The Office of Personnel Management has issued a new guidance detailing how the parents of deceased or disabled veterans can now claim veterans' preference.

The guidance coincides with the Gold Star Fathers Act of 2015, a law that went into effect on Jan. 7.

The law—sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.—amends the veteran preference statute to include both parents of deceased or permanently disabled veterans instead of the previous version of the law, which extended preference only to the mother of a veteran.

Veterans' preference promotes eligible veterans for civil service jobs over other applicants based on their military service. While not a guarantee of federal employment, the practice does ensure that hiring managers do consider qualified veterans for positions in government before other applicants.

Agencies only remove the veterans from the applicant pool after showing evidence of a sustainable objection to the examining office that selected the pool.

The new guidance allows the parent of a deceased or permanently disabled veteran to claim their preference if:

  • the spouse of that parent is permanently disabled
  • the parent is unmarried or legally separated when the preference is claimed

A July 14 memo from acting OPM Director Beth Cobert said the agency was currently updating the "Delegated Examining Operations Handbook; the Vet Guide; chapter 211 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations; the SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veteran's Preference; and relevant website pages" to accommodate the new changes.

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