits and special services available to veterans.
How can I get my resume to employers who may want to hire veterans?
The Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) employment representative or Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) at your local employment service office can make sure that your resume gets to employers looking for someone with your job skills or interests.
I think I didnt get a job because the employer didnt want to hire veterans. Is there anything I can do?
Yes. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) prohibits all employers from discriminating against any veteran, reservists, or National Guard members because of his or her past, present, or future military obligation. The law also requires that employers provide reemployment rights after a period of active duty or training. If you think your rights have been violated contact your state director of veterans employment and training listed on this Web site.
Must employers grant leave to employees called up by the National Guard or Reserve?
Yes, an employee must be granted a leave of absence to perform military service.
What is the law that applies to the job rights for National Guard and Reserve members being called up for active duty?
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). USERRA can be found at Title 38, U.S. Code, Sections 4301 to 4333.
Has the Department of Labor issued regulations for the Uniformed Service Employment Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)?
The Department of Labor has not issued USERRA regulations. The Department has developed an interactive USERRA ELAWS Advisor system at www.dol.gov/elaws/userra0.htm. In addition, a Non-Technical Guide to USERRA is available at www.dol.gov/vets/whatsnew/uguide.pdf. Adobe Acrobat is required to use the Guide.
Does the Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA) apply to very small employers?
Yes, USERRA applies to all public and private employers in the United States, regardless of size. It also applies in overseas workplaces that are owned or controlled by U.S. employers.
Does the Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA) apply to part-time employees?
Yes, both part-time and probationary employees are covered by USERRA.
Must an employees job be kept open while the employee is on military duty?
Employers are permitted to hire persons to occupy a position vacated by an employee on active duty. However, the returning employee is entitled to reemployment upon completion of the military service, even if it requires termination of the replacement.
If an employee would have been laid off while he or she was performing military service, does an employer have to reemploy the person when the military service is completed?
No. The employee is reemployed in a layoff status with recall rights in accordance with the employer policy for recalls. The employee must be given seniority credit for the period of military leave up to the date he or she would have been laid off. If a complaint were filed, the employer would have a burden to prove the layoff would have occurred if the person had remained employed during the period of military service.
Can an employer require an employee to produce military orders before granting a military leave of absence?
No. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USSERA) requires that an employee or a responsible military official provide advance notice to the employer of military service. The notice may be verbal or written. Notice is not required if the giving of notice is precluded by military necessity or is otherwise impossible or unreasonable.
Is an employer required to pay an employee while the employee is on military duty?
While many employers take the commendable step of providing all or part of employees pay while they perform military service, there is no obligation under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) for them to do so.
Must an employer continue health insurance for an employee on military duty?
Yes, if the employee requests it. The entitlement is for up to 18 months from the date the absence from employment begins. For periods of service in excess of 30 days, the employee may be required to pay up to 102 percent of the total cost of the insurance.
What are the basic reemployment rights when an employee returns following military service?
The employer must promptly reemploy the servicemember. Promptly means within days, not months. Generally, the reemployment position should be the one the person would have attained had he or she remained continuously employed during the period of military service.
Does the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) require that an employee receive pension credit while absent to perform military service?
USERRA applies to a wide range of pension plans including defined benefit and defined contribution plans. Upon reemployment following qualifying military service, an employee must be treated for vesting and benefit accrual purposes as if he or she had been continuously employed. If benefits are tied to employee contributions, the employee must be allowed a specified period of time to make up contributions missed during the period of military service.
Where can I go for assistance concerning my employment and reemployment rights as a veteran or member of the Guard or Reserve?
Employment and reemployment rights for veterans and reservists are provided by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The Department of Labors Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) administers and enforces USERRA. You should contact your local VETS office for help. You can receive USERRA information from VETS or file a complaint if you believe your rights have been violated. Another resource for National Guard and Reserve members is the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, an organization within the Department of Defense that can provide information and informal mediation services.
Where can I get information about veterans preference in federal hiring?
The Office of Personnel Management administers and interprets the laws relating to veterans' preference. Information is available on their Web site at www.opm.gov. The Department of Labor has developed a Veterans' Preference elaws Advisor system that contains information related to enforcement of veterans preference. The Veterans' Preference Advisor is at www.dol.gov/elaws/vetspref.htm.
I believe my veterans preference rights may have been violated. Where can I file a complaint?
Preference eligibles who believe their rights under any law or regulation relating to veterans preference have been violated may seek information or file a complaint with the Department of Labors Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS). Complaints must be filed in writing and within 60 days after the date of the alleged violation. A directory of VETS offices is located at www.dol.gov/vets/aboutvets/contacts/main.htm.