UPDATE ON VETERANS
This memorandum is intended to provide agencies with information on legislation, State policy and procedures for certain newly defined categories of individuals who have been recently accorded veterans status under Section 85 of the Civil Service Law. It summarizes and repeats some of the information previously published in General Information Bulletin #91-04, and Advisory Memorandum #91-02.
For each of the new categories below, in addition to any specific requirements for eligibility, these individuals must also meet all the other criteria in Advisory Memorandum #91-02. (See 1200, or 2300 or 2800 of your State Personnel Management Manual).
NEW CATEGORIES AND ENTITLEMENTS
Alternate Test Dates For State Examinations
Section 243-b of the Military Law was enacted as of July 19,1991, providing for a make up administration of the test(s) for candidates who had filed for an examination, but were unable to take the test on the scheduled date due to active military service. To obtain an alternate test date, veterans must write to the Department of Civil Service, Examinations Processing Section within 60 days of their return from active duty.
Disabled World War II Merchant Mariners
Effective August 2,1991, Section 85 (b) (2) has been amended to define an additional group of disabled individuals as disabled veterans. However, please note that the legislation stipulates that such individuals are entitled to this status ONLY IF THEY HAVE TAKEN AN EXAMINATION ON OR AFTER AUGUST 2, 1991. Therefore, their seniority dates may not be adjusted if they have not taken an examination on or since that date.
Persian Guff Conflict Veterans
Effective August 1,1991, Section 85 has been amended to include individuals who served anywhere on active duty in the armed forces from August 2,1990 to the date upon which such hostilities (the Persian Gulf Crisis) end. In particular this includes members of the reserves who were called to active duty in connection with the Persian Guff conflict's operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Veterans of Lebanon, Grenada and Panama
Effective August 1,1991, Section 85 has been amended to include individuals who served in Lebanon, Grenada, and Panama in the armed forces during the dates of those hostilities (See Advisory Memorandum #91-02, page 2). Note that to be eligible, in addition to the usual criteria, these individuals must have actually served in those locations, evidenced by having been awarded the armed forces expeditionary medal, the navy expeditionary medal or the marine corps expeditionary medal.
To help inform state employees and the public of these changes, the Department of Civil Service has sent information to several Merchant Marine and other veterans organizations, has provided information to the Personnel Council through the office of the Executive Assistant, and has also prepared various press releases and posting notices. In addition:
Additional Credits on Examinations
Seniority - The Department of Civil Service has provided information to the Department of Labor and the Employment Services Offices. We will not be individually notifying individuals on preferred lists. Agencies may be asked to include a notice on their canvass letters. Agencies must notify their own employees. It is especially important that any employees who may be potentially affected by layoffs be immediately informed and their seniority changed as necessary.
For additional examination credit (form S-203), or for additional service credits for seniority, agencies must verify eligibility for veterans status through the standard documents:
RETENTION RIGHTS OF PERSIAN GULF VETERANS
Subsequent to the issuance of General Information Bulletin #91-04 which discussed the extensive reinstatement and retention rights provided under Federal law to those who serve in active military duty during the Persian Guff crisis, including protection from discharge without cause for one year upon return, we have received clarification from the U. S. Department of Labor that reductions in force are considered just cause. Accordingly, because Federal law does not preclude returning veterans from being affected by required reductions in force, they have the same rights as any other employee under the Civil Service Law. The returning veteran must, of course, be provided his/her proper seniority rights in conducting any such reduction in force, including the additional thirty months credit to which non-disabled veterans are entitled pursuant to Civil Service Law §85.7 and the additional sixty months credit to which disabled veterans are entitled.
Notwithstanding this clarification of Federal law, the State of New York remains committed to ensuring that, to the extent possible, diligent efforts be made to re-employ and retain employees upon their return from ordered military duty in connection with the Persian Gulf crisis.