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                                                       Calendar No. 592
105th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE

 2d Session                                                     105-340
_______________________________________________________________________


 
             VETERANS EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES ACT OF 1998

                                _______
                                

               September 21, 1998.--Ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


  Mr. Specter, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1021]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to which was referred 
the bill (S. 1021) to provide that consideration may not be 
denied to preference eligibles applying for certain positions 
in the competitive service, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment in the form of a substitute, and recommends that the 
bill, as amended, do pass.

                          Committee Amendments

    The amendments are as follows:
    Strike out all after the enacting clause as follows:

[SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    [This Act may be cited as the ``Veterans Employment Opportunities 
Act of 1997''.

[SEC. 2. EQUAL ACCESS FOR VETERANS.

    [(a) Competitive Service.--Section 3304 of title 5, United States 
Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
    [``(f)(1) No preference eligible, and no individual (other than a 
preference eligible) who has been separated from the armed forces under 
honorable conditions after 3 or more years of active service, shall be 
denied the opportunity to compete for an announced vacant position 
within an agency, in the competitive service or the excepted service, 
by reason of--
          [``(A) not having acquired competitive status; or
          [``(B) not being an employee of such agency.
    [``(2) Nothing in this subsection shall prevent an agency from 
filling a vacant position (whether by appointment or otherwise) solely 
from individuals on a priority placement list consisting of individuals 
who have been separated from the agency due to a reduction in force and 
surplus employees (as defined under regulations prescribed by the 
Office).''.
    [(b) Civil Service Employment Information.--
          [(1) Vacant positions.--Section 3327(b) of title 5, United 
        States Code, is amended by striking ``and'' at the end of 
        paragraph (1), by redesignating paragraph (2) as paragraph (3), 
        and by inserting after paragraph (1) the following:
          [``(2) each vacant position in the agency for which 
        competition is restricted to individuals having competitive 
        status or employees of such agency, excluding any position 
        under paragraph (1), and''.
          [(2) Additional information.--Section 3327 of title 5, United 
        States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
    [``(c) Any notification provided under this section shall, for all 
positions under subsection (b)(1) as to which section 3304(f) applies 
and for all positions under subsection (b)(2), include a notation as to 
the applicability of section 3304(f) with respect thereto.
    [``(d) In consultation with the Secretary of Labor, the Office 
shall submit to Congress and the President, no less frequently than 
every 2 years, a report detailing, with respect to the period covered 
by such report--
          [``(1) the number of positions listed under this section 
        during such period;
          [``(2) the number of preference eligibles and other 
        individuals described in section 3304(f)(1) referred to such 
        positions during such period; and
          [``(3) the number of preference eligibles and other 
        individuals described in section 3304(f)(1) appointed to such 
        positions during such period.''.
    [(c) Governmentwide Lists.--
          [(1) Vacant positions.--Section 3330(b) of title 5, United 
        States Code, is amended to read as follows:
    [``(b) The Office of Personnel Management shall cause to be 
established and kept current--
          [``(1) a comprehensive list of all announcements of vacant 
        positions (in the competitive service and the excepted service, 
        respectively) within each agency that are to be filled by 
        appointment for more than 1 year and for which applications are 
        being or will soon be accepted from outside the agency's work 
        force; and
          [``(2) a comprehensive list of all announcements of vacant 
        positions within each agency for which applications are being 
        or will soon be accepted and for which competition is 
        restricted to individuals having competitive status or 
        employees of such agency, excluding any position required to be 
        listed under paragraph (1).''.
          [(2) Additional information.--Section 3330(c) of title 5, 
        United States Code, is amended by striking ``and'' at the end 
        of paragraph (2), by redesignating paragraph (3) as paragraph 
        (4), and by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:
          [``(3) for all positions under subsection (b)(1) as to which 
        section 3304(f) applies and for all positions under subsection 
        (b)(2), a notation as to the applicability of section 3304(f) 
        with respect thereto; and''.
          [(3) Conforming amendment.--Section 3330(d) of title 5, 
        United States Code, is amended by striking ``The list'' and 
        inserting ``Each list under subsection (b)''.
    [(d) Provisions Relating to the United States Postal Service.--
          [(1) In general.--Subsection (a) of section 1005 of title 39, 
        United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
        following:
    [``(5)(A) The provisions of section 3304(f) of title 5 shall apply 
with respect to the Postal Service in the same manner and under the 
same conditions as if the Postal Service were an agency within the 
meaning of such provisions.
    [``(B) Nothing in this subsection shall be considered to require 
the application of section 3304(f) of title 5 in the case of any 
individual who is not an employee of the Postal Service if--
          [``(i) the vacant position involved is to be filled pursuant 
        to a collective-bargaining agreement;
          [``(ii) the collective-bargaining agreement restricts 
        competition for such position to individuals employed in a 
        bargaining unit or installation within the Postal Service in 
        which the position is located;
          [``(iii) the collective-bargaining agreement provides that 
        the successful applicant shall be selected on the basis of 
        seniority or qualifications; and
          [``(iv) the position to be filled is within a bargaining 
        unit.
    [``(C) The provisions of this paragraph shall not be modified by 
any program developed under section 1004 of this title or any 
collective-bargaining agreement entered into under chapter 12 of this 
title.''.
          [(2) Conforming amendment.--The first sentence of section 
        1005(a)(2) of title 39, United States Code, is amended by 
        striking ``title.'' and inserting ``title, subject to paragraph 
        (5) of this subsection.''.

[SEC. 3. SPECIAL PROTECTIONS FOR PREFERENCE ELIGIBLES IN REDUCTIONS IN 
                    FORCE.

    [(a) In General.--Section 3502 of title 5, United States Code, as 
amended by section 1034 of the National Defense Authorization Act for 
Fiscal Year 1996 (Public Law 104-106; 110 Stat. 430), is amended by 
adding at the end the following:
    [``(g)(1) A position occupied by a preference eligible shall not be 
placed in a single-position competitive level if the preference 
eligible is qualified to perform the essential functions of any other 
position at the same grade (or occupational level) in the competitive 
area. In such cases, the preference eligible shall be entitled to be 
placed in another competitive level for which such preference eligible 
is qualified. If the preference eligible is qualified for more than one 
competitive level, such preference eligible shall be placed in the 
competitive level containing the most positions.
    [``(2) For purposes of paragraph (1)--
          [``(A) a preference eligible shall be considered qualified to 
        perform the essential functions of a position if, by reason of 
        experience, training, or education (and, in the case of a 
        disabled veteran, with reasonable accommodation), a reasonable 
        person could conclude that the preference eligible would be 
        able to perform those functions successfully within a period of 
        150 days; and
          [``(B) a preference eligible shall not be considered 
        unqualified solely because such preference eligible does not 
        meet the minimum qualification requirements relating to 
        previous experience in a specified grade (or occupational 
        level), if any, that are established for such position by the 
        Office of Personnel Management or the agency.
    [``(h) In connection with any reduction in force, a preference 
eligible whose current or most recent performance rating is at least 
fully successful (or the equivalent) shall have, in addition to such 
assignment rights as are prescribed by regulation, the right, in lieu 
of separation, to be assigned to any position within the agency 
conducting the reduction in force--
          [``(1) for which such preference eligible is qualified under 
        subsection (g)(2)--
                  [``(A) that is within the preference eligible's 
                commuting area and at the same grade (or occupational 
                level) as the position from which the preference 
                eligible was released, and that is then occupied by an 
                individual, other than another preference eligible, who 
                was placed in such position (whether by appointment or 
                otherwise) within 6 months before the reduction in 
                force if, within 12 months prior to the date on which 
                such individual was so placed in such position, such 
                individual had been employed in the same competitive 
                area as the preference eligible; or
                  [``(B) that is within the preference eligible's 
                competitive area and that is then occupied by an 
                individual, other than another preference eligible, who 
                was placed in such position (whether by appointment or 
                otherwise) within 6 months before the reduction in 
                force; or
          [``(2) for which such preference eligible is qualified that 
        is within the preference eligible's competitive area and that 
        is not more than 3 grades (or pay levels) below that of the 
        position from which the preference eligible was released, 
        except that, in the case of a preference eligible with a 
        compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more, 
        this paragraph shall be applied by substituting `5 grades' for 
        `3 grades'.
[In the event that a preference eligible is entitled to assignment to 
more than 1 position under this subsection, the agency shall assign the 
preference eligible to any such position requiring no reduction (or, if 
there is no such position, the least reduction) in basic pay. A 
position shall not, with respect to a preference eligible, be 
considered to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (1) or (2), as 
applicable, if it does not last for at least 12 months following the 
date on which such preference eligible is assigned to such position 
under this subsection.
    [``(i) A preference eligible may challenge the classification of 
any position to which the preference eligible asserts assignment rights 
(as provided by, or prescribed by regulations described in, subsection 
(h)) in an action before the Merit Systems Protection Board.
    [``(j)(1) Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of 
the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1997, each Executive 
agency shall establish an agencywide priority placement program to 
facilitate employment placement for employees who--
          [``(A)(i) are scheduled to be separated from service due to a 
        reduction in force under--
                  [``(I) regulations prescribed under this section; or
                  [``(II) procedures established under section 3595; or
          [``(ii) are separated from service due to such a reduction in 
        force; and
          [``(B)(i) have received a rating of at least fully successful 
        (or the equivalent) as the last performance rating of record 
        used for retention purposes; or
          [``(ii) occupy positions excluded from a performance 
        appraisal system by law, regulation, or administrative action 
        taken by the Office of Personnel Management.
    [``(2)(A) Each agencywide priority placement program under this 
subsection shall include provisions under which a vacant position shall 
not (except as provided in this paragraph or any other statute 
providing the right of reemployment to any individual) be filled by the 
appointment or transfer of any individual from outside of that agency 
(other than an individual described in subparagraph (B)) if--
          [``(i) there is then available any individual described in 
        subparagraph (B) who is qualified for the position; and
          [``(ii) the position--
                  [``(I) is at the same grade or pay level (or the 
                equivalent) or not more than 3 grades (or grade 
                intervals) below that of the position last held by such 
                individual before placement in the new position;
                  [``(II) is within the same commuting area as the 
                individual's last-held position (as referred to in 
                subclause (I)) or residence; and
                  [``(III) has the same type of work schedule (whether 
                full-time, part-time, or intermittent) as the position 
                last held by the individual.
    [``(B) For purposes of an agencywide priority placement program, an 
individual shall be considered to be described in this subparagraph if 
such individual--
          [``(i)(I) is an employee of such agency who is scheduled to 
        be separated, as described in paragraph (1)(A)(i); or
          [``(II) is an individual who became a former employee of such 
        agency as a result of a separation, as described in paragraph 
        (1)(A)(ii), excluding any individual who separated voluntarily 
        under subsection (f); and
          [``(ii) satisfies clause (i) or (ii) of paragraph (1)(B).
    [``(3)(A) If after a reduction in force the agency has no positions 
of any type within the local commuting areas specified in this 
subsection, the individual may designate a different local commuting 
area where the agency has continuing positions in order to exercise 
reemployment rights under this subsection. An agency may determine that 
such designations are not in the interest of the Government for the 
purpose of paying relocation expenses under subchapter II of chapter 
57.
    [``(B) At its option, an agency may administratively extend 
reemployment rights under this subsection to include other local 
commuting areas.
    [``(4)(A) In selecting employees for positions under this 
subsection, the agency shall place qualified present and former 
employees in retention order by veterans' preference subgroup and 
tenure group.
    [``(B) An agency may not pass over a qualified present or former 
employee to select an individual in a lower veterans' preference 
subgroup within the tenure group, or in a lower tenure group.
    [``(C) Within a subgroup, the agency may select a qualified present 
or former employee without regard to the individual's total creditable 
service.
    [``(5) An individual is eligible for reemployment priority under 
this subsection for 2 years from the effective date of the reduction in 
force from which the individual will be, or has been, separated under 
this section or section 3595, as the case may be.
    [``(6) An individual loses eligibility for reemployment priority 
under this subsection when the individual--
          [``(A) requests removal in writing;
          [``(B) accepts or declines a bona fide offer under this 
        subsection or fails to accept such an offer within the period 
        of time allowed for such acceptance; or
          [``(C) separates from the agency before being separated under 
        this section or section 3595, as the case may be.
[A present or former employee who declines a position with a 
representative rate (or equivalent) that is less than the rate of the 
position from which the individual was separated under this section 
retains eligibility for positions with a higher representative rate up 
to the rate of the individual's last position.
    [``(7) Whenever more than one individual is qualified for a 
position under this subsection, the agency shall select the most highly 
qualified individual, subject to paragraph (4).
    [``(8) The Office of Personnel Management shall issue regulations 
to implement this subsection.''.
    [(b) Applicability.--
          [(1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), the amendments 
        made by this section shall apply with respect to--
                  [(A) reductions in force taking effect after the end 
                of the 90-day period beginning on the date of the 
                enactment of this Act; or
                  [(B) in the case of the Department of Defense, 
                reductions in force taking effect after the end of the 
                1-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of 
                this Act.
          [(2) Ongoing reductions in force.--If an agency has given 
        written notice of a reduction in force to any of its employees 
        within a competitive area, in accordance with section 
        3502(d)(1)(A) of title 5, United States Code, before the 
        effective date under subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1), 
        as applicable, then, for purposes of determining the rights of 
        any employee within such area in connection with such reduction 
        in force, the amendments made by this section shall be treated 
        as if they had never been enacted. Nothing in the preceding 
        sentence shall affect any rights under a priority placement 
        program under section 3502(j) of title 5, United States Code, 
        as amended by this section.

