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BILLS TO GIVE CERTAIN PREFERENCES IN THE CIVIL
SERVICE TO VETERANS OR TO THEIR

WIVES AND WIDOWS

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COMMITTEE ON THE CIVIL SERVICE

ROBERT RAMSPECK, Georgia, Chairman WILLIAM I. SIROVICH, New York

EDITH NOURSE ROGERS, Massachusetts JENNINGS RANDOLPH, West Virginia CHARLES A. HALLECK, Indiana EDWARD W. CURLEY, New York

EDWARD H. REES, Kansas FRANK W. FRIES, Illinois

ALBERT L. VREELAND, New Jersey WADE HAMPTON KITCHENS, Arkansas L. L. MARSHALL, Ohio GUY L. MOSER, Pennsylvania

J. FRANCIS HARTER, New York
NEWT V. MILLS, Louisiana

JOHN C. KUNKEL, Pennsylvania
GEORGE M. GRANT, Alabama
LINDLEY BECKWORTH, Texas
JOHN L. MCMILLAN, South Carolina
THOMAS V. SMITH, Illinois
JOHN M. COFFEE, Washington
BERNARD J. GEHRMANN, Wisconsin

THOMAS L. CAMP, Clerk
GERTRUDE ARLINE, Assistant

II

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

JUN 8 1939

DIVISION OF DOOUMENTS

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FRIDAY, APRIL 28, 1939

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON THE CIVIL SERVICE,

Washington, D. C.
The Committee on Civil Service met in the committee room, Old
House Office Building, at 10 o'clock a. m., the chairman, Hon. Robert
Ramspeck, presiding.

The CHAIRMAN. The meeting will please come to order.

The committee has met this morning to hold a hearing on H. R. 5101, a bill which was introduced by the gentleman from Alabama, Mr. Joe Starnes, to give honorably discharged veterans, their widows, and the wives of disabled veterans, who themselves are not qualified, preference in employment where Federal funds are disbursed.

I will ask the reporter to insert in the record at this point a copy
of the bill and the report of the United States Civil Service Com-
mission under date of April 13, 1939, in relation thereto.
(The bill and report above-referred to are as follows:)
(H. R. 5101, 76th Cong., 1st sess.)

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A BILL, To give honorably discharged veterans, their widows, and the wives of disabled veterans, who

themselves are not qualified, preference in employment where Federal funds are disbursed
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of
America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. That this Act may be cited as “The Veterans' Preference Act of 1939.”

SEC. 2. Wherever used in this Act

(a) The term “veteran” shall be held to mean a person who has served in any branch of the armed forces of the United States during any war, campaign, or expedition for which a campaign badge has been or may be authorized and who has been honorably discharged from such service or resigned therefrom under honorable conditions.

(b) The term “disabled veteran” shall mean a veteran who establishes, by official records, the existence of a service-connected disability, or a veteran over fifty-five years of age who, because of disability, whether service-connected or not, is entitled to pension, compensation, or disability allowance under the laws of the United States.

(c) The term “widow” shall mean the surviving unmarried widow of a deceased veteran.

(d) The term “preference wife” shall mean the wife of a disabled veteran who himself is not qualified for employment in the service of the Federal Government.

(e) The term “preference eligibles” shall include veterans, disabled veterans, widows, and preference wives as herein defined.

Sec. 3. That preference eligibles shall be given preference as herein provided in rating, in certification for appointment, in appointment, in reinstatement, in reemployment, and in retention in civilian positions in all establishments, agencies, bureaus, administrations, projects, and departments of the Government, permanent or temporary, and in either (a) the classified civil service; (h) the unclassified civil service; (c) any temporary or emergency establishment, agency, bureau, administration, project, and department created by Acts of Congress or Presidential Executive order; and (d) the civil service of the District of Columbia.

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SEC. 4. In all examinations for appointment, disabled veterans, widows, and preference wives shall have ten points added to their earned ratings, and all veterans shall have five points added to their earned ratings: Provided, That without the addition of said points, they shall have made a passing grade.

SEC. 5. In examinations where experience is an element of qualification, time spent in the military or naval service of the United States shall be credited in a veteran's or disabled veteran's rating where his or her actual employment in a similar vocation to that for which he or she is examined was temporarily interrupted by such military or naval service but was resumed or by application for such examination is attempted to be resumed after his or her discharge.

Sec. 6. In determining qualifications for examination or certification with respect to preference eligibles, the Civil Service Commission or other examining agency shall waive requirements as to physical condition, age, height, weight, education, previous specified instruction or the attainment of any degree or certificate from any institution, or any requirements that are not essential to the performance of the duties of the position for which the examination is given, and such preference eligible's qualifications shall be judged upon the basis of his actual knowledge and ability to perform the duties of the said position. The Civil Service Commission or other examining agency shall give due consideration to the recommendation of any accredited physician of the United States Public Health Service or of the Veterans' Administration as to the physical ability of any preference eligible to perform the said duties.

Sec. 7. Preference eligibles shall not be subject to the provisions of the Civil Service Act concerning apportionment of appointments in the Government departments at Washington among the several States and Territories according to population, but shall be required to furnish evidence of residence and domicile as required by law.

SEC. 8. The names of preference eligibles shall be entered on the appropriate registers or lists of eligibles in accordance with their respective ratings, and the name of a preference eligible shall be entered ahead of all others having the same rating: Provided, That nothing herein shall prevent any particular class of preference eligibles being placed in a higher place on said registers or lists by existing or future Executive order or rule of the Civil Service Commission.

