Are you a veteran who believes they have been unfairly denied employment opportunities based on their military service? Many veterans are unfamiliar with the protections granted to them by the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) and may be unaware of their right to appeal such denials. Fortunately, VEOA appeals provide an opportunity for veterans to challenge any discrimination and seek redress for denied job opportunities.
Here we’ll explore what VEOA appeals are, how they work, and why it's so important for veterans facing this situation. Whether you're starting from scratch or simply want more information about your legal rights, understanding VEOA appeals is key.
What Is the VEOA
The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) is a program designed to ensure Veterans have an increased opportunity to secure employment in the Federal government. The VEOA process allows eligible veterans preference to compete for jobs open to the public. To begin the process, veterans must identify that they are eligible for veteran’s preference and submit all required documentation with their résumé or application package when applying for a position. Once reviewed and accepted, applicants who receive veteran’s preference will be prioritized during the selection process.
Eligible veterans can also use other programs such as special appointing authorities, including those for disabled veterans and veterans with 30 days or more of active-duty service. These programs help vets get priority consideration for certain positions and can be used in conjunction with the VEOA.
What is a VEOA Appeal?
A VEOA Appeal can be made by veterans or their spouses when they feel that they have been wrongfully denied employment opportunities with the United States federal government. This appeal process allows veterans and their families to challenge any decisions made by the US Government regarding their eligibility for employment. The veteran must provide evidence of their military service and proof that they are qualified for the job in question.
Additionally, an individual must prove that they were actively seeking employment with the US Federal Government at the time of the hiring decision and that they were unfairly denied due to their status as a veteran. The appeals process is designed to ensure that veterans are given fair consideration when competing for jobs in the public sector and is protected by laws such as Title 5 U.S.C., Chapter 33, Section 3330a.
How Long Does a VEOA Appeal Take?
If you're considering filing a VEOA appeal, you may be wondering how long the process typically takes. While the exact duration can vary depending on individual circumstances, there are some general timelines that can be helpful to keep in mind. First and foremost, it's important to note that VEOA appeals must be filed within 60 days of the initial agency decision. From there, the processing time can range from a few months to well over a year.
The complexity of the case and the backlog of appeals handled by the agency can impact the timeline. Currently, there is a backlog of approximately 200,000 appeals waiting to be decided. Additionally, if your appeal is denied, you may choose to pursue further review or legal action, which can further extend the process. To help ensure the best possible outcome and minimize delays, it's a good idea to work with an experienced attorney, like ours at The Law Firm of John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, PLLC, or an advocate who can guide you through the process and provide valuable support.
Do You Need an Attorney to File a VEOA Appeal?
While it is not mandatory to hire an attorney, having one can significantly increase your chances of success. A VEOA appeal involves a complex process that requires in-depth knowledge of the applicable laws, regulations, and procedures. A skilled attorney can help you navigate this process, prepare a strong case, and represent you in front of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).
Furthermore, an attorney can provide valuable advice on negotiating a settlement or a better position after winning your appeal. It is also worth noting that having an attorney can ease the stress and burden of the appeal process, allowing you to focus on finding new employment opportunities.
Have questions about VEOA appeals? Contact The Law Firm of John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, PLLC, online for personalized guidance from experienced federal employment attorneys.