[SEC. 4. IMPROVED REDRESS FOR VETERANS.

    [(a) In General.--Subchapter I of chapter 33 of title 5, United 
States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

[``Sec. 3330a. Administrative redress

    [``(a)(1) Any preference eligible or other individual described in 
section 3304(f)(1) who alleges that an agency has violated such 
individual's rights under any statute or regulation relating to 
veterans' preference, or any right afforded such individual by section 
3304(f), may file a complaint with the Secretary of Labor.
    [``(2) A complaint under this subsection must be filed within 60 
days after the date of the alleged violation, and the Secretary shall 
process such complaint in accordance with sections 4322 (a) through 
(e)(1) and 4326 of title 38.
    [``(b)(1) If the Secretary of Labor is unable to resolve the 
complaint within 60 days after the date on which it is filed, the 
complainant may elect to appeal the alleged violation to the Merit 
Systems Protection Board in accordance with such procedures as the 
Merit Systems Protection Board shall prescribe, except that in no event 
may any such appeal be brought--
          [``(A) before the 61st day after the date on which the 
        complaint is filed under subsection (a); or
          [``(B) later than 15 days after the date on which the 
        complainant receives notification from the Secretary of Labor 
        under section 4322(e)(1) of title 38.
    [``(2) An appeal under this subsection may not be brought unless--
          [``(A) the complainant first provides written notification to 
        the Secretary of Labor of such complainant's intention to bring 
        such appeal; and
          [``(B) appropriate evidence of compliance with subparagraph 
        (A) is included (in such form and manner as the Merit Systems 
        Protection Board may prescribe) with the notice of appeal under 
        this subsection.
    [``(3) Upon receiving notification under paragraph (2)(A), the 
Secretary of Labor shall not continue to investigate or further attempt 
to resolve the complaint to which such notification relates.
    [``(c) This section shall not be construed to prohibit a preference 
eligible from appealing directly to the Merit Systems Protection Board 
from any action which is appealable to the Board under any other law, 
rule, or regulation, in lieu of administrative redress under this 
section.

[``Sec. 3330b. Judicial redress

    [``(a) In lieu of continuing the administrative redress procedure 
provided under section 3330a(b), a preference eligible or other 
individual described in section 3304(f)(1) may elect, in accordance 
with this section, to terminate those administrative proceedings and 
file an action with the appropriate United States district court not 
later than 60 days after the date of the election.
    [``(b) An election under this section may not be made--
          [``(1) before the 121st day after the date on which the 
        appeal is filed with the Merit Systems Protection Board under 
        section 3330a(b); or
          [``(2) after the Merit Systems Protection Board has issued a 
        judicially reviewable decision on the merits of the appeal.
    [``(c) An election under this section shall be made, in writing, in 
such form and manner as the Merit Systems Protection Board shall by 
regulation prescribe. The election shall be effective as of the date on 
which it is received, and the administrative proceeding to which it 
relates shall terminate immediately upon the receipt of such election.

[``Sec. 3330c. Remedy

    [``(a) If the Merit Systems Protection Board (in a proceeding under 
section 3330a) or a court (in a proceeding under section 3330b) 
determines that an agency has violated a right described in section 
3330a, the Board or court (as the case may be) shall order the agency 
to comply with such provisions and award compensation for any loss of 
wages or benefits suffered by the individual by reason of the violation 
involved. If the Board or court determines that such violation was 
willful, it shall award an amount equal to backpay as liquidated 
damages.
    [``(b) A preference eligible or other individual described in 
section 3304(f)(1) who prevails in an action under section 3330a or 
3330b shall be awarded reasonable attorney fees, expert witness fees, 
and other litigation expenses.''.
    [(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 33 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding after 
the item relating to section 3330 the following:

[``3330a. Administrative redress.
[``3330b. Judicial redress.
[``3330c. Remedy.''.

[SEC. 5. EXTENSION OF VETERANS' PREFERENCE.

    [(a) Amendment to Title 5, United States Code.--Paragraph (3) of 
section 2108 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking 
``the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement 
Administration Senior Executive Service, or the General Accounting 
Office;'' and inserting ``or the Federal Bureau of Investigation and 
Drug Enforcement Administration Senior Executive Service;''.
    [(b) Amendments to Title 3, United States Code.--
          [(1) In general.--Chapter 2 of title 3, United States Code, 
        is amended by adding at the end the following:

[``Sec. 115. Veterans' preference

    [``(a) Subject to subsection (b), appointments under sections 105, 
106, and 107 shall be made in accordance with section 2108, and 
sections 3309 through 3312, of title 5.
    [``(b) Subsection (a) shall not apply to any appointment to a 
position the rate of basic pay for which is at least equal to the 
minimum rate established for positions in the Senior Executive Service 
under section 5382 of title 5 and the duties of which are comparable to 
those described in section 3132(a)(2) of such title or to any other 
position if, with respect to such position, the President makes 
certification--
          [``(1) that such position is--
                  [``(A) a confidential or policy-making position; or
                  [``(B) a position for which political affiliation or 
                political philosophy is otherwise an important 
                qualification; and
          [(2) that any individual selected for such position is 
        expected to vacate the position at or before the end of the 
        President's term (or terms) of office.
[Each individual appointed to a position described in the preceding 
sentence as to which the expectation described in paragraph (2) applies 
shall be notified as to such expectation, in writing, at the time of 
appointment to such position.''.
          [(2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of chapter 2 of title 3, United States Code, is 
        amended by adding at the end the following:

[``115. Veterans' preference.''.

    [(c) Legislative Branch Appointments.--
          [(1) Definitions.--For the purposes of this subsection, the 
        terms ``employing office'', ``covered employee'', and ``Board'' 
        shall each have the meaning given such term by section 101 of 
        the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1301).
                  [(2) Rights and protections.--The rights and 
                protections established under section 2108, sections 
                3309 through 3312, and subchapter I of chapter 35, of 
                title 5, United States Code, shall apply to covered 
                employees.
          [(3) Remedies.--
                  [(A) In general.--The remedy for a violation of 
                paragraph (2) shall be such remedy as would be 
                appropriate if awarded under applicable provisions of 
                title 5, United States Code, in the case of a violation 
                of the relevant corresponding provision (referred to in 
                paragraph (2)) of such title.
                  [(B) Procedure.--The procedure for consideration of 
                alleged violations of paragraph (2) shall be the same 
                as apply under section 401 of the Congressional 
                Accountability Act of 1995 (and the provisions of law 
                referred to therein) in the case of an alleged 
                violation of part A of title II of such Act.
          [(4) Regulations to implement subsection.--
                  [(A) In general.--The Board shall, pursuant to 
                section 304 of the Congressional Accountability Act of 
                1995 (2 U.S.C. 1384), issue regulations to implement 
                this subsection.
                  [(B) Agency regulations.--The regulations issued 
                under subparagraph (A) shall be the same as the most 
                relevant substantive regulations (applicable with 
                respect to the executive branch) promulgated to 
                implement the statutory provisions referred to in 
                paragraph (2) except insofar as the Board may 
                determine, for good cause shown and stated together 
                with the regulation, that a modification of such 
                regulations would be more effective for the 
                implementation of the rights and protections under this 
                subsection.
                  [(C) Coordination.--The regulations issued under 
                subparagraph (A) shall be consistent with section 225 
                of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 
                U.S.C. 1361).
          [(5) Applicability.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
        this subsection, the term ``covered employee'' shall not, for 
        purposes of this subsection, include an employee--
                  [(A) whose appointment is made by the President with 
                the advice and consent of the Senate;
                  [(B) whose appointment is made by a Member of 
                Congress or by a committee or subcommittee of either 
                House of Congress; or
                  [(C) who is appointed to a position, the duties of 
                which are equivalent to those of a Senior Executive 
                Service position (within the meaning of section 
                3132(a)(2) of title 5, United States Code).
                  [(6) Effective date.--Paragraphs (2) and (3) shall be 
                effective as of the effective date of the regulations 
                under paragraph (4).
      [(d) Judicial Branch Appointments.--
          [(1) In general.--Subject to paragraphs (2) through (4), the 
        Judicial Conference of the United States shall prescribe 
        regulations to provide for--
                  [(A) veterans' preference in the consideration of 
                applicants for employment, and in the conduct of any 
                reductions in force, within the judicial branch; and
                  [(B) redress procedures for alleged violations of any 
                rights provided for under subparagraph (A).
          [(2) Regulations to be based on existing provisions.--Under 
        the regulations--
                  [(A) a preference eligible (as defined by section 
                2108 of title 5, United States Code) shall be afforded 
                preferences similar to those under sections 3309 
                through 3312, and subchapter I of chapter 35, of such 
                title 5; and
                  [(B) the redress procedures provided for shall be 
                similar to those under the amendments made by section 
                4.
          [(3) Exclusions.--Nothing in the regulations shall apply with 
        respect to--
                  [(A) an appointment made by the President, with the 
                advice and consent of the Senate;
                  [(B) an appointment as a judicial officer;
                  [(C) an appointment as a law clerk or secretary to a 
                justice or judge of the United States; or
                  [(D) an appointment to a position, the duties of 
                which are equivalent to those of a Senior Executive 
                Service position (within the meaning of section 
                3132(a)(2) of title 5, United States Code).
          [(4) Consultation.--The regulations under this subsection 
        shall be prescribed by the Judicial Conference of the United 
        States, in consultation with--
                  [(A) the largest congressionally chartered veterans' 
                service organization;
                  [(B) 2 congressionally chartered veterans' service 
                organizations that represent former noncommissioned 
                officers;
                  [(C) a congressionally chartered veterans' service 
                organization that represents veterans who have fought 
                in foreign wars;
                  [(D) a congressionally chartered veterans' service 
                organization that represents veterans with service-
                connected disabilities;
                  [(E) a congressionally chartered veterans' service 
                organization that represents veterans of the Vietnam 
                era; and
                  [(F) a congressionally chartered veterans' service 
                organization that represents veterans of World War II, 
                the Korean conflict, the Vietnam era, and the Persian 
                Gulf War.
          [(5) Definitions.--For purposes of this subsection--
                  [(A) the term ``judicial officer'' means a justice, 
                judge, or magistrate judge listed in subparagraph (A), 
                (B), (F), or (G) of section 376(a)(1) of title 28, 
                United States Code; and
                  [(B) the term ``justice or judge of the United 
                States'' has the meaning given such term by section 451 
                of such title 28.
          [(6) Submission to congress; effective date.--
                  [(A) Submission to congress.--Within 5 months after 
                the date of the enactment of this Act, the Judicial 
                Conference of the United States shall submit a copy of 
                the regulations prescribed under this subsection to the 
                Committee on Government Reform and Oversight and the 
                Committee on the Judiciary of the House of 
                Representatives and the Committee on Governmental 
                Affairs and the Committee on the Judiciary of the 
                Senate.
                  [(B) Effective date.--The regulations prescribed 
                under this subsection shall take effect 6 months after 
                the date of the enactment of this Act.

