Presenter: Al Bingham

Commission Agenda Item No. 12
Action
Handling of Veteran's Employment Preference Complaints Under Texas Government Code Chapter 657
Resolution
November 2007

I. Executive Summary: State law provides an employment preference by public entities for certain veterans. Recent legislation established an appeal to a public entity's governing body for decisions not to hire a veteran or to eliminate a veteran's position. Staff recommends that the Commission delegate authority to the Executive Director to make an initial response to a complainant by adopting the Resolution shown in Exhibit A.

II. Discussion: Government Code Chapter 657 provides that an individual who qualifies for a veteran's preference be entitled to a preference in employment over other applicants for the same position who do not have a greater qualification. The 80th Texas State Legislature enacted HB 1275, providing that an individual entitled to a veteran's preference may appeal an agency's decision not to hire the individual, or a decision to eliminate the individual's position in a reduction in force (RIF) by filing a complaint with the agency's governing body. The governing body may order a different decision than the one complained of if it determines that the veteran's preference was not applied. The governing body shall respond to such a complaint within 15 business days.

Because of the relatively short response requirements of HB 1275, staff recommends that the Commission adopt a resolution delegating authority to the Executive Director to act on the Commission's behalf as set forth in Commission Policy CP-010, and provide an initial response to a complainant within the 15 business-day requirement. The Executive Director or designee shall send the complainant a letter acknowledging receipt of the complaint within 15 business days of its receipt. The acknowledgement letter will include a notice that the individual's complaint will be forwarded to the Commission for a final decision and the date of the Commission meeting at which the complaint will be considered.

All veteran's preference complaints shall be placed on the Commission Hearing agenda as personnel issues. At that time, the Commission will review the Executive Director's report. The Commission may render a different employment decision that is subject of the complaint if the Commission determines that the veteran's preference was not properly applied. The complainant will receive written notice of the Commission's final decision within 15 business days of the date of the Commission's decision.

III. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts by resolution changes to Commission Policy CP-010 as shown in Exhibit A."

Attachments – 1

  1. Exhibit A – Resolution

Commission Agenda Item No. 12
Exhibit A

A Resolution by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Adopting Amendments to Commission Policy CP-010

Whereas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) is authorized to adopt policies governing the activities of the Commission;

Whereas, the Commission has adopted policies governing the functions of the Executive Director;

Whereas, staff recommends that the Commission policy governing the functions of the Executive Director (CP-010) be amended to include the following: "The Executive Director shall have authority to receive, acknowledge, and investigate complaints under the Veteran's Preference statute (Tex. Gov't Code Chapter 657) on behalf of the Commission in order to facilitate the Commission's final review and decision."

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts this resolution and amends Commission Policy CP-010 as recommended by staff.

In official recognition hereof, we hereby affix our signatures this 8th day of November 2007.

The State Of Texas
County Of Travis

I, the undersigned Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, do hereby certify that the foregoing resolution is a true, full, and correct copy of a resolution adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission of the State of Texas on the 8th day of November 2007.

Executed Under My Hand and seal of said Commission on this the 8th day of November 2007.

Robert L. Cook
Executive Director
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department


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