If you are a Massachusetts veteran, as defined in the Introduction above, you are entitled to veterans' preference in civil service exams. If you attain a score of 70% or higher, you are entitled to go to the top of the exam list, with disabled veterans having top priority. If you apply for a promotional exam, you get two points added to your score. If you apply for a civil service job for which there is no exam, you are entitled to veterans' preference in a "provisional appointment." If you apply for a position in the labor force, you are not required to take an exam and you go to the top of the list.

What if the civil service exam is held when I'm on military duty?

If you plan to take a civil service exam and you have been called up for active duty, you can either take the exam at your mobilization site or take a make-up promotional exam within six months of your return by contacting the Massachusetts Human Resources Division (HRD) before deployment.

  • For more information, see M.G.L. c. 31, s. 12 and s. 26 by visiting www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mg. Also, see c. 708 of the Acts of 1941.
  • For more information, contact HRD at (617) 727-2293.

What happens if I'm at the top of the list but a position opens while I'm serving?

If you are at the top of the exam list, and an appointment opens while you are away, you can request that the appointing authority hire a "military substitute" and appoint you to the position within three months of your return. If the appointing authority chooses to bypass you by hiring someone else, and they tell you that you have to wait until the next opening for an appointment, you can file a discrimination complaint under USERRA at DOL/VETS, and they will investigate and file a formal complaint if you wish. You can also challenge the bypass through an appeal at the Civil Service Commission, or by means of a complaint at the MCAD, the lengthiest of the three remedies.

  • To file a discrimination complaint with DOL/VETS, call the Boston regional office at (617) 626-6699. The DOL/VETS website is full of information about USERRA www.dol.gov/vets.
  • For more information, contact the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission at (617) 727-2293.
  • To file at the MCAD call (617) 994-6000.

I'm in the Guard in a neighboring state and am employed as a public servant in Massachusetts. Am I eligible for the military retirement buy back program?

Yes. Members of the National Guard or Reserves in neighboring states who work in a public service capacity within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can have their military service counted as creditable service time and may be applied toward retirement on a ratio of five years of Guard or Reserves time for each one year of active service.

  • For more information, see c. 130 of the Acts of 2005.

I'm in the Massachusetts National Guard and I live in a neighboring state. Am I eligible for benefits from the state of Massachusetts?

It depends on the benefit-any benefit that has residency requirement would be unavailable to you. For additional benefits, you should check with the state you reside in to find out about benefits you may receive.

  • For more information, contact your state's Department of Veterans' Services.
  • The SAVE Team may also be able to assist you. Email save@massmail.state.ma.us or call (888) 844-2838.

Is there veterans' preference for public works jobs?

Yes. M.G.L. ch. 149, s. 26 ensures that preference is given to qualified veterans in public works construction by the state, a county, town, authority or district, or by a person contracting with or subcontracting for such work. Each county, town, district, contractor, or subcontractor gives preference to veterans and service-connected disabled veterans who live in their jurisdiction.

  • For more information, contact HRD at your town/city hall.

What if I applied for a federal job and didn't receive veterans' preference?

Under the Veterans' Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (known as Public Law 105-339) a new redress process allows eligible veterans who believe that a federal agency has violated their rights under any law or regulation related to veterans' preference to file a formal complaint with DOL/VETS.

  • For more information contact DOL/VETS at (617) 626-6699.

(Welcome Home, 3rd edition, April 2010)

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