Oregon Veterans' Preference in Employment

The University of Oregon complies with the Oregon Veterans' Preference in Public Employment law which provides qualifying veterans and disabled veterans with preference in employment.  

Training & Process Guide:

Talent Acquisition offers a video presentation about applying veteran's preference to the search process. This training provides information on identifying veteran and disabled veteran applicants in MyTrack, requirements and best practices for applying veteran's preference, and key take-aways and tools.

Employees and applicants must be given the opportunity to self-identify as eligible veterans.  Self-identification is administered through the MyTrack talent management system.  Both external and internal candidates are given the opportunity to establish veteran status when submitting an application for an available position. The University requires that eligibility documentation be submitted for each application in which the veteran wishes to receive preference; veterans who do not submit required documentation for a search will not receive preference regardless of whether application materials indicate service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Veteran's Preference: Description

The State of Oregon Veterans’ Preference law (Oregon Revised Statutes 408.225 – 408.290) requires the university and other public employers to grant certain preferences to veterans and disabled veterans at each stage of the hiring process.  The required preferences do not compel a public employer to appoint a veteran or disabled veteran.  However, if a veteran’s or disabled veteran’s score, rank, rating or other qualitative assessment, with required preference, is equal to or higher than the results for a non-veteran applicant, then the veteran or disabled veteran shall be appointed.

Public employers in Oregon are also subject to the Interviews of Veteran Applicants for Public Service Position Required (ORS 408.237) legislation. Under ORS 408.237, when an interview is part of the selection process for a civil service position, a public employer shall interview each veteran who meets the minimum and special qualifications for the position and submits application materials that show sufficient evidence that the veteran has the transferable skills requested and required by the employer.

Eligible veterans that meet minimum and special qualifications are also entitled to receive preference at each stage in the hiring process in which they participate (see Summary of Procedures for Applying Veterans' Preference Section below).

Summary of Procedures for Applying Veterans' Preference

This summary highlights the basic steps necessary to implement the Oregon Veterans’ Preference regulations and does not attempt to address all possible selection process procedures. More specific information is included in the Oregon Veterans’ Preference Hiring Process Guidance which includes implementation guidelines. HR Administrators/Hiring Managers and search chairs are strongly encouraged to review this guidance with committee members prior to candidate review. Search committees may also request a search committee briefing from Talent Acquisition, including instructions regarding application of veterans' preference and other search procedures, by sending an email to talent@uoregon.edu.

It is recommended that one member of the search committee, usually the search chair, maintain responsibility for applying veterans' preference throughout the search. Preference must be applied at each search stage.

1. HR administrators on the search or hiring managers will identify veterans or disabled veterans eligible for preference based on the indicator flags in the MyTrack listing of applicants. To navigate to the listing that shows flags, select "Manage Requisitions" under the expandable ("hamburger") menu in the upper left-hand corner of MyTrack and find the applicant list there; please note that this is the only area where indicator flags will show. The area where selection outcomes for applicants are designated does not display the indicator flags. Indicator flags will show veterans who have submitted necessary documentation of eligibility and whether the veteran is entitled to receive 5% preference or 10% preference (for disabled veterans) during selection process. Status indicators will show if the candidate has self-identified but is still awaiting documentation submission or HR review. (See Identification of Veterans section). HR administrators (or their designee with appropriate MyTrack user role) should review the candidate pool and ensure the search chair or search committee is prepared to provide veterans' preference prior to beginning candidate review.

2. Review all application materials to ascertain whether candidates, including veterans, meet stated minimum and any special qualifications (see Definitions section). Applicants whose applications do not show evidence of meeting stated requirements require no further review. (See Application Review: Minimum and special qualifications section)

3. Interview all veterans that meet both the minimum and any special qualifications applicable to the position (assuming interviews are part of the application process). The interview may be a short "screening" interview, but the same interview should be given to all applicants that advance to the interview phase, including the qualified veterans. (See Interviews section)

4. When evaluating candidates following the interview, veterans must be given 5 additional percentage points, and disabled veterans must be given 10 additional percentage points, respectively. (See Evaluation of Candidates for more information about applying preference to numerical and non-numerical scoring).

5. Identify top candidates for ongoing consideration and conduct campus visits, reference checks and all remaining steps in the search process as applicable, ensuring that the 5% and 10% preference for any covered veteran is ongoing throughout the process. (See Evaluation of Candidates and Selection)


In the context of applicable laws, the following definitions and terms apply (ORS 408.225 to 408.237):

A Veteran means a person who:

  1. Served on active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States:
    1. For a period of more than 90 consecutive days beginning on or before January 31, 1955, and was discharged or released under honorable conditions;
    2. For a period of more than 178 consecutive days beginning after January 31, 1955, and was discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions;
    3. For 178 days or less and was discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions because of a service-connected disability;
    4. For 178 days or less and was discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions and has a disability rating from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs; or
    5. For at least one day in a combat zone and was discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions;
  2. Received a combat or campaign ribbon of an expeditionary medal for service in the Armed Forces of the United States and was discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions; or
  3. Is receiving a nonservice-connected pension from the United States Department of Veterans' Affairs.

A Disabled Veteran means a person:

  1. Who has a disability rating from the United States Department of Veterans' Affairs;
  2. Whose discharge or release from active duty was for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or
  3. Who was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat.

A Civil Service Position (ORS 408.225): any position for which a hiring or promotion decision is made based on the results of a merit based, competitive process that includes, but is not limited to, consideration of an applicant’s or employee’s relative ability, knowledge, experience and other skills (need not be labeled a “civil service position”).

Special Qualifications (not specifically defined as applied to this statute, but the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) uses the definition from OAR 105-040-0030): qualifications added to minimum qualifications and necessary (required) at the time of appointment based on the duties of the position to be filled. They may include, but are not limited to, bilingual skills, licenses, permits, and/or certifications required by law. Please note the distinction between special qualifications (required) and preferred qualifications (desired but not required). Not all positions have special qualifications.

Transferable Skills (OAR 839-006-0440): skills that a veteran has obtained through military education or experience that relate, directly or indirectly, to the civil service position for which the veteran is applying.

Eligibility for Preference: a veteran is eligible to use the preference for a merit based, competitive open position for which application is made at any time after discharge or release from service in the Armed Forces of the United States. As of January 1, 2022, servicemembers may claim their preference on job applications up to 120 days prior to discharge or release under honorable conditions. 


Additional Resources

The American Council on Education website provides a tool employers can use for assessing how military training and experience translate to the civilian job market. The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs www.oregon.gov/ODVA (503-373-2000) and the Oregon Military Department www.oregon.gov/OMD (503-584-3980) also provide services for determining whether military education or experience produces a transferable skill.