Personnel Policies Manual
XIX. VETERANS PREFERENCE
The policy of the Navajo Nation (Nation) is to comply with all applicable laws that govern the employment relationship between the Nation and its employees. Consistent with the provisions of applicable laws and policies, the Nation gives preference in employment to Veterans of the United States (U.S.) Armed Forces. Recognizing their sacrifice, Navajo Veterans’ Preference recognizes the economic loss suffered by citizens who have served their country in uniform, restores Veterans to a favorable competitive position for Nation employment and acknowledges the larger obligation owed to disabled Veterans.
Eligible Veterans receive preference for initial employment and a higher retention standing in the event of layoffs. However, the Veterans’ preference does not guarantee the Veteran a job, nor does it give Veterans preference in internal personnel actions such as promotion, transfer, reassignment and reinstatement.
Preference in Employment
A Veteran discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces or the National Guard or Reserve under honorable conditions following more than 180 calendar days of active duty shall be given preference in employment.
Preference in employment on the initial hire and retention for those Veterans who were honorably discharged or the spouses of Veterans shall be provided in the following order:
- A Veteran who has an existing compensable service- connected disability who is able to work.
- A Veteran of any war or peacetime who has served on active duty for 181 calendar days or more or who has served 180 calendar days or more, other than for training, since January 31, 1955 and who was discharged or separated under honorable conditions from the U.S. Armed Forces.
- A Veteran who sustained a service-connected disability prior to completing the 180 calendar days of active duty.
- The spouse of a Veteran who cannot qualify for employment because of a total and permanent disability or the spouse of a Veteran killed in the line of duty or missing in action, captured by a hostile force(s); forcibly detained or interned by a foreign government/power .
- The un-remarried surviving spouse of a Veteran who died of a service-connected disability.
- An individual applying for Veterans Preference must complete an Application for Veterans’ Employment Preference when submitting a Navajo Nation Application for Employment along with a copy of DD Form 214 or DD Form 215 to receive preference.
Advertising of Vacant Positions
All vacancy announcements must be advertised for a minimum of 10 working days and include the phrase, “Veterans’ Preference Applies” in the posting.
Application for Employment
- Each employment application will contain a general information document regarding Veterans’ Preference and an Application for Veterans’ Employment Preference.
- The Nation’s employment application requires the applicant to indicate whether or not they are claiming Veterans’ Preference. In those cases, the applicant will be asked to complete the Application for Veterans’ Employment Preference requiring them to identify which of the eligibility criteria applies to them.
The applicant will be required to furnish the Department of Personnel Management the documentation necessary to prove Veterans’ Preference eligibility on or before the closing date of the position to be considered for preference. Proof of Veterans’ Preference eligibility includes:
- Veterans and spouses of disabled Veterans must furnish a copy of the DD Form 214 and/or 215, military discharge papers, and/or other verification from the Department of Defense (DOD) or Military Branches.
Spouses of disabled Veterans and un-remarried surviving spouse of a deceased Veteran must provide:
- Certification from DOD or Military Branches that the Veteran is totally and permanently disabled or documentation certifying the service-connected death of the Veteran.
- Evidence of marriage to the Veteran.
- A statement that the spouse is still married to the Veteran or that the spouse is not re- married at the time of the application for employment.
- Absence of required documentation invalidates the claim and the applicant is not eligible for Veterans’ Preference.
Interview and Selection
The Department of Personnel Management will inform the hiring authority whether Veteran applicants are eligible for preference and whether they meet the minimum qualifications of the respective position. Applicants who meet the qualification requirements shall be referred by Department of Personnel Management in the following order or priority:
- Enrolled Navajos with re-employment preference
- Enrolled Navajo Veterans
- Other enrolled Navajo applicants
- Non-Navajo spouses of enrolled Navajos
- The Department of Personnel Management does not use a numerically based qualification assessment process therefore preference is given at each step of the employment consideration process to preference eligible applicants, provided such individual possesses the minimum qualifications necessary to perform the duties of the position. Qualified Veterans receive the same level of preference despite disability status.
- All qualified eligible Veterans must be granted an interview by the hiring authority.
- If the best qualified applicant, including a preference eligible Veteran are equally qualified, and no further evaluation occurs, the Veteran must be given selection preference. If there is a non- Veteran who is the best qualified for a position, the non-Veteran could be employed if an eligible Veteran does not possess the same level of qualifications. In such cases, reasons why and approval by the hiring authority is required prior to any offer of employment. Documentation of the hiring decision is paramount. In cases where the Veteran is not selected, the hiring authority must be able to justify why the Veteran was not selected.
- It is the hiring authority’s responsibility to ensure that a letter of non- selection is sent to all applicants, including Veterans, who were interviewed but not selected for a position. The letter of non- selection must be issued within three (3) working days from the time that the selected candidate signs the conditional offer of employment.
- An applicant who feels that proper consideration of the Veterans’ employment preference has not been provided to him/her shall have the right to appeal to the Department of Personnel Management within 10 working days from the date he/she receives a letter of non-selection.