[SEC. 6. VETERANS' PREFERENCE REQUIRED FOR REDUCTIONS IN FORCE IN THE 
                    FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION.

    [Section 347(b) of the Department of Transportation and Related 
Agencies Appropriations Act, 1996 (109 Stat. 460) is amended by 
striking ``and'' at the end of paragraph (6), by striking the period at 
the end of paragraph (7) and inserting ``; and'', and by adding at the 
end the following:
          [``(8) sections 3501--3504, as such sections relate to 
        veterans' preference.''.

[SEC. 7. DEFINITIONAL AMENDMENT.

    [Subparagraph (A) of section 2108(1) of title 5, United States 
Code, is amended by inserting ``during a military operation in a 
qualified hazardous duty area (within the meaning of the first 2 
sentences of section 1(b) of Public Law 104-117) and in accordance with 
requirements that may be prescribed in regulations of the Secretary of 
Defense,'' after ``for which a campaign badge has been authorized,''.

[SEC. 8. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH VETERANS' PREFERENCE REQUIREMENTS TO BE 
                    TREATED AS A PROHIBITED PERSONNEL PRACTICE FOR 
                    CERTAIN PURPOSES.

    [(a) In General.--Subsection (b) of section 2302 of title 5, United 
States Code, is amended--
          [(1) by striking ``or'' at the end of paragraph (10);
          [(2) by redesignating paragraph (11) as paragraph (12); and
          [(3) by inserting after paragraph (10) the following:
          [``(11)(A) knowingly take, recommend, or approve any 
        personnel action if the taking of such action would violate a 
        veterans' preference requirement; or
          [``(B) knowingly fail to take, recommend, or approve any 
        personnel action if the failure to take such action would 
        violate a veterans' preference requirement; or''.
    [(b) Definition; Limitation.--Section 2302 of title 5, United 
States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
    [``(e)(1) For the purpose of this section, the term `veterans' 
preference requirement' means any of the following provisions of law:
          [``(A) Sections 2108, 3305(b), 3309, 3310, 3311, 3312, 3313, 
        3314, 3315, 3316, 3317(b), 3318, 3320, 3351, 3352, 3363, 3501, 
        3502(b), 3504, and 4303(e) and (with respect to a preference 
        eligible referred to in section 7511(a)(1)(B)) subchapter II of 
        chapter 75 and section 7701.
          [``(B) Sections 943(c)(2) and 1784(c) of title 10.
          [``(C) Section 1308(b) of the Alaska National Interest Lands 
        Conservation Act.
          [``(D) Section 301(c) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980.
          [``(E) Sections 106(f), 7281(e), and 7802(5) of title 38.
          [``(F) Section 1005(a) of title 39.
          [``(G) Any other provision of law that the Director of the 
        Office of Personnel Management designates in regulations as 
        being a veterans' preference requirement for the purposes of 
        this subsection.
          [``(H) Any regulation prescribed under subsection (b) or (c) 
        of section 1302 and any other regulation that implements a 
        provision of law referred to in any of the preceding 
        subparagraphs.
    [``(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, no 
authority to order corrective action shall be available in connection 
with a prohibited personnel practice described in subsection (b)(11). 
Nothing in this paragraph shall be considered to affect any authority 
under section 1215 (relating to disciplinary action).''.
    [(c) Repeals.--
          [(1) Provisions of title 10, united states code.--Section 
        1599c of title 10, United States Code, and the item relating to 
        such section in the table of sections at the beginning of 
        chapter 81 of such title are repealed.
          [(2) Section 2302(a)(1) of title 5, united states code.--
        Subsection (a)(1) of section 2302 of title 5, United States 
        Code, is amended to read as follows:
    [``(a)(1) For the purpose of this title, ``prohibited personnel 
practice'' means any action described in subsection (b).''.
    [(d) Savings Provision.--This section shall be treated as if it had 
never been enacted for purposes of any personnel action (within the 
meaning of section 2302 of title 5, United States Code) preceding the 
date of the enactment of this Act.]

    Insert in lieu thereof the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Veterans Employment Opportunities 
Act of 1998''.

SEC. 2. IMPROVED REDRESS FOR PREFERENCE ELIGIBLES.

    (a) In General.--subchapter I of chapter 33 of title 5, United 
States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

``Sec. 3330a. Preference eligibles; administrative redress

    ``(a)(1) A preference eligible who alleges that an agency has 
violated such individual's rights under any statute or regulation 
relating to veterans'' preference may file a complaint with the 
Secretary of Labor.
    ``(2)(A) A complaint under this subsection must be filed within 60 
days after the date of the alleged violation.
    ``(B) Such complaint shall be in writing, be in such form as the 
Secretary may prescribe, specify the agency against which the complaint 
is filed, and contain a summary of the allegations that form the basis 
for the complaint.
    ``(3) The Secretary shall, upon request, provide technical 
assistance to a potential complainant with respect to a complaint under 
this subsection.
    ``(b)(1) The Secretary of Labor shall investigate each complaint 
under subsection (a).
    ``(2) In carrying out any investigation under this subsection, the 
Secretary's duly authorized representatives shall, at all reasonable 
times, have reasonable access to, for purposes of examination, and the 
right to copy and receive, any documents of any person or agency that 
the Secretary considers relevant to the investigation.
    ``(3) In carrying out any investigation under this subsection, the 
Secretary may require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of 
witnesses and the production of documents relating to any matter under 
investigation. In case of disobedience of the subpoena or contumacy and 
on request of the Secretary, the Attorney General may apply to any 
district court of the United States in whose jurisdiction such 
disobedience or contumacy occurs for an order enforcing the subpoena.
    ``(4) Upon application, the district courts of the United States 
shall have jurisdiction to issue writs commanding any person or agency 
to comply with the subpoena of the Secretary or to comply with any 
order of the Secretary made pursuant to a lawful investigation under 
this subsection and the district courts shall have jurisdiction to 
punish failure to obey a subpoena or other lawful order of the 
Secretary as a contempt of court.
    ``(c)(1)(A) If the Secretary of Labor determines as a result of an 
investigation under subsection (b) that the action alleged in a 
complaint under subsection (a) occurred, the Secretary shall attempt to 
resolve the complaint by making reasonable efforts to ensure thatthe 
agency specified in the complaint complies with applicable provisions 
of statute or regulation relating to veterans' preference.
    ``(B) The Secretary of Labor shall make determinations referred to 
in subparagraph (A) based on a preponderance of the evidence.
    ``(2) If the efforts of the Secretary under subsection (b) with 
respect to a complaint under subsection (a) do not result in the 
resolution of the complaint, the Secretary shall notify the person who 
submitted the complaint, in writing, of the results of the Secretary's 
investigation under subsection (b).
    ``(d)(1) If the Secretary of Labor is unable to resolve a complaint 
under subsection (a) within 60 days after the date on which it is 
filed, the complainant may elect to appeal the alleged violation to the 
Merit Systems Protection Board in accordance with such procedures as 
the Merit Systems Protection Board shall prescribe, except that in no 
event may any such appeal be brought--
          ``(A) before the 61st day after the date on which the 
        complaint is filed; or
          ``(B) later than 15 days after the date on which the 
        complainant receives written notification from the Secretary 
        under subsection (c)(2).
    ``(2) An appeal under this subsection may not be brought unless--
          ``(A) the complainant first provides written notification to 
        the Secretary of such complainant's intention to bring such 
        appeal; and
          ``(B) appropriate evidence of compliance with subparagraph 
        (A) is included (in such form and manner as the Merit Systems 
        Protection Board may prescribe) with the notice of appeal under 
        this subsection.
    ``(3) Upon receiving notification under paragraph (2)(A), the 
Secretary shall not continue to investigate or further attempt to 
resolve the complaint to which the notification relates.
    ``(e)(1) This section shall not be construed to prohibit a 
preference eligible from appealing directly to the Merit Systems 
Protection Board from any action which is appealable to the Board under 
any other law, rule, or regulation, in lieu of administrative redress 
under this section.
    ``(2) A preference eligible may not pursue redress for an alleged 
violation described in subsection (a) under this section at the same 
time the preference eligible pursues redress for such violation under 
any other law, rule, or regulation.

``Sec. 3330b. Preference eligibles; judicial redress

    ``(a) In lieu of continuing the administrative redress procedure 
provided under section 3330a(d), a preference eligible may elect, in 
accordance with this section, to terminate those administrative 
proceedings and file an action with the appropriate United States 
district court not later than 60 days after the date of the election.
    ``(b) An election under this section may not be made'
          ``(1) before the 121st day after the date on which the appeal 
        is filed with the Merit Systems Protection Board under section 
        3330a(d); or
          ``(2) after the Merit Systems Protection Board has issued a 
        judicially reviewable decision on the merits of the appeal.
    ``(c) An election under this section shall be made, in writing, in 
such form and manner as the Merit Systems Protection Board shall by 
regulation prescribe. The election shall be effective as of the date on 
which it is received, and the administrative proceeding to which it 
relates shall terminate immediately upon the receipt of such election.

``Sec. 3330c. Preference eligibles; remedy

    ``(a) If the Merit Systems Protection Board (in a proceeding under 
section 3330a) or a court (in a proceeding under section 3330b) 
determines that an agency has violated a right described in section 
3330a, the Board or court (as the case may be) shall order the agency 
to comply with such provisions and award compensation for any loss of 
wages or benefits suffered by the individual by reason of the violation 
involved. If the Board or court determines that such violation was 
willful, it shall award an amount equal to backpay as liquidated 
damages.
    ``(b) A preference eligible who prevails in an action under section 
3330a or 3330b shall be awarded reasonable attorney fees, expert 
witness fees, and other litigation expenses.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 33 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding after 
the item relating to section 3330 the following:

``330a. Preference eligibles; administrative redress.
``330b. Preference eligibles; judicial redress.
``330c. Preference eligibles; remedy.''.

SEC. 3. EXTENSION OF VETERANS' PREFERENCE.

