City Formalizes Veterans Hiring Policy

OCEAN CITY – A formal Veterans Hiring Policy was approved by the Mayor and City Council that will place a veteran or spouse of a disabled veteran at the top of a qualified applicant pool.
A couple of weeks ago, Human Resources Director Wayne Evans brought a potential Veterans Hiring Policy before the Mayor and City Council for deliberation.
Evans explained the federal government administers a formal program to give preferential treatment to the selection and promotion of veterans and their spouses, widows, or mothers.
States may also have veterans’ preference employment statutes, but Maryland has not implemented a formal program.
According to Evans, the federal government administers a points-based employment selection program requiring the use of validated civil service examinations for all covered job classifications. The federal program adds five points to test scores for veteran status and 10 points for disabled veteran status.
Evans furthered, as there is no statutory requirement at the sub-political level, any preference conferred upon veterans on the town’s initiative would be voluntary.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states in policy document N-915.056, “veterans’ preference statutes operate overwhelmingly to the advantage of men” and the commission further states “where an employment preference … is not mandated by statute … preference is not shielded from scrutiny under Title VII … and presumes the existence of adverse impact.”
The pros in implementing veteran preference employment statute is it recognizes the sacrifices of citizens who have served their country, creates employment opportunity for a population segment who are first-time entrants to the job market or reentering the job market, and expands the town’s applicant pool.
At that time, Councilman Dennis Dare made a motion to have staff write a formal veteran preference policy to have the town hire eligible veterans and spouses of disabled veterans when their qualifications are substantially equal then nonveterans in the most qualified applicant pool, and to have the policy return to council for review and hopefully be approved to be added to the Town of Ocean City Policy Procedure Manual. The council voted unanimously to approve the motion.
This week Evans returned with a formal Veterans Hiring Policy that states, “in recognition of their sacrifice and commitment in defense of our nation, the Town of Ocean City adopts this veterans hiring policy to provide employment opportunities to men and women who have served in the United State armed forces.”
Veteran is defined as any person who served in the Armed Forces of the United States and was discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions. The spouse of a disabled veteran is eligible for consideration under the policy.
The town will expand its outreach to veterans by posting employment opportunity notices on career web sited that are specific to veterans. Fully qualified applicants with documented veterans’ status will be offered a preliminary interview.
Most qualified applicants will be determined based on criteria established for each position prior to search. The criteria may include successful completion of interviews, satisfactory work history and references or other demonstrations from which candidate responses are solicited and considered. If a veteran is in the most qualified applicant pool, the position will filled by the veteran.
Veterans’ status will be tracked and evaluated for each recruitment process, and this is a hiring policy and is not applied in the case of promotion nor does this policy guarantee employment for any applicant regardless of status.
The City Council voted unanimously to approve the policy.