Conflicting Congressional Policies:

Veterans' Preference and Apportionment v. Equal Employment Opportunity

FPCD-77-61: Published: Sep 29, 1977. Publicly Released: Sep 29, 1977.

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Veterans' preference in federal hiring in its present form severely limits job opportunities for those who are not veterans. It particularly diminishes the employment chances of women, since they seldom have veteran status. Apportionment of hiring by state populations has no place in a modern merit system, since it has an adverse effect on equal employment opportunity and merit principles and has not achieved its purpose.

The question of whether, and to what extent, one congressional policy objective should take precedence over another is a matter for Congress to decide. Congress is urged to reconsider whether granting preference to veterans, in its present form, is appropriate in light of the contradiction to equal employment opportunity. If Congress wishes to lessen this conflict, modifications could be introduced which would diminish the adverse impact of veterans' preference. Suggested modifications include limitation on the application of preference to a one-time use and imposition of a time limit for use of veterans' preference.

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