    (a) Amendment to Title 5, United States Code.--Paragraph (3) of 
section 2108 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking 
``the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement 
Administration Senior Executive Service, or the General Accounting 
Office;'' and inserting ``or the Federal Bureau of Investigation and 
Drug Enforcement Administration Senior Executive Service;''.
    (b) Amendments to Title 3, United States Code.--
          (1) In general.--Chapter 2 of title 3, United States Code, is 
        amended by adding at the end the following:

``Sec. 115. Veterans' preference

    ``(a) Subject to subsection (b), appointments under sections 105, 
106, and 107 shall be made in accordance with section 2108, and 
sections 3309 through 3312, of title 5.
    ``(b) Subsection (a) shall not apply to any appointment to a 
position the rate of basic pay for which is at least equal to the 
minimum rate established for positions in the Senior Executive Service 
under section 5382 of title 5 and the duties of which are comparable to 
those described in section 3132(a)(2) of such title or to any other 
position if, with respect to such position, the President makes 
certification--
          ``(1) that such position is--
                  ``(A) a confidential or policy-making position; or
                  ``(B) a position for which political affiliation or 
                political philosophy is otherwise an important 
                qualification; and
          ``(2) that any individual selected for such position is 
        expected to vacate the position at or before the end of the 
        President's term (or terms) of office.
Each individual appointed to a position described in the preceding 
sentence as to which the expectation described in paragraph (2) applies 
shall be notified as to such expectation, in writing, at the time of 
appointment to such position.''.
          (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of chapter 2 of title 3, United States Code, is 
        amended by adding at the end the following:

``115. Veterans' preference.''.

    (c) Legislative Branch Appointments.--
          (1) Definitions.--For the purposes of this subsection, the 
        terms ``covered employee'' and ``Board'' shall each have the 
        meaning given such term by section 101 of the Congressional 
        Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1301).
          (2) Rights and protections.--The rights and protections 
        established under section 2108, sections 3309 through 3312, and 
        subchapter I of chapter 35, of title 5, United States Code, 
        shall apply to covered employees.
          (3) Remedies.--
                  (A) In general.--The remedy for a violation of 
                paragraph (2) shall be such remedy as would be 
                appropriate if awarded under applicable provisions of 
                title 5, United States Code, in the case of a violation 
                of the relevant corresponding provision (referred to in 
                paragraph (2)) of such title.
                  (B) Procedure.--The procedure for consideration of 
                alleged violations of paragraph (2) shall be the same 
                as apply under section 401 of the Congressional 
                Accountability Act of 1995 (and the provisions of law 
                referred to therein) in the case of an alleged 
                violation of part A of title II of such Act.
          (4) Regulations to implement subsection.--
                  (A) In general.--The Board shall, pursuant to section 
                304 of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 
                U.S.C. 1384), issue regulations to implement this 
                subsection.
                  (B) Agency regulations.--The regulations issued under 
                subparagraph (A) shall be the same as the most relevant 
                substantive regulations (applicablewith respect to the 
executive branch) promulgated to implement the statutory provisions 
referred to in paragraph (2) except insofar as the Board may determine, 
for good cause shown and stated together with the regulation, that a 
modification of such regulations would be more effective for the 
implementation of the rights and protections under this subsection.
                  (C) Coordination.--The regulations issued under 
                subparagraph (A) shall be consistent with section 225 
                of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 
                U.S.C. 1361).
          (5) Applicability.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
        this subsection, the term ``covered employee'' shall not, for 
        purposes of this subsection, include an employee--
                  (A) whose appointment is made by the President with 
                the advice and consent of the Senate;
                  (B) whose appointment is made by a Member of Congress 
                or by a committee or subcommittee of either House of 
                Congress; or
                  (C) who is appointed to a position, the duties of 
                which are equivalent to those of a Senior Executive 
                Service position (within the meaning of section 
                3132(a)(2) of title 5, United States Code).
          (6) Effective date.--Paragraphs (2) and (3) shall be 
        effective as of the effective date of the regulations under 
        paragraph (4).
    (d) Judicial Branch Appointments.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the 
        Judicial Conference of the United States shall prescribe 
        procedures to provide for--
                  (A) veterans' preference in the consideration of 
                applicants for employment, and in the conduct of any 
                reductions in force, within the judicial branch; and
                  (B) redress for alleged violations of any rights 
                provided for under subparagraph (A).
          (2) Procedures.--Under the procedures, a preference eligible 
        (as defined by section 2108 of title 5, United States Code) 
        shall be afforded preferences in a manner and to the extent 
        consistent with preferences afforded to preference eligibles in 
        the executive branch.
          (3) Exclusions.--Nothing in the procedures shall apply with 
        respect to an applicant or employee--
                  (A) whose appointment is made by the President with 
                the advice and consent of the Senate;
                  (B) whose appointment is as a judicial officer;
                  (C) whose appointment is required by statute to be 
                made by or with the approval of a court or judicial 
                officer; or
                  (D) whose appointment is to a position, the duties of 
                which are equivalent to those of a Senior Executive 
                Service position (within the meaning of section 
                3132(a)(2) of title 5, United States Code).
          (4) Definitions.--For purposes of this subsection, the term 
        ``judicial officer'' means a justice, judge, or magistrate 
        judge listed in subparagraph (A), (B), (F), or (G) of section 
        376(a)(1) of title 28, United States Code.
          (5) Submission to congress; effective date.--
                  (A) Submission to congress.--Not later than 12 months 
                after the date of enactment of this Act, the Judicial 
                Conference of the United States shall submit a copy of 
                the procedures prescribed under this subsection to the 
                Committee on Government Reform and Oversight and the 
                Committee on the Judiciary of the House of 
                Representatives and the Committee on Governmental 
                Affairs and the Committee on the Judiciary of the 
                Senate.
                  (B) Effective date.--The procedures prescribed under 
                this subsection shall take effect 13 months after the 
                date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 4. VETERANS' PREFERENCE REQUIRED FOR REDUCTIONS IN FORCE IN THE 
                    FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION.

    Section 347(b) of the Department of Transportation and Related 
Agencies Appropriations Act, 1996 (109 Stat. 460) is amended--
          (1) by striking ``and'' at the end of paragraph (6);
          (2) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (7) and 
        inserting ``; and''; and
          (3) by adding at the end the following:
          ``(8) sections 3501-3504, as such sections relate to 
        veterans' preference.''.

SEC. 5. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH VETERANS' PREFERENCE REQUIREMENTS TO BE 
                    TREATED AS A PROHIBITED PERSONNEL PRACTICE FOR 
                    CERTAIN PURPOSES.

    (a) In General.--Subsection (b) of section 2302 of title 5, United 
States Code, is amended--
          (1) by striking ``or'' at the end of paragraph (10);
          (2) by redesignating paragraph (11) as paragraph (12); and
          (3) by inserting after paragraph (10) the following:
          ``(11)(A) knowingly take, recommend, or approve any personnel 
        action if the taking of such action would violate a veterans' 
        preference requirement; or
          ``(B) knowingly fail to take, recommend, or approve any 
        personnel action if the failure to take such action would 
        violate a veterans' preference requirement; or''.
    (b) Definition; Limitation.--Section 2302 of title 5, United States 
Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(e)(1) For the purpose of this section, the term `veterans' 
preference requirement' means any of the following provisions of law:
          ``(A) Sections 2108, 3305(b), 3309, 3310, 3311, 3312, 3313, 
        3314, 3315, 3316, 3317(b), 3318, 3320, 3351, 3352, 3363, 3501, 
        3502(b), 3504, and 4303(e) and (with respect to a preference 
        eligible referred to in section 7511(a)(1)(B)) subchapter II of 
        chapter 75 and section 7701.
          ``(B) Sections 943(c)(2) and 1784(c) of title 10.
          ``(C) Section 1308(b) of the Alaska National Interest Lands 
        Conservation Act.
          ``(D) Section 301(c) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980.
          ``(E) Sections 106(f), 7281(e), and 7802(5) of title 38.
          ``(F) Section 1005(a) of title 39.
          ``(G) Any other provision of law that the Director of the 
        Office of Personnel Management designates in regulations as 
        being a veterans' preference requirement for the purposes of 
        this subsection.
          ``(H) Any regulation prescribed under subsection (b) or (c) 
        of section 1302 and any other regulation that implements a 
        provision of law referred to in any of the preceding 
        subparagraphs.
    ``(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, no 
authority to order corrective action shall be available in connection 
with a prohibited personnel practice described in subsection (b)(11). 
Nothing in this paragraph shall be considered to affect any authority 
under section 1215 (relating to disciplinary action).''.
    (c) Repeals.--
          (1) Section 1599c of title 10, united states code.--
                  (A) Repeal.--Section 1599c of title 10, United States 
                Code, is repealed.
                  (B) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
                beginning of chapter 81 of such title is amended by 
                striking out the item relating to section 1599c.
          (2) Section 2302(a)(1) of title 5, united states code.--
        Subsection (a)(1) of section 2302 of title 5, United States 
        Code, is amended to read as follows:
    ``(a)(1) For the purpose of this title, `prohibited personnel 
practice' means any action described in subsection (b).''.
    (d) Savings Provision.--This section shall be treated as if it had 
never been enacted for purposes of any personnel action (within the 
meaning of section 2302 of title 5, United States Code) preceding the 
date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 6. EXPANSION AND IMPROVEMENT OF VETERANS' EMPLOYMENT EMPHASIS 
                    UNDER FEDERAL CONTRACTS.

    (a) Covered Veterans.--Section 4212 of title 38, United States 
Code, is amended--
          (1) in subsection (a), by striking out ``special disabled 
        veterans and veterans of the Vietnam era'' and inserting in 
        lieu thereof ``special disabled veterans, veterans of the 
        Vietnam era, and covered veterans of the Persian Gulf War'';
          (2) in subsection (b), by striking out ``special disabled 
        veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era'' and inserting in lieu 
        thereof ``special disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam era, 
        or covered veteran of the Persian Gulf War'';
          (3) in subsection (d)(1), by striking out ``veterans of the 
        Vietnam era or special disabled veterans'' both places it 
        appears and inserting in lieu thereof ``special disabled 
        veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, or covered veterans of 
        the Persian Gulf War''; and
          (4) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(e) For purposes of this section, the term `covered veteran of 
the Persian Gulf War' means any veteran who served in the active 
military, naval, or air service in the Southwest Asia theater of 
operations during the period beginning on August 2, 1990, and ending on 
January 2, 1992.''.
    (b) Prohibition on Contracting With Entities Not Meeting Reporting 
Requirements.--(1) Subchapter III of chapter 13 of title 31, United 
States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

``Sec. 1354. Limitation on use of appropriated funds for contracts with 
                    entities not meeting veterans' employment reporting 
                    requirements

    ``(a)(1) Subject to paragraph (2), no agency may obligate or expend 
funds appropriated for the agency for a fiscal year to enter into a 
contract described in section 4212(a) of title 38 with a contractor 
from which a report was required under section 4212(d) of that title 
with respect to the preceding fiscal year if such contractor did not 
submit such report.
    ``(2) Paragraph (1) shall cease to apply with respect to a 
contractor otherwise covered by that paragraph on the date on which the 
contractor submits the report required by such section 4212(d) for the 
fiscal year concerned.
    ``(b) The Secretary of Labor shall take appropriate actions to 
notify agencies in a timely manner of the contractors covered by 
subsection (a).''.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 13 of such 
title is amended by adding at the end the following:

``1354. Limitation on use of appropriated funds for contracts with 
entities not meeting veterans' employment reporting requirements.''.

SEC. 7. REQUIREMENT FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IN ANNUAL REPORTS FROM 
                    FEDERAL CONTRACTORS ON VETERANS EMPLOYMENT.

