Arizona Civil Legal Needs Community Survey

Civil legal organizations in Arizona are seeking your input to increase their ability to meet the civil legal needs of Arizona's lower income residents. Please complete this survey to assist in improving civil legal services in Arizona.

Encuesta de Necesidades Legales Civiles de Arizona

Las organizaciones legales civiles en Arizona buscan su opinión para aumentar su capacidad de satisfacer las necesidades legales civiles de los residentes de bajos ingresos de Arizona. Por favor complete esta encuesta para ayudar a mejorar los servicios legales civiles en Arizona.


Hiring Preferences for Veterans and Families of Service Members

This document provides an overview of hiring preferences that benefit veterans and some military family members. It discusses employment with the federal government, Arizona State and local governments, and with federal contractors and subcontractors.

Are veterans given preference where applying for a federal job?

By Federal law (Title 5 USC, § 2108) veterans may receive a preference when applying for a federal job. Under the law:
"Veterans who are disabled or who serve on active duty in the Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-veterans both in Federal hiring practices and in retention during reductions in force."
It is not the goal of the statute to fill all government jobs with veterans. There is no guarantee a veteran will be hired for the job. The idea is to create a uniform method for giving veterans an advantage in the hiring process. When a person applies for a government job, the agency assigns the applicant a numerical score based on their qualifications and/or the score achieved on the civil service exam. The federal government then adds additional points to this base score as a form of hiring preference to veterans applying for certain jobs. Hiring decisions are then based on this new score. Some family members of disabled or deceased veterans may also receive extra points.

What things are considered for a veteran to be eligible?

Before any consideration of eligibility for hiring preference, the veteran must meet these requirements:
  • Must have an honorable discharge
  • The veteran must claim the preference on their federal job
  • National Guard or Reserve Active duty for training purposes does not qualify
  • Military retirees with ranks of Major, Lieutenant Commander, or above do not qualify unless they have a service-related disability
To be eligible for 5 extra points, the veteran must have served:
  • During a time of war
  • Dring the period April 28, 1952 through July 1, 1955
  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training between February1, 1955 and October 15, 1976
  • During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990 through January 2, 1992
  • In a campaign or expedition for a campaign medal or expedition badge has been authorized. Examples include El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia, and Haiti

To qualify for a 10-point preference , the following criteria must be met:

  • A veteran who has a purple heart
  • Some widows and widowers of deceased military spouses
  • A mother of a veteran who died in service or who is permanently disabled
  • A veteran who (1) has a service-connected disability, or (2) is receiving disability or retirement benefits from military service or the Veterans Affairs
For more detailed information on eligibility for hiring preferences, go to the website for the Federal Office of Personnel Management.

Are federal contractors and subcontractors required to give preference to veterans when hiring?

The federal government requires its contractors and subcontractors to take affirmative steps to hire and promote qualified veterans. This requirement specifically targets the following groups:


  • Recipients of the Armed Forces Service Medal; and
  • Veterans who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition with a campaign badge.
  • Disabled veterans

The law also prevents certain contractors and subcontractors from discriminating against an applicant or employee because they qualify as a protected veteran.

A covered veteran may file a complaint with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance if they believe a federal contractor has violated a hiring preference requirement.

Are military family members given hiring preferences?

Military spouses and other family members may also receive hiring preferences.

In the federal government, the Military Spouse Preference Program creates hiring preferences for spouses who relocate with an active duty servicemember. This program applies to civil positions in the Department of Defense.

Does Arizona have hiring preferences for veterans who apply for state government jobs?

Like many other states, Arizona gives veterans a hiring preference for government jobs. A.R.S. § 38-492 sets out our state’s policy on the issue in some detail. To qualify for a 5-point preference, the veteran must have an honorable discharge following more than 6 months of active duty service and must get a passing grade (without the preference) on the written examination.

A disabled veteran who earns a passing score on the examination will receive the 5-point preference plus an additional 5 points. There are also hiring preferences for the spouses of permanently and totally disabled veterans. A surviving spouse may be entitled to a preference under the following conditions:

  1. The deceased spouse died of a service-connected disability.
  2. The military spouse is on active duty, and, at the time of the amployment application, has been listed as missing in action, captured in the line of duty, or forcibly detained by a foreign government
  3. The veteran spouse has a total and permanent service-connected disability

Does a hiring preference for veterans violate Title VII?

Hiring preferences for veterans have created controversy over the years. The policy has spawned discrimination lawsuits arguing that a preference for veterans unfairly discriminates against women because the majority of veterans in the workforce are male. However, the courts have continued to uphold the privilege based on the argument that the statutory basis for rewarding veterans for their service to the country is necessary even though it disadvantages women.

This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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