“The unemployment and under employment rate for military veterans is far too high,” said state Sen. Diane Allen (R- Burlington), a sponsor of the bill. “If a member of the New Jersey National Guard sees his or her attempt to gain civil service employment interrupted by active military duty, that person should not have to start over upon his or her return. This is an important protection for those who give so much to keep this country safe and free.”
“Jobs are hard enough to come by in this economy, but even harder for service members who can be called to active duty at any time,” said Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D-Essex), another sponsor of the legislation. “These soldiers should not have to forfeit a job opportunity because of their military service. This helps ensure that these soldiers have a fair shot at securing employment to support their families when they return home.”
The new law allows a member of the Guard or the Reserves who is called to active federal military service – and who was on an active open competitive employment list prior to deployment that expired before the member returned home – to be placed on an active open competitive employment list for the same title and jurisdiction.
It allows an applicant to be placed on two lists only if the first list expires in less than 12 months and the placement on a second list occurs within 12 months after the filing of the application. As part of the law, the applicant must meet all current eligibility requirements at the time of application for placement on a list for the same title and jurisdiction.
Under the law, a service member will have one year from the expiration date of the original list he or she was on to submit proof of service and an application to be placed on a new list. Placement on the new list will be for prospective appointments, based upon the score on the original list, and the service member will be listed after disabled veterans and veterans
The law is a result of the specific case SFG John K. Blagojevich from Audubon. Blagojevich was called to active duty while being considered for a civil service position. He was dropped from consideration for that position due to his deployment. Blagojevich was still deployed during the next testing cycle and was ineligible for placement on the next list generated.