Veterans’ Hiring Preference in the Private Sector

Colorado has joined Utah, Arizona, and Wyoming in adopting legislation allowing private employers to have a veterans’ hiring preference policy. In addition to private employers, Colorado had previously allowed for such a preference by public employers. You can read more about the public program in our blog found here.

Under the new Colorado law, private employers may now have a hiring policy showing preference for veterans and spouses of service members killed in the line of duty. This latest legislation creates three categories of “eligible individuals” for the preference. Eligible individuals are: (1) a veteran who has 100% disability rating and the hiring date is within 10 years of discharge; (2) a veteran who has less than 100% disability rating, or is a member of the military reserves, or a member of the National Guard, and the hiring date is within 5 years of discharge; or (3) a spouse of a service member who was killed in the line of duty and hiring date is within 5 years of the service member’s passing.

A private employer’s veterans’ hiring preference policy must be in writing, made public, and be implemented for at least 14 days before being uniformly applied to any new job postings or new hiring decision.

In determining eligibility, employers must require a veteran to provide a copy of the DD214, which details the date of discharge and reason for separation from service. A spouse of a service member who was killed in the line of duty will also be required to provide proof of their marriage to the service member and the service member’s death certificate, along with the DD214.

If you need assistance in drafting a policy and/or job application questions, please contact us – we can help!