    Section 4212(d)(1) of title 38, United States Code, as amended by 
6(a)(3), is further amended--
          (1) by striking out ``and'' at the end of subparagraph (A);
          (2) by striking out the period at the end of subparagraph (B) 
        and inserting in lieu thereof ``; and'; and
          (3) by adding at the end the following:
          ``(C) the maximum number and the minimum number of employees 
        of such contractor during the period covered by the report.''.

                              Introduction

    On July 16, 1997, Senator Chuck Hagel introduced S. 1021 
with the cosponsorship of Senator Max Cleland, Committee Member 
Y. Tim Hutchinson, Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Senator Conrad 
Burns, Senator William V. Roth, Jr., Senator Lauch Faircloth, 
Senator Jesse Helms, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Senator 
Mary L. Landrieu, Senator Harry Reid, and Committee Member Ben 
Nighthorse Campbell. S. 1021 would have provided that 
consideration could not be denied to preference eligibles 
applying for certain positions in the competitive service.
    On March 24, 1998, the Committee held a hearing on S. 1021. 
Testimony was received from Senator Chuck Hagel, Senator Max 
Cleland, and Representative John Mica, who introduced a 
counterpart to S. 1021, H.R. 240, in the U.S. House of 
Representatives. Testimony was also received from four 
veterans' service organizations: The American Legion, the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETS, and the Non-Commissioned 
Officers Association of the United States; two executive branch 
agencies: the Department of Labor and the Office of Personnel 
Management; the General Accounting Office; the United States 
Postal Service; and two labor unions: the National Treasury 
Employees Union and the American Federation of Government 
Employees. Written testimony for the record was also received 
from an additional 11 organizations.

                           Committee Meeting

    After carefully reviewing the testimony and record from the 
March 24, 1998, hearing, the Committee met in open session on 
July 28, 1998, and voted unanimously to report S. 1021, as 
amended with an amendment in the nature of a substitute.

                     Summary of S. 1021 as Reported

    S. 1021 as reported (hereinafter referred to as the 
``Committee bill'') contains freestanding provisions and 
amendments to titles 3, 5 and 38, United States Code, that 
would:
    1. Establish new administrative and judicial redress 
procedures and remedies for preference-eligible veterans who 
assert that their veterans' preference rights have been 
violated in a hiring decision or during a reduction-in-force 
(section 2).
    2. Remove an exemption previously in force with respect to 
the General Accounting Office (GAO) and thereby allow 
preference-eligible veterans to assert that status with respect 
to GAO personnel actions (section 3(a)).
    3. Require that veterans' preference laws be applied with 
respect to personnel actions involving positions in the 
Executive Office of the President, except those which the 
President certifies are confidential or policy-making 
positions, political positions, or positions that will be 
vacated at or before the end of the President's term or terms 
(section 3(b)).
    4. Require that veterans' preference principles be applied 
with respect to personnel actions involving positions in the 
legislative branch, except those made by the President, those 
made by a Member of Congress, those made to a committee or 
subcommittee staff, and those made to positions with duties 
which are equivalent to those of a Senior Executive Service 
position (section 3(c)).
    5. Require that veterans' preference principles be applied 
with respect to personnel actions involving positions in the 
judicial branch, except those made by the President, those 
which are judicial officer positions (i.e., a justice, a judge, 
or a magistrate judge), those whose appointment is required to 
be made by or with the approval of a court or judicial officer, 
and those with duties which are equivalent to those of a Senior 
Executive Service position (section 3(d)).
    6. Require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to 
recognize veterans' preference status during reductions-in-
force (section 4).
    7. Designate a knowing violation of veterans' preference 
requirements a prohibited personnel practice (section 5).
    8. Expand veterans' employment opportunities with Federal 
contractors by including Persian Gulf War theater veterans in 
the definition of veterans to whom Federal contractors will 
conduct outreach activities; by prohibiting Federal agencies 
from contracting with entities which have not complied with 
Department of Labor reporting requirements with respect to the 
hiring of Vietnam-era, disabled, and Persian Gulf War veterans; 
and by expanding Department of Labor reporting requirements 
with respect to the hiring of veterans (sections 6 and 7).

                               Discussion

    The Committee bill, which is derived from S. 1021, would 
make various changes in law, as outlined below.

Background

    The Veterans' Preference Act, which dates to 1944, 
facilitates the readjustment of wartime and disabled veterans 
to civilian life by providing preferences to those who seek 
employment by the Nation's largest single employer: the 
executive branch of the Federal Government. Pursuant to the 
act, veterans who are disabled or who served in military 
campaigns during specified time periods are ``preference 
eligible'' veterans. Such veterans are entitled to preference 
over non-veterans (and over non-preference-eligible veterans) 
in decisions involving who will be hired by the Federal 
Government, and who will be retained in Federal reductions-in-
force (RIF's). 5 U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 2108, Sec. 3502. Veterans' 
preferences are given substance by the awarding of ``points'' 
to be taken into account in scoring calculations which 
determine outcomes in Federal hiring or retention decision 
making.
    Testimony at the Committee's hearing on March 24, 1998, 
revealed that veterans' preference laws appear to have been 
effective in fostering the hiring, and retention, of 
preference-eligible veterans in Federal employment. The General 
Accounting Office testified that, from 1990 to 1997, the 
percentage of veterans deemed ``preference eligible'' in the 
Federal workforce was about twice as large as the percentage of 
such persons in the civilian workforce. GAO's testimony 
revealed, further, that Federal employees who are not 
``preference eligible'' were four times more likely to lose 
their jobs during a reduction-in-force than were those who had 
veterans' preference status.
    The Committee's hearing also revealed, however, that while 
veterans as a group appear to be faring well in Federal 
employment, individual cases reveal that there is a pressing 
need for a uniform redress mechanism for the enforcement of 
veterans' preference laws in both hiring and reductions-in-
force decisions. In addition, it revealed that there are areas 
of Federal employment--employment at GAO, in the Executive 
Office of the President, and in the legislative and judicial 
branches--to which veterans' preference principles could 
reasonably be extended. Finally, the Committee's hearing 
revealed that Federal programs designed to encourage the hiring 
of veterans by Federal contractors, and contractor reporting 
requirements, are more limited in scope than they should be. 
The Committee bill, the provisions of which are outlined below, 
is intended to address these shortcomings of current law.

Committee bill

    Section 1. Short Title. Section 1 of the Committee bill 
would title the bill the ``Veterans Employment Opportunities 
Act of 1998''.
    Section 2. Improved Redress for Preference Eligibles. 
Current provisions for the redress of violations of veterans' 
preference laws are confusing, from the veteran's standpoint, 
since different mechanisms are provided to address perceived 
hiring and RIF violations. Veterans who believe that their 
rights have been violated in hiring are directed to the 
Department of Labor (DOL), which investigates the claim and 
then sends the results of its investigation to the Office of 
Personnel Management (OPM) for resolution. Veterans who believe 
their preference rights have been violated in a reduction-in-
force are directed to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) 
which itself renders adecision and remedial order which is, in 
turn, appealable at the appropriate United States District Court. See 5 
U.S.C. Sec. 7701.
    Current veterans' preference procedures are not merely 
confusing; they are unequal in the sense of procedural 
opportunities presented. MSPB will resolve a RIF complaint 
after it has afforded the complainant an opportunity to a 
hearing. DOL provides no such opportunity to veterans who 
allege veterans' preference violations in a hiring context.
    Section 2 of the Committee bill would amend title 5 to 
create a uniform redress mechanism, modeled after the 
procedures established in the Uniformed Services Employment and 
Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 for redress of alleged 
violations of veterans' reemployment rights. Preference-
eligible veterans contending that their rights have been 
violated in either a hiring or RIF setting would be directed to 
file a complaint with DOL. DOL would conduct a formal 
investigation and would have authority to subpoena witnesses or 
documents. If DOL had not resolved the complaint within 60 
days, the complainant could then appeal to the MSPB. If MSPB 
had not issued a decision within 120 days, the aggrieved 
veteran could then appeal to the appropriate United States 
District Court.
    Insofar as remedies are concerned, the Committee bill 
provides that if MSPB, or a District Court, determines that an 
agency has violated veterans' preference laws, MSPB or the 
court would be empowered to order compliance, to award 
compensation to the veteran for any loss of wages or benefits 
suffered, and to award reasonable attorney's fees and other 
litigation expenses. In cases where the MSPB or court found a 
willful violation, they would be authorized to award an amount 
equal to back pay as liquidated damages.
    Section 3. Extension of Veterans' Preference. GAO is 
currently exempted from veterans' preference laws. In addition, 
employment opportunities in the Executive Office of the 
President are not subject to veterans' preference laws. 
Similarly, Federal employment in the legislative and judicial 
branches is not covered by veterans' preference laws.
    The entire government should participate, as possible, in 
assisting preference-eligible veterans in making the transition 
to civilian life. It is vital that the Federal Government open 
to veterans as many employment opportunities as possible, 
particularly in an era of Federal downsizing.
    Section 3 of the Committee bill would require that 
veterans' preference laws be applied to positions in the 
General Accounting Office, and to non-confidential, non-policy, 
and non-political positions in the Executive Office of the 
President. It would also require that principles of veterans' 
preference laws be applied to positions in the legislative 
branch with respect to non-policy positions, and in the 
judicial branch with respect to non-judicial officer positions 
and positions appointed by such officers. The Committee notes 
that the requirement that veterans' preference principles be 
extended to the legislative and judicial branches does not 
mandate the creation of civil service-type evaluation or 
scoring systems by these hiring entities. It does require, 
however, that they create systems that are consistent with the 
underlying principles of veterans' preference laws.
    Section 4. Veterans' Preference Required for Reductions In 
Force in the Federal Aviation Administration. The Department of 
Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 1996, 
Public Law 104-50, authorized the Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA) to establish an alterative Federal system 
to govern its personnel operations, separate from the personnel 
system which governs other executive agencies. Even so, Public 
Law 104-50 requires that FAA adhere to veterans' preference 
laws in hiring. It does not require, however, that FAA do so 
during reductions-in-force.
    Section 4 of the Committee bill would also require that FAA 
adhere to veterans' preference laws during RIF's. It is 
inconsistent to afford the full range of veterans' preference 
rights to persons who seek to be hired by FAA and not to those 
who have been hired and who later face potential reduction-in-
force actions.
    Section 5. Prohibited Personnel Practices. Currently, the 
actions of Federal employees, as they apply to personnel 
decisions, may not deny fair treatment on the basis of race, 
color, religion, sex, marital status, age, handicap or 
political affiliation. Acts which deny fairness on these 
grounds are ``prohibited personnel practices.'' 5 U.S.C. 
Sec. 2302. Persons found by the MSPB to have knowingly 
committed such practices may be removed or suspended from 
Federal employment, or fined. 5 U.S.C. Sec. 1215.
    Section 5 of the Committee bill would amend 5 U.S.C. 
Sec. 2302 to add violations of veterans' preference laws to the 
listing of prohibited personnel practices. Thus, persons who 
knowingly fail to comply with veterans' preference requirements 
could be disciplined in accordance with standards applicable to 
prohibited personnel practices.
    Sections 6 and 7. Expansion and Improvement of Veterans' 
Employment Emphasis Under Federal Contracting, and Requirement 
for Additional Information in Annual Reports from Federal 
Contractors on Veterans Employment. The Vietnam Era Veterans' 
Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended, 38 U.S.C. 
Sec. 4212, requires employers with Federal contracts or 
subcontracts valued at $10,000 or more take steps to employ and 
advance Vietnam-era and disabled veterans. Covered contractors 
are required to list job openings with appropriate State and 
local employment service offices which, in turn,provide 
Vietnam-era veterans and disabled veterans priority referrals to such 
employment opportunities. In addition, Federal contractors are required 
to submit an annual report, the ``VETS 100 form,'' to the Department of 
Labor providing data with respect to compliance with these 
requirements.
    Section 6 of the Committee bill would amend the Vietnam-era 
Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act to require that Federal 
contractors take steps to assist not just Vietnam Era and 
disabled veterans, but also veterans who served in active 
military, naval, or air service in the Southwest Asia theater 
of operations during the period beginning August 2, 1990, and 
ending on January 2, 1992. These veterans are no less deserving 
of assistance than Vietnam-era veterans.
    Section 6 of the Committee bill would further amend 38 
U.S.C. Sec. 4212 to improve the tools by which the Department 
of Labor secures the compliance of Federal contractors with 
their reporting obligations under the statute. Federal agencies 
would be barred from obligating or expending funds to enter 
into contracts with entities which had not complied with their 
reporting obligations. Thus, potential contractors would be 
provided with added incentive to comply with the law in a 
timely manner. Finally, section 7 would require the filing of 
information concerning the contractor's total employee base so 
that the Department of Labor could view currently supplied data 
on the number of veterans employed and hired in proper 
perspective.