SEC. 9. In the classified competitive Federal and District of Columbia civil service all preference eligibles given a rating by the Civil Service Commission making them eligible for appointment shall have their names placed on a proper register or list, along with all other eligibles, in accordance with the provisions hereof; except in such cases as the rules of the Civil Service Commission shall provide for selection to be made from the register by the nominating or appointing officer without preliminary certification by the Commission, the nominating or appointing officer shall request the certification of eligibles and the said Civil Service Commission shall certify from the head of said register or list

of eligibles appropriate for the group in which the position or positions to be filled are classified, a number of names sufficient to permit the nominating or appointing officer to consider three names in connection with each vacancy. The nominating or appointing officer shall make selection for the first vacancy from not more than the highest three names certified, unless objection shall be made and sustained by the said Commission to one or more of the persons certified for any proper reason as may be prescribed by the rules promulgated by said Commission. For the second vacancy the nominating or appointing officer shall make selection from not more than the three highest names remaining, who have not been within his reach for three separate vacancies, or against whom objection has not been made and sustained by said Commission as aforesaid. The third and any additional vacancies shall be filled in like manner. When selection shall be made from the register or list by the nominating or appointing officer without preliminary certification by the said Commission, such selection or selections shall be made in the same manner as if such register or list were certified by the said Commission.

Sec. 10. In the unclassified Federal and District of Columbia civil service, the nominating or appointing officer shall make selection from the list of qualified applicants in the same manner as herein provided in section 9 for the classified service, and the position of the names of preference eligibles on said lists shall be determined in the same manner as on the register or list of eligibles in the classified service as herein provided.

Sec. 11. In all other positions and employment hereinbefore referred to in (c) of section 3 hereof, the nominating or appointing officer shall make selection from the list of qualified applicants, and the position of the names of preference eligibles on said lists shall be determined in the same manner as on the register or list of eligibles in the classified service as herein provided.

SEC. 12. Disabled veterans, widows, preference wives, and veterans, in the order named, shall be entered ahead of nonpreference eligibles on the appropriate reemployment lists maintained by the Civil Service Commission, as well as on reemployment lists established with respect to the other establishments, agencies, bureaus, administrations, projects, and departments, temporary or permanent, hereinbefore referred to, and shall be reemployed in preference to nonpreference eligibles. Any preference eligible resigned, furloughed, or discharged other than after the sustaining of charges as provided in section 14 hereof shall have his or her name placed on any or all appropriate reemployment lists for every position for which his or her respective qualifications have been established, upon signifying in writing his or her willingness to accept appointment from such list when made. Refusal to accept such appointment when made shall constitute ground for the removal of the name of such preference eligible from the said list.

SEC. 13. In the event of reductions in personnel being made in any establishment, agency, bureau, administration, project, or department, temporary or permanent, hereinbefore referred to, under the classified civil service or otherwise, no preference eligible shall be dropped, discharged, furloughed, or reduced in rank or compensation while a nonpreference eligible engaged in similar work is retained upon the former basis, except discharges made in pursuance of charges as provided in section 14 hereof.

Sec. 14. No preference eligible employed in the civil service, or in any establishment, agency, bureau, administration, project, or department, temporary or permanent, hereinbefore referred to shall be discharged or reduced in rank or compensation except for such cause as will promote the efficiency of the service and for reasons given in writing, and the person whose discharge or reduction in rank or compensation is sought shall be furnished with a written copy of such reasons and shall have a reasonable opportunity to answer the same in writing and furnish affidavits in support of such answer to the nominating or appointing officer, and in all cases, under the jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission, shall havá the right to appeal to said Commission from an adverse decision of the administrative officer acting in the case, which appeal shall be made in writing within ten days from the date of receipt of the notice of such adverse decision, and the said reasons, and which appeal shall be conducted in all other respects in accordance with such reasonable rules and regulations as said Commission may promulgate, and, after investigation, the said Commission shall approve, disapprove, or modify such decision, and the action of said Commission shall be binding upon all administrative and accounting officers of the Government.

SEC. 15. Preference eligibles who are candidates for reinstatement in the civil service, Federal or District of Columbia, or in any establishment, agency, bureau, administration, project or department, temporary or permanent, as hereinbefore referred to shall not be subject to limitations with respect to length of previous service or period of separation from the service.

SEC. 16. Any appointing officer who passes over a preference eligible and selects a nonpreference eligible occupying a lower position on any list or register shall file, in cases under the jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission, with that Commission, and in all other cases with such body or person as may be designated by law or in the absence of provision therein by executive order, a statement in writing of his reasons for so doing, and shall furnish each preference eligible so passed over, or, in the discretion of the Commission, his authorized representative, a copy of said statement. Under such rules and regulations as the said Civil Service Commission, or such body or person as the case may be, shall make, the said preference eligible may file an answering statement or be granted a hearing. After the filing of said statement or the complet on of said hearing, as the case may be, the said Commission, or such body or person as the case may be, shall, after carefully and impartially considering the matter, render a decision upon the merits and in view of the intent and purpose of this Act, concerning the justification of the passing over of the preference eligible or eligibles, a copy of which decision shall be furnished to both the appointing officer and the preference eligible or eligibles.

Sec. 17. The term “Civil Service Commission” or “Commission” as used in this Act shall mean the present United States Civil Service Commission or any body or person who may by law succeed to its powers and duties, or any of them, or which or who may be designated by law to perform any specific duty and possess any specific power concerning matters covered by this Act.

Sec. 18. That all Acts and parts of Acts inconsistent with the provisions hereof are hereby modified to conform herewith, and this Act shall not be construed to take away from any preference eligible any rights heretofore granted to or pos

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