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73-201. Preference in governmental employment and promotion; notice when veteran not hired; notice of job openings, information regarding preference; remedy when preference not provided. (a) As used in this act: (1) "Veteran" means:

(A) Any person who entered the armed forces before October 15, 1976, and separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions, if such person served: (i) On active duty during any war (the official dates for war service are April 6, 1917 through July 2, 1921, and December 7, 1941 through April 28, 1952); (ii) during the period April 28, 1952 through July 1, 1955; (iii) in any campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge or service medal has been authorized; or (iv) for more than 180 consecutive days since January 31, 1955, but before October 15, 1976, excluding an initial period of active duty for training under the "six-month" reserve or national guard program;

(B) any person who entered the armed forces on or after October 15, 1976, and separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions, if such person was awarded a service medal or campaign badge;

(C) any person who separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions and has a disability certified by the United States department of veterans affairs as being service connected, has been issued the purple heart by the United States government or has been released from active service with a service-connected disability;

(D) the spouse of a veteran who has a 100% service connected disability as determined by the United States department of veteran affairs;

(E) the unremarried spouse of a veteran who died while, and as a result of, serving in armed forces; and

(F) the spouse of a prisoner of war, as defined by K.S.A. 75-4364, and amendments thereto.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the term "veteran" shall not apply to any person who retired from the active military with the pay grade of 04 or above unless the person retired due to wounds received in combat or is a disabled veteran.

(2) "Competent" means a good faith determination that the person is likely to successfully meet the performance standards of the position based on what a reasonable person knowledgeable in the operation of the position would conclude from all information available at the time the decision is made. The basis for such determination shall include experience, training, education, licensure, certification and/or other factors determined by the decision making authority as appropriate to determine the applicant's overall qualification and ability to successfully meet the performance standards of the position. The decision making authority shall document such factors prior to the initiation of the selection process.

(3) "Disabled veteran" means a person who has served on active duty in the armed forces, has been separated therefrom under honorable conditions, and has established the present existence of a service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension because of a public statute administered by the department of veterans affairs or a military department.

(b) In grateful recognition of the services, sacrifices and sufferings of veterans who served in the army, navy, air force, coast guard or marine corps of the United States in world war I and world war II, and of persons who have served with the armed forces of the United States during the military, naval and air operations in Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan or other places under the flags of the United States and the United Nations or under the flag of the United States alone, and have been honorably discharged therefrom, the provisions of this section are enacted.

(c) Veterans shall be preferred for initial employment and first promotion in the state government of Kansas, and in the counties and cities of this state, if competent to perform such services. Any veteran thus preferred shall not be disqualified from holding any position in such service on account of the veteran's age or by reason of any physical or mental disability as long as such age or disability does not render the veteran incompetent to perform the duties of the position applied for. When any veteran shall apply for appointment to any such position, place, or employment, the officer, board or person whose duty it is or may be to appoint a person to fill such place shall, if the applicant be a veteran of good reputation, and can competently perform the duties of the position applied for by the veteran, consider the veteran for appointment to such position, place, or employment. Within 30 days of filling a position, eligible veterans who have applied and are not hired shall be notified by certified mail or personal service that they are not being hired. Such notice also shall advise the veteran of any administrative appeal available.

(d) The provisions of this act shall not be applicable to any persons classed as conscientious objectors. The provisions of this act shall not be controlling over the provisions of any statute, county resolution or city ordinance relating to retirement, or termination on the basis of age, of employees of the state or any county or city. Whenever under any statute, county resolution or city ordinance retirement, or termination on the basis of age, of any employee is required at a certain age, or is optional with the employer at a certain age, such provisions of such statute, resolution or ordinance shall be controlling and shall not be limited by this section.

(e) All notices of job openings, if any, and all applications for employment, if any, by the state and any city or county in this state shall state that the job is subject to a veteran's preference, how the preference works and how veterans may take advantage of the preference and post a written statement of: (1) The qualifications for such position; (2) any preferred qualifications of such position; (3) performance standards for the position; and (4) the process that will be used for selection. A veteran, or a spouse who qualifies for the veteran's preference, desiring to use a veteran's preference shall provide the hiring authority with a copy of the veteran's DD214 form or the DD214 form of the veteran under which the spouse qualifies for the preference.

(f) Every employment center of the state and any city or county human resources department, if any, shall openly display documents that indicate that veterans are eligible for a preference in their initial employment and any first promotion within the employment of the governmental entity.

(g) Any veteran who alleges that a state agency, city or county has not provided the veterans preference as required by this act, after exhausting any available administrative remedy, may bring an action in the district court.

History: L. 1886, ch. 160, § 1; L. 1901, ch. 186, § 1; L. 1907, ch. 374, § 1; L. 1919, ch. 280, § 1; R.S. 1923, 73-201; L. 1945, ch. 301, § 1; L. 1951, ch. 429, § 1; L. 1970, ch. 306, § 1; L. 2008, ch. 99, § 1; July 1.


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