                             Cost Estimate

    In compliance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee, based on 
information supplied by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), 
estimates that the costs resulting from the enactment of the 
Committee bill would not likely be significant. The bill would 
not affect the budgets of State, local, or tribal governments.
    The cost estimate provided by CBO, setting forth a detailed 
breakdown of costs, follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 31, 1998.
Hon. Arlen Specter,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1021, the Veterans' 
Employment Opportunities Act of 1998.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is John R. 
Righter.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    Enclosure.

S. 1021--Veterans' Employment Opportunities Act of 1998

    Summary: S. 1021 would strengthen and broaden the 
applicability of a set of laws popularly known as veterans' 
preference, which afford certain veterans preferential 
treatment in obtaining and keeping federal employment. Enacting 
this bill would probably increase personnel and management 
costs of the federal government, but CBO cannot estimate the 
amount of the added costs. For most agencies, any increase in 
spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated 
funds. The bill could also increase direct spending by agencies 
not funded through annual appropriations. Therefore, pay-as-
you-go procedures would apply to the bill. With the possible 
exception of costs for the U.S. Postal Service, the bill's 
impact on direct spending is not likely to besignificant. 
Spending by the Postal Service is classified as off-budget and is not 
subject to pay-as-you-go procedures.
    S. 1021 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: Several 
provisions of S. 1021 would increase the costs to the federal 
government to administer and enforce the laws governing 
veterans' preference. However, because we have no way of 
predicting the number of veterans who would be affected by the 
bill's provisions, particularly the number of veterans who 
might seek redress under the bill's expanded procedures, CBO 
cannot estimate the amount of these additional costs. Areas of 
potential costs resulting from the bill are described below.
    The largest potential budgetary impact of the bill would 
result from provisions that would allow veterans to appeal 
hiring and reduction-in-force decisions to the Merit Systems 
Protection Board (MSPB) and then to a district court, and that 
would increase the amount of redress that an eligible veteran 
could receive for an affirmed violation. By expanding the 
number of veterans eligible to appeal hiring decisions, 
enacting S. 1021 could significantly increase the workload--and 
hence, the expenses--of the Department of Labor, which would 
receive the initial complaints, as well as the MSPB and the 
federal judiciary, which would handle any subsequent appeals.
    In cases where the complainant prevails, the bill would 
require that the individual receive reasonable attorney fees, 
expert witness fees, and other litigation expenses. Currently, 
successful complainants are awarded only attorney fees. In 
cases where a violation is deemed as willful, S. 1021 would 
require the MSPB or district court to award damages in addition 
to any lost wages or benefits. The amount of damages would be 
limited to the amount of back pay owed by the agency. Thus, S. 
1021 would likely result in the appeal of more cases, 
particularly those related to grievances over hiring decisions, 
and in the awarding of higher monetary judgments. CBO has no 
basis for estimating the number or cost of these additional 
appeals.
    In addition, the bill would extend veterans' preference to 
certain, nonpolitical positions in the White House, the General 
Accounting Office, the judicial branch, and the legislative 
branch. In the case of the courts, it would exclude those 
appointments that are required by statute to be made by or with 
the approval of a court or judicial officer. For those 
agencies--such as CBO and the Capitol Police--that support the 
Congress, such an application would be difficult to implement. 
(The provision would not apply to the Library of Congress.) 
Because the employees of these agencies are not part of the 
Civil Service and since the agencies do not administer a test 
or use a numerical rating system that lends itself to factoring 
in the additional points required by law for preference-
eligible veterans, it is uncertain how these agencies would 
comply with the bill. If the extension of veterans' preference 
caused the agencies to institute a new system for judging and 
hiring applicants, the associated costs could be significant.
    For the judicial branch, the bill would require that the 
Judicial Conference of the United States prescribe regulations 
that are similar to those governing the executive branch. The 
bill also would direct the Office of Compliance and the 
Judicial Conference of the United States to establish 
procedures to provide veterans employed in the legislative and 
judicial branch with redress procedures similar to those 
available to executive branch employees. Thus, those agencies 
could also face new, potentially costly litigation related to 
grievances filed under this provision.
    Finally, the bill would add veterans of the Persian Gulf 
War to the list of veterans for whom contractors must agree to 
take certain affirmative actions in order to receive federal 
contracts of $10,000 or more. It would also require contractors 
to include additional information in reports they currently 
file annually with federal agencies. While these requirements 
could increase the costs of federal contracts, CBO estimates 
that any increase in costs would be largely one-time and 
probably not significant.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: The Balanced Budget Emergency 
Deficit Control Act sets up pay-as-you-go procedures for 
legislation affecting direct spending or receipts. Because S. 
1021 could increase direct spending by agencies not funded 
through annual appropriations, pay-as-you-go procedures would 
apply. With the possible exception of costs for the U.S. Postal 
Service, the bill's impact on direct spending is not likely to 
be significant. Spending by the Postal Service is classified as 
off-budget and is not subject to pay-as-you-go procedures.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 1021 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: John R. Righter.
    Estimate approved by: Robert A. Sunshine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee on Veterans' 
Affairs has made an evaluation of the regulatory impact which 
would be incurred in carrying out the Committee bill. The 
Committee finds that the Committee bill would not entail any 
significant regulation of individuals or businesses or result 
in any significant impact on the personal privacy of any 
individuals, and that the paperwork resulting from enactment 
would be minimal.

                 Tabulation of Votes Cast in Committee

    In compliance with paragraph 7 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, the following is a tabulation of votes 
cast in person or by proxy by members of the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs at its July 28, 1998, meeting. On that date, 
the Committee, by unanimous voice vote, ordered S. 1021, as 
amended, reported favorably to the Senate.

                             Agency Report

    On March 24, 1998, the Committee held a hearing on S. 1021. 
Testimony was received from two executive branch agencies, the 
Department of Labor and the Office of Personnel Management. 
Those statements are reprinted below:

Statement of Espiridion (Al) Borrego, Assistant Secretary For Veterans' 
  Employment And Training Service, Department of Labor, March 24, 1998

