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The Minnesota Veterans Preference Act (VPA)

The Minnesota Veterans Preference Act (VPA) grants most Veterans a limited preference over non-Veterans in hiring and promotion for most Minnesota public employment positions, as granted in Minnesota Statutes 197.48, 43A.11, and 197.455. These statues may apply to certain spouses of Veterans. The Minnesota VPA Statutes apply to Minnesota public employment, "civil service laws, charter provisions, ordinances, rules or regulations of a county, city, town, school district, or other municipality or political subdivision of this state."

  • Why Give Veterans Preference?

    To facilitate the transition of Veterans from the military to civilian life and to help compensate Veterans for their sacrifices, including their sacrifices of health and time to the community, state and nation.

  • History of Veterans Preference

    In 1887 the Minnesota Legislature stated that honorably discharged Union soldiers and sailors shall be preferred for employment in every public department of the State of Minnesota and the counties, towns, cities and villages thereof. In 1907 they added that Civil War Veterans employed by State or local government could only be discharged for incompetency or misconduct shown after a hearing, upon due notice, upon stated charges and with a right of review by the courts.

  • Hiring Preference

    Minnesota currently provides for a limited preference for Veterans in hiring and promotion in State and local government positions.

    Veterans applying for an open competitive position in a Minnesota county, city, school district or other political subdivision, who receive a passing rating, may choose to receive a credit of 10 extra points. Veterans with a compensable service-connected disability, who receive a passing rating, may choose to receive a credit of 15 extra points. Spouses of deceased Veterans or disabled Veterans who cannot qualify because of their disability, may also choose to receive extra points. For promotional positions, a service-connected disabled Veteran rated 50% or greater may choose to receive a credit of five extra points.

    For Minnesota State Agency positions, once minimum qualifications are met, disabled Veterans are ranked ahead of Veterans, who are ranked ahead of non-Veterans. Recently separated Veterans, who served on or after September 11, 2001, must be considered for the position. The top five recently separated Veterans must be granted an interview.

  • Discharge Only for Incompetency or Misconduct

    For Minnesota State and local governmental positions, no Veteran shall be removed from such position or employment, except for incompetency or misconduct shown after a hearing, upon due notice, upon stated charges, in writing. Such hearings shall be held before the local civil service review body or before a three person board, where one is chosen by the Veteran, one by the employer and the third by the previous two. The Veteran has 60 days to request a hearing and to name their board member. Either party may appeal the decision of the board to the District Court within 15 days.

    A 2015 change in the law allows a Veteran to choose either the local civil service review body or a three person board. It also specifies that the cost of the three person board will be borne equally by the Veteran and the employer. If the Veteran prevails and all aspects of the discharge are reversed, the governmental employer shall pay the Veteran’s reasonable attorney fees.

  • Enforcement

    A Veteran who has been denied Veterans preference rights, either in the hiring or the discharge process, may petition the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs for relief. The Commissioner then orders a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), who is from the independent Office of Administrative Hearings. The ALJ holds the hearing and issues Findings of Facts, Conclusions of Law and Recommendations. The Commissioner then makes the final decision. Either party then has 30 days to appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

    Veterans Preference Petition

  • Resources

The following provides a general overview of the categories included under the MN VPA. You are encouraged to review the statutes for additional information. Should you require legal interpretation or advise you are encouraged to consult an attorney.


Benefit

Reference

General Overview

*Should not be considered legal advice

Nondisabled Veteran’s Credit

MN Statute 197.455, Subd. 4

10 Veterans Preference points may be awarded for local government positions

Disabled Veteran’s Credit

MN Statute 197.455, Subd. 5

15 Veterans Preference points may be awarded for local government positions

Direct Appointment to State Jobs

MN Statute 43A.111

Authorization to directly appoint a 30% service-connected disabled Veteran to a state job

Veterans Preference in State Jobs

MN Statute 43A.11

After minimum qualifications for a vacant position are met, disabled Veterans are considered ahead of Veterans who are considered ahead of non-Veterans. The top five recently separated Veterans must be granted an interview for the position by the hiring authority.

Recruitment of Veterans in State Employment

MN Statute 43A.09

Special emphasis shall be given to recruitment of Veterans and protected group members to assist state agencies in meeting affirmative action goals to achieve a balanced work force.

Veterans Preference in MN Private Sector Employment

MN Statute 197.4551

A private, nonpublic employer is allowed, but not required to grant preference to a Veteran in hiring and promotion.

Discharge Hearing Process

MN Statute 197.46

No person holding a position by appointment or employment in the several counties, cities, towns, school districts and all other political subdivisions in the state, who is a Veteran separated from the military service under honorable conditions, shall be removed from such position or employment except for incompetency or misconduct shown after a hearing, upon due notice, upon stated charges, in writing.

Veterans Preference Enforcement

197.481 - 2014 Minnesota Statutes

A Veteran denied any Veterans preference right, either in hiring or discharge may petition the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs for relief.

For questions or more information, please contact MDVA's Veterans Preference Representative at (651) 757-1568 .

Federal Laws

The U.S. Department of Labor provides a summary of job rights for Veterans and Reserve Component Members.

For questions or more information about U.S. Department of Labor employment and training programs for Veterans, contact the Minnesota Director of Veterans' Employment and Training Service at (651) 259-7511/7512 or via email at mills.edward.s@dol.gov

Please be aware that this material is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice relative to any specific situation. None of this material should be considered as a substitute for legal advice. Please consult an attorney for advice concerning your specific circumstances.