Landmark Case Helps Millions of Veterans Get Federal Jobs
July 11, 2008 – Washington, DC – A landmark case was recently won against the US Department of State and the United States Office of Personnel Management. The decision by the Merit Systems Protection Board in the case of Robert P. Isabella v Department of State is a win for not only the appellant, but for all military veterans’ across the country as it opens the door to more federal jobs for veterans regardless of age.
Robert P. Isabella, a preference-eligible veteran, applied for the excepted service position of Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Special Agent when he was 36 years old. The vacancy announcement stated that candidates must be appointed prior to their 37th birthday. Several months later, the agency eliminated Isabella from the selection process because of the fact he would soon reach the cut-off age.
Federal law provides that a federal agency is required to waive a maximum age rule with respect to the hiring of a preference-eligible veteran unless the agency can establish that the age limit rule is essential. Isabella challenged the actions of the elite and secretive Diplomatic Security Service based on the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and won. There was no justified reasoning for the age limit and the Merit Systems Protection Board ruled that Isabella’s application should indeed be processed.
“This win has a significant impact on veterans. It waives the maximum age for federal law enforcement and firefighter positions for veterans, and potentially all other positions that have an age limit,” said Tully. He continued, “This now opens the door for millions of veterans to apply for these positions that they would otherwise be ineligible for. Today is a great day to be a veteran who wants to be a federal law enforcement officer or firefighter!!”. The more veterans that know about the laws that help them get an edge in federal employment the more veterans who will become federal employees.
Tully is the founding partner of Tully Rinckey PLLC, a New York based full-service law firm, with offices in Washington DC. He has appeared before the United States Senate and House of Representatives to champion the rights of veterans.