    Mr. Chairman and Distinguished Members of the Senate 
Veterans' Affairs Committee. It is an honor for me to be here 
to present the views of the Veterans' Employment and Training 
Service (VETS) regarding veterans' preference, priority of 
referral in the Federal contractor program and the proposed 
Veterans' Employment Opportunities Act of 1997, S. 1021.
    Today, Veterans' preference serves as a recruitment tool 
that provides Federal agencies with a resource to find well-
trained employee candidates. Veterans having veterans' 
preference rights, do not, however, have any guarantee to 
employment. Veterans' preference means that a fully qualified 
veteran may be given preference in obtaining a position over 
other eligible and qualified non-veteran candidates. Section 5 
U.S.C. 2108 defines Preference Eligible veterans. Disabled 
veterans and other special veterans are given consideration 
over veterans who are not preference eligible.
    Section 4214 of title 38 requires action of agencies to 
``promote the maximum of employment and job advancement 
opportunities within the Federal government for disabled 
veterans and certain veterans of the Vietnam era,'' to provide 
placement consideration under special noncompetitive hiring 
authorities for 30 percent or more disabled veterans, ensure 
that all veterans are considered for employment and advancement 
under Merit System rules, and establish an affirmative action 
plan for the hiring, placement and advancement of disabled 
veterans.
    By law, Section 5 U.S.C. 2108, United States veterans are 
entitled to employment preference for Federal Civil Service 
jobs, under certain eligibility conditions and criteria based 
on time of service, duration of service, and service-connected 
disability status. Veterans' preference entitles a veteran to 
the addition of 5 or 10 points to examination scores if 
specific eligibility requirements are met.
    An excellent source of information on veterans' preference 
is available on-line. The Veterans' Preference Adviser can be 
accessed by clicking on ``elaws'' on the Department of Labor's 
home page at www.dol.gov. By answering certain questions, a 
user can learn whether he or she may be eligible for veterans' 
preferences and the rights proceeding therefrom.
    Within the current system, not all vacancies are subject to 
the posting requirements of 5 U.S.C. 3327 (b). This provision 
requires an agency to post with the State Employment Service 
vacancies for which it ``seeks applications from persons 
outside the Federal service.'' Job vacancies open to the public 
are entered daily into OPM's Federal Job Opportunities List 
(FJOL) data base and are made available to each State 
Employment office through the America's Job Bank (AJB). The AJB 
no longer receives, or provides to the states, the OPM Federal 
Job Opportunity list. This information is now provided on the 
Internet. The OPM site is www.usajobs.opm.gov. (Merit promotion 
vacancies open to status candidates are not included in this 
listing; they are listed separately with OPM and publicized 
through printed reports in OPM's Job Information Centers, on 
OPM's electronic bulletin board, and on automated telephone 
lines.)
    Many of the elements of the proposed bill will reenforce 
existing law, and enhance the ability of veterans to compete 
within the labor market. This change in Preference does not 
constitute a guarantee of employment. As under current law, a 
fully qualified veteran may be given preference in obtaining a 
position over other equally qualified non-veteran candidates.
    Under present law today, the Office of Personnel Management 
(OPM) is the enforcement authority and VETS is the monitoring 
authority. In administering the veteran redress process, VETS 
provides direct assistance to veterans when they have 
encountered difficulties in gaining preference during the 
Federal hiring employment process, or have had their preference 
entitlement violated by a Federal employer. Upon receipt of a 
veterans' preference complaint, VETS will look into the 
complaint to determine its validity and contact the agency 
involved to attempt to achieve informal resolution. If the 
situation is not resolved informally, VETS refers the case to 
the Office of Personnel Management for formal investigation.
    OPM is directly responsible for the policy issues governing 
veterans' preference in the Federal government. OPM and VETS 
have an established partnership to deal directly with these 
issues. These procedures are spelled out in a March 1996 
Memorandum of Understanding between VETS and OPM.
    The administrative redress provisions of S. 1021 would have 
an impact on the VETS. The investigative role now handled by 
OPM would be turned over to VETS.
    The administrative redress provisions in section 3330a of 
S. 1021 would provide that a preference-eligible may file a 
complaint with the Secretary of Labor if the individual 
believes that an agency has violated that person's rights under 
any statute or regulation relating to veterans' preference. The 
legislation's redress procedures increase the investigator's 
powers. The Secretary would provide technical assistance to a 
potential complainant and, upon receipt of a formal complaint, 
conduct a formal investigation that parallels in scope the 
investigations currently conducted under the Uniformed Services 
Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA, chapter 43 of 
Title 38). In conducting the investigation, the Secretary would 
have authority to require by subpoena the production of 
witnesses or documents.
    VETS has accumulated experience in investigating employment 
claims through its administration of USERRA. I believe that 
current VETS staff can handle about 200 to 300 additional cases 
which may fall under VETS' jurisdiction if S. 1021 is passed. 
With the availability of our new information tracking system, 
VETS could report to you on the status of these cases.
    Under S. 1021, a claimant would have the right to appeal to 
the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) if the Secretary of 
Labor has not resolved a claim within 60 days after it is 
filed. Likewise, if the Secretary notifies a claimant that the 
case cannot be resolved, the individual would have the right to 
file an appeal with the MSPB. If the MSPB issues a reviewable 
decision, or if the case is not resolved within 120 days after 
appeal to the MSPB, the claimant would have the right to file 
an action with the United States district court having 
jurisdiction.
    The legislation would provide that redress for the 
Legislative branch of government be provided under the 
Congressional Accountability Act (Title 2). With respect to the 
Judicial branch, the Judicial Conference of the United States 
would be required to prescribe regulations providing for 
veterans' preference and comparable redress procedures.
    S. 1021 would provide that either the MSPB or the district 
court, upon finding for the claimant, shall order the agency 
involved to comply with the provision(s) violated and award 
compensation for lost wages or benefits. If the violation is 
found to be willful, the agency can be ordered to pay an amount 
equal to back wages as liquidated damages. Additionally, a 
claimant who prevails shall be awarded reasonable attorney and 
witness fees and other court costs.
    Under current law there are three tenure groups. Within 
each group, there are subgroups based on veteran status:
          Compensable service-connected disability of 30 
        percent or more;
          Employees with derived preference; and
          All employees not eligible for veterans' preference.
    S. 1021 would provide additional retention rights for 
employees who are considered preference eligible employees as 
defined in 5 U.S.C. 2108.
    S. 1021 further would require that an agency must place the 
preference eligible veterans in a competitive level for which 
the individual is qualified. If qualified for more than one 
competitive level, the agency must place the individual in the 
level containing the most positions.
    At this point in my testimony, I would like to shift my 
focus to a matter of interest to the committee. This is the 
Federal Contractor Program (FCP). The purpose of the FCP is 
two-fold: to provide Federal contractor award information to 
the VETS field staff, the State lead for FCP, and the DVOPs/
LVERs and, secondly, to receive the annual VETS-100 reports 
from Federal contractors. The VETS-100 provides numbers of 
special disabled and Vietnam-era veterans who are identified 
affirmative action by Federal Contractors. The VETS-100 reports 
are used to assist the Office of Federal Contract Compliance 
Programs (OFCCP) in its role of enforcement and to provide 
information for the Annual Report to Congress. Any employer who 
receives a Federal contract or sub-contract in the amount of 
$10,000 or more in a given year is subject to the provisions of 
the Federal Contractor Program.
    For the most recent reporting period ending March 31, 1997, 
Federal contractor VETS-100 reports submitted showed a total 
55,238 special disabled veterans and 1,147,271 Vietnam-era 
veterans noted as current employees. Among the new hires 
reported by Federal contractors, 4161 were special disabled 
veterans and 109,715 were Vietnam-era veterans.
    Information on Federal contracts awarded and modified is 
received from the Commerce Business Daily. To improve VETS data 
collection and compliance with the law, we are adding 
information gained from the Federal Procurement Data System to 
our database. This information is provided to VETS field staff 
and DVOPs/LVERs. The VETS field staff use the information to 
determine if priority of service is being provided by staff of 
the local employment service office for targeted veterans. The 
DVOPs and LVERs use the information to contact Federal 
contractors to remind them that they are required to list job 
openings, with the exception of executive or top management 
positions, with the local employment service and that the 
employment office can provide qualified targeted veterans to 
fill job openings. As Federal contractors provide job openings 
to the local employment service, qualified targeted veterans 
receive priority referral to these job openings. Priority 
referral means that targeted veterans are referred to job 
openings listed by Federal contractors before non-veterans. 
This process increases employment opportunities for Special 
Disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam Era.
    Since we have discussed here benefits that veterans have 
been accorded in Federal employment and with respect to Federal 
contractors, I would like to take this opportunity to remind 
the Committee that VETS is engaged in a program to inform the 
Congress, all Federal departments and agencies, the veterans 
service organizations, veterans and employers of the 
protections in employment that veterans are accorded pursuant 
to Section 4311 of USERRA.
    Section 4311 of USERRA states that ``[a] person who is a 
member of, applies to be a member of, performs, has performed, 
applies to perform, or has an obligation to perform service in 
a uniformed service shall not be denied initial employment, 
reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any 
benefit of employment by an employer on the basis of that 
membership, application for membership, performance of service, 
application for service or obligation.'' The Federal government 
was called on to serve as a ``model employer'' under the Act.
    Deputy Secretary Kathryn Higgins made a USERRA presentation 
at the March meeting of the President's Management Council, 
which is comprised the Chief Operating Officers of all Cabinet 
level departments, usually the Deputy Secretaries.
    This presentation is being followed up by distribution of a 
memo from Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman to Department of 
Labor employees, veterans service organization and Federal 
departments and agencies, reminding them of the provisions of 
Section 4311 and VETS' obligations to enforce the law. VETS 
will further educate the public and private sector and veterans 
about the anti-discrimination provisions of USERRA and do all 
it can to provide veterans with the benefits of employment to 
which they are uniquely deserving. Information on USERRA is 
available online and can also be accessed on ``elaws'' (USERRA 
Advisor) on the DOL home page at www.dol.gov.
    This legislation would have an impact on protected veterans 
including the following:
          Provide that a preference eligible or other protected 
        veteran not be denied the opportunity to compete for a 
        competitive or excepted position in a Federal agency by 
        reason of either not having acquired competitive status 
        or not being an employee of the hiring agency;
          Provide expanded ``bumping'' rights for preference 
        eligibles in a reduction in force; and
          Provide more favorable criteria to determine a 
        preference eligible's qualifications to perform in a 
        new position in event of a RIF.
    Thank you for the opportunity to speak about several 
programs that are so vital to our nation's veterans.

  Statement of Mary Lou Lindholm, Associate Director for Employment, 
             Office of Personnel Management, March 24, 1998

    Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee: Thank you for 
inviting me here today to discuss veterans' preference in the 
Federal Government and S. 1021, the ``Veterans' Employment 
Opportunities Act of 1998.'' I welcome the opportunity to 
restate the Clinton Administration's firm support for the 
principle of veterans' preference embodied in the Veterans' 
Preference Act of 1944 and in this bill.
    The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has long been at 
the forefront of efforts to preserve and protect veterans' 
preference in Federal employment. We share your view that the 
Nation owes a debt of gratitude to its veterans. Veterans' 
preference provides a measure of compensation to those brave 
men and women who left the comforts of home, family, and 
employment to answer the Nation's call to arms.
    On many occasions, President Clinton has reaffirmed his 
Administration's commitment to preserving and protecting 
veterans' preference. Certainly, the Government has every right 
to be proud of its record of hiring and retaining veterans. For 
example, the Federal Government employs approximately twice the 
percentage of veterans as in the civilian labor force, 3 times 
the percentage of Vietnam-era veterans, 5 times the percentage 
of disabled veterans and 8 times the percentage of 30 percent 
or more disabled veterans.
    Despite factors such as the reduction of more than 350,000 
Federal jobs in just the past few years, the shrinkage of our 
military forces and the continuing drop in the percentage of 
veterans in the labor force, the employment of veterans in the 
Federal service has remained remarkably constant: it declined 
only from 28.8 percent in Fiscal Year 1992 to 26.2 percent in 
Fiscal Year 1997. The good news is that agencies seem to 
realize that hiring veterans is just good business. In FY 1997 
fully 31.4 percent of new permanent full-time hires were 
veterans.
    OPM monitors the application of veterans' preference very 
closely. We audit all the certificates issued to ensure that 
veterans' preference has been properly applied, and carefully 
control the delegated examining authority granted to agencies.
    As part of our oversight responsibility, OPM audits agency 
application of our rules and regulations, including veterans' 
preference. Where we find a violation of veterans' preference, 
OPM requires agencies to take prompt corrective action. For 
example, last year we discovered during a review that one small 
agency was purposely manipulating the examining system in order 
to appoint favored candidates. OPM immediately decertified the 
agency's delegated examining unit, stripped the agency of 
authority to make any appointments at all, and referred all 
evidence of prohibited personnel practices to the Office of the 
Special Counsel. At present, we are closely monitoring the 
agency as it offers jobs to the more than 50 veterans who were 
denied consideration by this unlawful practice. Although we 
obviously cannot monitor every personnel action before it 
occurs, our prompt, decisive action will have a chilling effect 
on any other officials who might be tempted to evade the law.
    I want to emphasize, however, that such cases are 
definitely the exception; Federal employees are generally very 
conscientious about applying veterans' preference properly. 
What errors we do find--and they are relatively few--are 
usually due to misunderstandings of the law or regulations. To 
help correct these, last year we issued a very comprehensive 
policy handbook called VetGuide to give agency personnelists 
detailed guidance on how to apply veterans' preference. The 
reception from agencies has been very enthusiastic. Also, OPM 
will soon issue a companion VetInfo Guide aimed at veterans 
themselves. It will tell them how the Federal employment system 
operates and how veterans' preference and special authorities 
such as the Veterans' Readjustment Appointment (VRA) operate. 
This is potentially very helpful because we have found that, 
too often, veterans do not understand their entitlements and 
how the Federal employment system works.
    To ensure that veterans have access to a convenient, quick, 
and impartial system for resolving complaints that agencies did 
not properly accord them their preference, OPM established a 
complaint procedure through a Memorandum of Understanding with 
the Department of Labor. This procedure allows the veteran to 
file a complaint with the local veterans' Federal employment 
representative in the State employment office. That office will 
gather the facts and present them to the agency for a decision. 
If the veteran is not satisfied with the decision, the 
complaint is referred to OPM for final decision. This procedure 
allows prompt resolution of a complaint in a fair, cost-
effective manner that works very well.
    Under existing law, veterans also have protection during 
reductions in force, or RIFs, and these have worked well to 
protect veterans during the ongoing downsizing of the 
Government. For example, when the General Accounting Office 
recently reviewed several RIFs within the U.S. Geological 
Survey, it reported that veterans were significantly less 
likely to be separated than nonveterans. The GAO report showed 
that because of their preference entitlements, only about 2.5 
percent of the veterans employed in the Geological Division of 
the agency were separated by RIF compared to about 10 percent 
of the agency's nonveteran population.
    Your letter of invitation asked how S. 1021 would affect 
veterans and non-veterans. This proposed legislation would 
benefit veterans primarily in the area of RIF because it would 
give them even greater protections than they enjoy under 
existing law. I note that the Federal Aviation Administration 
(FAA) will provide the Committee with details of how this 
legislation would affect its efforts to implement veterans' 
preference under FAA's reformed personnel system.
    I would note that any change to RIF procedures should allow 
agencies, both Defense and non-Defense, adequate time for 
implementation. In its action on this bill, the House of 
Representatives provided different time frames for 
implementation of the reduction in force and reemployment 
priority provisions of this legislation in Defense and non-
Defense agencies. These provisions are effective within 90 days 
for non-Defense agencies and only after one year for Defense 
agencies. We believe that these effective dates should be 
established at one year for all agencies.
    Since RIFs may be underway should the bill be enacted in 
its present form, agencies will need this phase-in period. 
Otherwise they would have to stop ongoing RIFs and start over 
again, causing great disruption and increased administrative 
expense.
    Finally, you asked what the future trends for Federal 
employment will be, and how these trends may affect veterans.
    There is no question that the percentage of veterans in the 
Federal service has been in a slow decline for many years and 
this decline may accelerate with the retirement of the Vietnam-
era employees. This is due to a number of factors--primarily 
the corresponding reduction of veterans in the civilian labor 
force due to the retirement of the World War II and Korean 
veterans and the overall reduction of our military forces.
    It is important to note, however, that the Defense 
Authorization Act for FY 1998, which was signed into law by 
President Clinton on November 18, 1997, contains two provisions 
that will greatly expand veterans' preference.
    The first grants preference to everyone who served on 
active duty during the Gulf War regardless of where they served 
or for how long, provided they are otherwise eligible. The 
Department of Defense estimates that approximately 2 million 
present and former members of the Armed Forces will gain 
eligibility for preference under this provision alone. Since 
the law also authorizes the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal 
for individuals who have served in Bosnia since November 1995, 
these recipients automatically acquire veterans' preference.
    At the very least, these two provisions represent a major 
increase in the numbers of veterans eligible for preference in 
civil service employment and will have a significant impact on 
the representation of veterans in the future workforce.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you very much and I will be glad to 
answer any questions you may have.

