Veterans Preference in New Jersey Civil Service

New Jersey Civil Service law give preference to qualified veterans and disabled veterans who meet the eligibility requirements and pass the Civil Service test.  The veterans preference increases their ranks on eligible lists.  Provided for by the Legislature in the New Jersey Civil Service Act, the preference’s goal is to reward disabled and non-disabled veterans for certain arduous military service. 

However, the Civil Service Act limits eligibility for the civil service preference.  Only veterans include who received a discharge which was not dishonorable are entitled to the preference.  Likewise, only certain periods and areas of service qualify.  Thus “veterans,” for purposes of the preference, includes those who served at least 90 days in the military of the United States or certain allies in World War I and World War II, or veterans who served at least 14 days in the theatres of operation in the following conflicts:

·         The Korean War

·         The Lebanon Crisis in 1958

·         The Vietnam War

·         The Lebanon Peacekeeping Mission in the 1980s

·         The Grenada Peacekeeping Mission in 1983

·         The Panama Peacekeeping Mission in 1989-1990

·         Operation "Desert Shield/Desert Storm”

·         Operation “Northern Watch” in Iraq

·         Operation “Southern Watch” in Iraq

·         Operation "Restore Hope" in Somalia

·         Operations "Joint Endeavor" and "Joint Guard" in Bosnia

·         Operation "Uphold Democracy" in Haiti, if the veteran received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

·         Operation "Enduring Freedom"

·         Operation "Iraqi Freedom” 

“Disabled veterans” are “veterans” who served in those operations and incurred a disability arising out of them and receive at least ten percent compensation for it form the United States Veterans Administration.

Service members who received injuries in those operations are considered “veterans” even if they didn’t serve the required time in the operating areas.  Some spouses and parents of veterans are eligible for the preference, but only if the veteran does not use it themselves.

The N.J. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs makes determinations of whether a person is a “veteran” or “disabled veteran.”  On eligible lists, “veterans” are designated with a “V”, and “disabled veterans” with a “DV.” 

Disabled veterans passing open competitive examinations are placed at the top of the employment list, above both non-disabled veterans and nonveterans in accordance with their final scores within their category.  Veterans are ranked on the list behind only disabled veterans, again in accordance with their final scores within their category.  They are ranked ahead of all nonveterans.  The Rule of Three cannot be used to pass veterans or disabled veterans on open competitive hiring lists.  When more than one veteran or disabled veteran have the same score and veterans status, they are given the same rank – ties are not broken.

In the non-competitive division, similar preference is given to veterans and disabled veterans.  However, in unclassified and senior executive titles it is not.  The veterans preference applies in layoffs where seniority between the employees to be laid off is equal. 

 No preference is given in promotions, although in ties veterans are listed first within each rank, without distinction to disability status.

 Contact Us.  Our New Jersey civil service lawyers, who include veterans, represent government and private sector employees  in all aspects of New Jersey employment law.  Please fill out the contact form on this page or call us at (973) 890-0004 for a consultation with one of our New Jersey employment attorneys.  We can help.

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