Veterans are afforded additional consideration and protection under various laws. These can be broken down into several categories: Examination Credits, Preference in Retention, and Additional Rights.
The State Constitution requires that examinations for appointment or promotion in the Civil Service of New York State be competitive, so far as practicable. At the same time, it contains a significant exception to the strict rule of competition by giving additional credits in competitive examinations to war veterans. Disabled veterans receive 10 points additional credit on their examination scores in open-competitive examinations and 5 points in promotion examinations. Non-disabled veterans are granted 5 points in open-competitive examinations and 2.5 points in promotion examinations. In every case, however, the veteran must attain a passing mark on an examination before additional credits may be added to his/her score. The additional credits may not be applied to raise a failing grade to a passing one.
Veterans eligible for the credits are those who:
A veteran who is disabled is defined as someone who meets the above service criteria and is certified by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs [formerly known as the Veterans Administration] as having a disability rated at ten percent or more which was incurred while serving in the United States Armed Forces in time of war. The disability must be in existence and the disabled veteran must be receiving payment from the Department of Veterans Affairs for such disability at the time of application for appointment or retention.
Other key points to remember regarding use of Veterans Credits:
Another important benefit granted to disabled and non-disabled veterans is the right of preference in retention in the event of a reduction in force in the competitive class. This preference is covered in detail in the section on layoffs. The qualifications for eligibility for additional examination credits also apply to eligibility for preference in retention.
The Civil Service Law also contains provisions favoring war veterans who are laid off upon the abolition of positions in the non-competitive or labor jurisdictional classes. The law provides that if the non-competitive or labor class position of a veteran is abolished, he/she shall be entitled to transfer to any similar position where a vacancy exists and receive the same compensation.
Some important points to remember regarding veterans preference in retention:
Disciplinary proceedings are set forth in Section 75 of Civil Service Law. Employees who are subject to the provisions of Section 75 may not be removed or otherwise subjected to disciplinary penalty except for incompetency or misconduct established after a hearing on stated charges.
The provisions of Civil Service Law dealing with removal for incompetency or misconduct apply to permanent competitive class employees and, except as noted below, honorably discharged war veterans holding a position by permanent appointment in the classified service.
The rights and privileges of public employees who enter military service are provided for in Military Law and additional rights are guaranteed by federal law. In addition, federal law provides that veterans shall be accorded the protections of federal or state law, whichever is more generous.
Military and/or federal law provides additional rights and privileges to veterans in such areas as: