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Senate to consider fed hiring preference for reservists

Nov. 18, 2013 - 03:58PM   |  
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Preferential hiring for federal jobs would be extended to National Guard and Reserve members based on length of service under a bipartisan amendment filed Monday in the Senate.

The plan, sponsored by Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., would give Reserve component three preference hiring points after completing initial training, four points after completing 10 years of service and five points after completing 20 years of service.

Donnelly introduced this plan as a free-standing bill in July, but on Monday proposed it as an amendment to the 2014 defense policy bill that the Senate will debate this week.

Under current law, reservists do not earn federal hiring preference unless they have deployed, something amendment cosponsor Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., says gives them too little credit for their sacrifices.

“I believe that if someone wears the uniform of our country, they should be given preference in federal hiring decisions,” said Leahy, co-chairman of the Senate National Guard Caucus.

“For our currently serving reservists, I think federal employment gives them a great opportunity to find a stable position in the workforce that allows them to drill, train, and deploy with their reserve unit when called to duty. In other words, I see this bill as a win for military readiness.”

The five points for 20 years of service would equal the five-point preference now provided to combat veterans or those who served during time of war but would be less than the 10 preference points provided to disabled veterans.

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