I claimed VEOA (5 point veteran's preference) on my USAJOBS application.

HRSC-SW San Diego said I was ineligible because I was outside the area of consideration. I sent an email to DoNEIC, and they said I was eligible, and they sent an inquiry to HRSC-SW. It took over one month for HRSC-SW to answer me, and they told me I was found ineligible because I did not indicate my VEOA eligibility. I did, in fact, indicate my VEOA eligibility on my job application. I called DoNEIC, and they told me to contact HRSC-SW directly. I sent them an email on Jan 14th, and then received an email from them saying they would investigate and get back to me by the end of the week (18 Jan). I have heard nothing from them since the 14th. What are my options at this point? The job has probably been filled by now. It seems like someone is trying to cover their tracks at HRSC-SW.

Ocean Springs, MS -

Attorney Answers (2)

Marilynn Mika Spencer

Marilynn Mika Spencer

Employment / Labor Attorney - San Diego, CA

From dealing with Navy Region SW for many years, I can tell you that what happened to you is very common. It often amazes me that HRSC keeps finding new ways to make mistakes, yet that is what happens. Part of the problem is that the budget for civilian personnel has been greatly reduced over the past ten or so years, so the employees in HRSC are doing far more work than they should be doing. It's a recipe for disaster.

There federal government does not provide a formal structure to appeal or protest a mistake by HR. You should keep contacting HRSC. Be polite but persistant. Get the names of everyone you speak with and keep a record of what was said and the date and time of the call. You can also send faxes and letters (keep copies) asking about the status of the investigation.

But . . . I have no confidence that anything you do will remain within HR. HR may communicate to the selecting official that you are a pain, which of course will hurt your chances of being the successful candidate. Of course HR is not supposed to do this, but HR has given me a lot of reasons to mistrust it.

And failure to hire cases are extremely difficult because the agency has a lot of leeway in who it selects and proving the hiring violated a statute or regulation often requires being able to prove what someone was thinking.

I'm sorry this happened to you, especially these days when jobs are so hard to come by. I hope you can achieve some kind of resolution.

Marilynn Mika Spencer
San Diego

twitter.com/MikaSpencer *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the... more
David Andrew Mallen

David Andrew Mallen

Employment / Labor Attorney - El Segundo, CA

This is a very specific area of law. I added tags to increase the chance of a response from the great community of AVVO lawyers who give so much of their time to assist the public.

David Mallen

David A. Mallen offers answers on Avvo for general information only. This offer of free, general answers is not... more

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