Private Illinois Employers Can Give Preferential Treatment to Veterans

By: Diane Reinsch

On January 1, 2016, the Veterans Preference in Private Employment Act (VPPEA) went into effect.  Passed in July 2015, VPPEA amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to allow an employer to voluntarily establish a preference for hiring veterans.  VPPEA applies to honorably discharged veterans of the five service branches, their reserve components, and the Illinois National Guard.  VPPEA also provides that spouses of honorably discharged veterans who have a service-related permanent and total disability may also be preferred for employment.

Employers who choose to adopt a voluntary preference for hiring, promoting, or retaining a veteran over another equally qualified applicant or employee during a reduction in force may do so if:

  1. The veterans’ preference employment policy is in writing.
  2. The veterans’ preference employment policy is  publicly posted by the employer at the place of employment or on any website maintained by the employer.
  3. The employer’s job application informs  all applicants of the veterans’ preference employment policy and where the policy may be obtained.
  4. The employer applies the veterans’ preference employment policy uniformly for all employment decisions regarding the hiring or promotion of veterans or the retention of veterans during a reduction in force.

Iowa enacted a similar law in 2014 called the Home Base Iowa Act, part of an overall initiative to recruit veterans for private-sector jobs in Iowa.

For more information:

Diane Reinsch Attorney at Law

Diane practices in civil litigation a Lane & Waterman, handling employment and healthcare matters. Learn more about her at


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