Thursday, April 10, 2008

Remember Veteran's Preference

Prior to the recent ramp up in troop deployment, many municipalities in Iowa had few, if any, employment issues involving veterans. However, nowadays every city and county should be aware of the requirements of Iowa Code 35C as it relates to hiring and firing these employees.

35C.1 states that qualified veterans are entitled to preference in appointment and employment over other equally qualified applicants. And, once a veteran is hired by an Iowa municipality, 35C.6 states that they cannot be removed until after a hearing is held where the employee is shown to be incompetent and/or to have engaged in misconduct.

Municipalities that do not hold removal hearings run a tremendous risk if a veteran objects by filing suit, as some courts have found that the veteran is still considered to be an employee working for the municipality (and still entitled to wages and benefits) until such a hearing is held. In one case alone, it resulted in the veteran receiving an additional year's wages.

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