(WASHINGTON) – The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) , the nation’s largest federal employees' union, today praised a federal court decision to allow veterans' preference for a disabled veteran. In a decision handed down December 24th in the case, Gingery v Department of Defense, the Federal Circuit Court ruled that the Defense Contract Audit Agency violated the veteran’s rights under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) of 1998 by not selecting him for an excepted position filled under the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP).
The FCIP allows agencies to hire employees for two-year terms but does not contain a veterans' preference under current Office of Personnel Management guidelines. “ Essentially, this program allows federal agencies to put employees on probation for two years and they can be terminated at will with no appeal rights. This case spotlights the abuses to the excepted service appointments when competitive service procedures should be used to preserve and protect civil service and the rights of the veterans to preference,” said AFGE General Counsel Mark Roth who said the union has discussed reforms to the FCIP program with Obama transition officials.
“We applaud the Federal Circuit Court for its decision. A significant number of our members are veterans and we have long sought reforms to the FCIP program. The men and women who bravely serve our country should be given every consideration when seeking employment with the federal government,” said AFGE President John Gage.