Arizona Enacts the Voluntary Veterans’ Employment Preference Policy Act

On April 6, 2015, the Governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, signed into law the Voluntary Veterans’ Employment Preference Policy Act (A.R.S. § 23-495). Arizona becomes the 19th state to enact this type of law, which allows private sector employers to give employment preference to veterans. In order for an employer to provide this preference the employer must adopt a written policy and must uniformly apply the preference to employment decisions regarding hiring, promotion, and retention during a reduction-in-force. The preference only applies to individuals that served in the United States Armed Forces that were honorably discharged. An employer can require that the veteran produce a Form DD-214 to be eligible for the preference. A DD-214 is a document issued by the U.S. Armed Forces at the time of discharge indicating an individual’s status as a veteran. If an employer decides to provide veterans’ preference in accordance with this Act, they will not be in violation of any state or local civil rights laws.

Public employers have been required to provide employment preference to veterans pursuant to A.R.S. § 38-942.