Understanding USERRA and VEOA Appeals

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) both protect and promote the employment rights of military service members in the United States. 

  • USERRA guarantees that service members can take leaves of absence for military service and return to their civilian jobs without facing discrimination.
  • VEOA provides veterans preference in federal job hiring processes. 

Appeals related to these laws typically involve disputes or complaints over alleged rights violations, such as improper reemployment after military service or improper handling of veterans’ preference in federal job applications. 

Appeals under both acts are typically decided by administrative agencies, like the Office of Special Counsel, or through the judicial system, depending on the specific circumstances and the nature of the complaint. These appeals are essential in ensuring that military service members’ and veterans’ rights and opportunities are upheld and protected.  

What to do if the Agency Violated USERRA or VEOA?​

There are a variety of factors that contribute to a successful MSPB appeal under USERRA or VEOA.

A USERRA lawyer from our team will work with you to build a thorough and compelling case before the MSPB. Our experienced legal team has a long record of success in USERRA and VEOA hearings.

USERRA Appeals

USERRA protects the rights of federal employees serving as reservists in the armed services. There are two types of USERRA claims that fall within the MSPB’s jurisdiction: 

1. Reemployment cases are when a federal employee claims that a federal agency failed to comply with its obligations to re-employ the employee after completing a period of military service, typically a call to active duty.

2. Discrimination cases in which a federal employee claims that a federal agency has denied the employee (or applicant) initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any “benefit of employment” based on the appellant’s military service.

Several avenues are available to federal employees for redress under USERRA, and our team can help you determine the best course of action.

You may file a complaint with the Department of Labor, which will investigate the complaint and attempt to resolve it if their investigation reveals that the agency committed a USERRA violation.

If the Department of Labor cannot resolve the complaint, the Secretary of Labor must provide written notification to the employee, who may then file a USERRA appeal at the MSPB or a complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. A federal employee may also file a USERRA claim directly with the MSPB. 

VEOA Appeals

The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) is a federal law that provides certain federal employees and applicants with an avenue for relief if an agency violates an employee’s or applicant’s veterans’ preference rights.

Those with veterans’ preference rights include veterans separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions, veterans who served on active duty during a war, campaign, or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized, and disabled veterans.

Before a federal employee or applicant can file a VEOA appeal with the MSPB, they must first file a complaint with the Department of Labor and give the Department of Labor at least 60 days to attempt to resolve the complaint.

There are a variety of factors that contribute to a successful MSPB appeal under the USERRA or VEOA.

Defending Your Rights

Our legal team has a long record of success in USERRA and VEOA hearings before the MSPB and will work with you to build a thorough and compelling case. Call us to learn more.

What Makes Us Different

From EEO complaints to adverse actions, our experienced federal employment attorneys ensure your entitlement to due process and legal representation every step of the way.

Represent government employees at all federal agencies, nationwide and overseas

Highly-skilled MSPB appeals attorneys with a proven track record

Notable success in EEO complaints and appeals

Frequently Asked Questions

Federal employees are protected from discrimination based on sex, gender, color, race, national origin, religion, age, and disability, and have the right to file an EEO complaint against their agency should they face discrimination. Federal employees also have the right to due process before being subjected to an adverse action  

Yes, federal employees can sue for discrimination, but first you must exhaust administrative remedies, which includes filing a formal complaint with your agency and letting 180 days pass. In many instances, federal employees elect to pursue their EEO complaints through the EEOC’s hearing process instead of filing a civil action. 

Federal employees must initiate contact with an EEO Counselor within 45 days of any act of discrimination. After an informal complaint stage, you will be issued a Notice of Right to File a formal complaint, which will permit you 15 days to do so.  

Federal employees do not have the right to sue for wrongful termination the way private sector employees do, but most federal employees have the right to appeal a removal to the MSPB, which will adjudicate whether the Agency can sustain any charges raised against you.  

Yes, most federal employees can file a complaint against their agency with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) if they are facing whistleblower retaliation. If OSC does not accept your complaint for investigation and prosecution, OSC will issue you an Individual Right of Action (IRA) notice giving you the right to pursue corrective action at the MSPB. Federal employees do not have the right to sue in court under the Whistleblower Protection Act.

Speak with Our USERRA/VEOA Attorneys today