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Final Rule Issued on HIRE Vets Medallion Program

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As Veteran’s Day fast approaches, on Nov. 9, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued the Final Rule implementing the Honor Investments in Recruiting and Hiring (HIRE) American Military Veterans Act (HIRE Vets Act), which President Trump signed on May 5, 2017.

 

The Rule establishes a HIRE Vets Medallion Program, which will recognize qualifying companies with a HIRE Vets Medallion Award for their commitment to recruit, employ and retain American military service veterans. The Program will be implemented in 2019.

 

Under the Program, there will be different awards for large employers (500 or more employees), medium employers (51-499 employees) and small employers (50 or less employees). There also will be two award tiers: Gold and Platinum. The criteria for the Awards is as follows:

 

  1. Percentage of new hires who are veterans in the prior year;
  2. Percentage of veteran employees retained for a period of at least 12 months;
  3. Percentage of employees who are veterans;
  4. Providing an employee veteran organization or resource group to help new veteran employees with integration, including coaching and mentoring;
  5. Providing programs to enhance leadership skills of veteran employees;
  6. Having a dedicated human resources professional or initiatives to support hiring, training and retention of veteran employees;
  7. Providing compensation to employees serving on active duty in the U.S. National Guard or Reserve that is sufficient, in combination with the employee’s active duty pay, to achieve a combined level of income commensurate with the employee’s salary prior to undertaking active duty;
  8. Providing a tuition assistance program to support veteran employees’ attendance in postsecondary education during their employment; and
  9. No employer with an adverse labor law decision, stipulated agreement, contact debarment or contract termination will be eligible to receive an Award.

 

According to the DOL, to be eligible for the award, not all of the above-mentioned criteria must be satisfied, with the exception of Criteria No. 9.

 

In addition, there will be an application fee which will vary due to the size of the employer. For 2019, the application fees are as follows:

 

  • Small Employer – $90.00
  • Medium Employer – $190.00
  • Large Employer – $495.00

 

Finally, for 2019, the DOL’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service will begin accepting applications on Jan. 1, 2019. The deadline to submit an application will be April 30, 2019. Employers will be notified as to whether they were selected for an Award by Oct. 11, 2019.

Tina Syring

Tina A. Syring is a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Minneapolis office and a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Department. As a former HR director and in-house counsel for a technology company, Tina uses her human resources experience to counsel clients on a variety of labor and employment-related issues. She regularly advises, trains, and litigates on behalf of employers on federal/state employment law compliance, including allegations of wrongful termination, harassment, and discrimination.

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