BRAVE Act for the Bravehearts | DCR Workforce Blog

BRAVE Act for the Bravehearts

Gender Preferences when Hiring VeteransWhen we take the time to spare a thought for the conditions of life in some countries of the world, like Somalia, Afghanistan or Pakistan, we must feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for our good fortune. For this, part of the credit must go to the men and women of our military service who pledge their lives to protect our way of life. When these same men and women look to return to civilian lives either because they are discharged honorably or because they suffered debilitating injuries which make it impossible for them to continue their military service, it behoves us to help make the transition as smooth as possible. After all, Memorial Day is meant to remind us of our duty in the matter of caring for the veterans. However, this responsibility does not end when Memorial Day comes to a close.

Help provided to veterans will not go unrequited, as the government makes it worthwhile for those who accept the task. Tax benefits accrue to employers for hiring veterans. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit offers appropriate rewards which depend on whether the engagement is for short term or long term. The Wounded Warriors Tax Credit compensates employers who hire veterans with service-related disabilities facing long term unemployment.

A newly passed BRAVE Act (Boosting Rates of American Veteran Employment) is the latest addition, to the government initiatives which offer veteran hiring incentives. This Act allows the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs to award VA contracts to companies which have hired higher percentages of veterans on a full time basis.

The Powers of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA):

The discretion of the VA not only decides the quantum of preference afforded to a contractor for employing veterans. It can also monitor the performance of employers in hiring veterans and punish willful misrepresentation of facts by making companies ineligible for VA contracts for five years or more.

Determining Veterans’ Preference:

The government has also introduced veterans’ preference eligibility, which puts veterans in the lead in any job interview by awarding points to employers for veteran hiring. The system is especially useful to give an edge to a veteran in getting a civil service job with the federal government.

The preference eligibility is decided based on:

  • The time the veteran was in active duty and the receipt of a service-connected disability or a purple heart for being wounded.
  • Whether the veteran was discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions. (General discharge or dishonorable discharge could disqualify a veteran from seeking any preference.)
  • Service in Operation Iraqi Freedom campaign and other recent wars.

The application of veterans’ preference offers eligible veterans an edge over other applicants but it does not extend to any internal actions later on, like promotions, transfers, reassignments or reinstatements. However, veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty during certain specified war periods are entitled, by law, to receive preference over non-veterans both in competitive hiring situations and in retention during reductions in force.

These programs are ‘win-wins’ for all parties. Participating companies gain high performing workers while also benefiting financially. Encourage your Human Resources department to explore ways in which your company could benefit.

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Lalita is a people/project manager with extensive experience in operations, HCM and training and development across industries like banking, education, business consulting, BPO and information technology. She believes in a dynamic approach to life and learning as change is the only constant.