          Changes in Existing Law Made by S. 1021 as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the Committee bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing 
law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 3, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


            CHAPTER 2--OFFICE AND COMPENSATION OF PRESIDENT

Sec.
101. * * *
     * * * * * * *
115. Veterans' preference.
     * * * * * * *

Sec. 115. Veterans' preference

    (a) Subject to subsection (b), appointments under sections 
105, 106, and 107 shall be made in accordance with section 
2108, and sections 3309 through 3312, of title 5.
    (b) Subsection (a) shall not apply to any appointment to a 
position the rate of basic pay for which is at least equal to 
the minimum rate established for positions in the Senior 
Executive Service under section 5382 of title 5 and the duties 
of which are comparable to those described in section 
3132(a)(2) of such title or to any other position if, with 
respect to such position, the President makes certification--
          (1) that such position is--
                  (A) a confidential or policy-making position; 
                or
                  (B) a position for which political 
                affiliation or political philosophy is 
                otherwise an important qualification; and
          (2) that any individual selected for such position is 
        expected to vacate the position at or before the end of 
        the President's term (or terms) of office.
Each individual appointed to a position described in the 
preceding sentence as to which the expectation described in 
paragraph (2) appliesshall be notified as to such expectation, 
in writing, at the time of appointment to such position.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                          PART III--EMPLOYEES

                     Subpart A--General Provisions

CHAPTER 21--DEFINITIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 2108. Veteran; disabled veteran; preference eligible

    For the purpose of this title--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (3) ``preference eligible'' means, except as provided 
        in paragraph (4) of this section--
                  (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

but does not include applicants for, or members of, the Senior 
Executive Service, the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive 
Service, the Senior Cryptologic Executive Service, [the Federal 
Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration 
Senior Executive Service, or the General Accounting Office;] or 
the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement 
Administration Senior Executive Service;
          (4) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 2302. Prohibited personnel practices

    [(a)(1) For the purpose of this title, ``prohibited 
personnel practice'' means any action described in subsection 
(b) of this section.] (a)(1) For the purpose of this title, 
``prohibited personnel practice'' means any action described in 
subsection (b).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (b) Any employee who has authority to take, direct others 
to take, recommend, or approve any personnel action, shall not, 
with respect to such authority--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (10) discriminate for or against any employee or 
        applicant for employment on the basis of conduct which 
        does not adversely affect the performance of the 
        employee or applicant or the performance of others; 
        except that nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit an 
        agency from taking into account in determining 
        suitability or fitness any conviction of the employee 
        or applicant for any crime under the laws of any State, 
        of the District of Columbia, or of the United States; 
        [or]
          (11)(A) knowingly take, recommend, or approve any 
        personnel action if the taking of such action would 
        violate a veterans' preference requirement; or
          (B) knowingly fail to take, recommend, or approve any 
        personnel action if the failure to take such action 
        would violate a veterans' preference requirement; or
          [(11)] (12) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (e)(1) For the purpose of this section, the term 
``veterans' preference requirement'' means any of the following 
provisions of law:
          (A) Sections 2108, 3305(b), 3309, 3310, 3311, 3312, 
        3313, 3314, 3315, 3316, 3317(b), 3318, 3320, 3351, 
        3352, 3363, 3501, 3502(b), 3504, and 4303(e) and (with 
        respect to a preference eligible referred to in section 
        7511(a)(1)(B)) subchapter II of chapter 75 and section 
        7701.
          (B) Sections 943(c)(2) and 1784(c) of title 10.
          (C) Section 1308(b) of the Alaska National Interest 
        Lands Conservation Act.
          (D) Section 301(c) of the Foreign Service Act of 
        1980.
          (E) Sections 106(f), 7281(e), and 7802(5) of title 
        38.
          (F) Section 1005(a) of title 39.
          (G) Any other provision of law that the Director of 
        the Office of Personnel Management designates in 
        regulations as being a veterans' preference requirement 
        for the purposes of this subsection.
          (H) Any regulation prescribed under subsection (b) or 
        (c) of section 1302 and any other regulation that 
        implements a provision of law referred to in any of the 
        preceding subparagraphs.
    (2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, no 
authority to order corrective action shall be available in 
connection with a prohibited personnel practice described in 
subsection (b)(11). Nothing in this paragraph shall be 
considered to affect any authority under section 1215 (relating 
to disciplinary action).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


           CHAPTER 33--EXAMINATION, SELECTION, AND PLACEMENT

       Subchapter I--Examination, Certification, and Appointment

Sec.
3301.  * * *
     * * * * * * *
3330a.  Preference eligibles; administrative redress.
3330b.  Preference eligibles; judicial redress.
3330c.  Preference eligibles; remedy.
     * * * * * * *

Subchapter I--Examination, Certification, and Appointment

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3330a. Preference eligibles; administrative redress

    (a)(1) A preference eligible who alleges that an agency has 
violated such individual's rights under any statute or 
regulation relating to veterans' preference may file a 
complaint with the Secretary of Labor.
    (2)(A) A complaint under this subsection must be filed 
within 60 days after the date of the alleged violation.
    (B) Such complaint shall be in writing, be in such form as 
the Secretary may prescribe, specify the agency against which 
the complaint is filed, and contain a summary of the 
allegations that form the basis for the complaint.
    (3) The Secretary shall, upon request, provide technical 
assistance to a potential complainant with respect to a 
complaint under this subsection.
    (b)(1) The Secretary of Labor shall investigate each 
complaint under subsection (a).
    (2) In carrying out any investigation under this 
subsection, the Secretary's duly authorized representatives 
shall, at all reasonable times, have reasonable access to, for 
purposes of examination, and the right to copy and receive, any 
documents of any person or agency that the Secretary considers 
relevant to the investigation.
    (3) In carrying out any investigation under this 
subsection, the Secretary may require by subpoena the 
attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of 
documents relating to any matter under investigation. In case 
of disobedience of the subpoena or contumacy and on request of 
the Secretary, the Attorney General may apply to any district 
court of the United States in whose jurisdiction such 
disobedience or contumacy occurs for an order enforcing the 
subpoena.
    (4) Upon application, the district courts of the United 
States shall have jurisdiction to issue writs commanding any 
person or agency to comply with the subpoena of the Secretary 
or to comply with any order of the Secretary made pursuant to a 
lawful investigation under this subsection and the district 
courts shall have jurisdiction to punish failure to obey a 
subpoena or other lawful order of the Secretary as a contempt 
of court.
    (c)(1)(A) If the Secretary of Labor determines as a result 
of an investigation under subsection (b) that the action 
alleged in a complaint under subsection (a) occurred, the 
Secretary shall attempt to resolve the complaint by making 
reasonable efforts to ensure that the agency specified in the 
complaint complies with applicable provisions of statute or 
regulation relating to veterans' preference.
    (B) The Secretary of Labor shall make determinations 
referred to in subparagraph (A) based on a preponderance of the 
evidence.
    (2) If the efforts of the Secretary under subsection (b) 
with respect to a complaint under subsection (a) do not result 
in the resolution of the complaint, the Secretary shall notify 
the person who submitted the complaint, in writing, of the 
results of the Secretary's investigation under subsection (b).
    (d)(1) If the Secretary of Labor is unable to resolve a 
complaint under subsection (a) within 60 days after the date on 
which it is filed, the complainant may elect to appeal the 
alleged violation to the Merit Systems Protection Board in 
accordance with such procedures as theMerit Systems Protection 
Board shall prescribe, except that in no event may any such appeal be 
brought--
          (A) before the 61st day after the date on which the 
        complaint is filed; or
          (B) later than 15 days after the date on which the 
        complainant receives written notification from the 
        Secretary under subsection (c)(2).
    (2) An appeal under this subsection may not be brought 
unless--
          (A) the complainant first provides written 
        notification to the Secretary of such complainant's 
        intention to bring such appeal; and
          (B) appropriate evidence of compliance with 
        subparagraph (A) is included (in such form and manner 
        as the Merit Systems Protection Board may prescribe) 
        with the notice of appeal under this subsection.
    (3) Upon receiving notification under paragraph (2)(A), the 
Secretary shall not continue to investigate or further attempt 
to resolve the complaint to which the notification relates.
    (e)(1) This section shall not be construed to prohibit a 
preference eligible from appealing directly to the Merit 
Systems Protection Board from any action which is appealable to 
the Board under any other law, rule, or regulation, in lieu of 
administrative redress under this section.
    (2) A preference eligible may not pursue redress for an 
alleged violation described in subsection (a) under this 
section at the same time the preference eligible pursues 
redress for such violation under any other law, rule, or 
regulation.

Sec. 3330b. Preference eligibles; judicial redress

    (a) In lieu of continuing the administrative redress 
procedure provided under section 3330a(d), a preference 
eligible may elect, in accordance with this section, to 
terminate those administrative proceedings and file an action 
with the appropriate United States district court not later 
than 60 days after the date of the election.
    (b) An election under this section may not be made--
          (1) before the 121st day after the date on which the 
        appeal is filed with the Merit Systems Protection Board 
        under section 3330a(d); or
          (2) after the Merit Systems Protection Board has 
        issued a judicially reviewable decision on the merits 
        of the appeal.
    (c) An election under this section shall be made, in 
writing, in such form and manner as the Merit Systems 
Protection Board shall by regulation prescribe. The election 
shall be effective as of the date on which it is received, and 
the administrative proceeding to which it relates shall 
terminate immediately upon the receipt of such election.

Sec. 3330c. Preference eligibles; remedy

    (a) If the Merit Systems Protection Board (in a proceeding 
under section 3330a) or a court (in a proceeding under section 
3330b) determines that an agency has violated a right described 
in section 3330a, the Board or court (as the case may be) shall 
order the agency to comply with such provisions and award 
compensation for any loss of wages or benefits suffered by the 
individual by reason of the violation involved. If the Board or 
court determines that such violation was willful, it shall 
award an amount equal to backpay as liquidated damages.
    (b) A preference eligible who prevails in an action under 
section 3330a or 3330b shall be awarded reasonable attorney 
fees, expert witness fees, and other litigation expenses.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE 10, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART II--PERSONNEL

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                     CHAPTER 81--CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES

Sec.
[1580. Repealed]
     * * * * * * *
[1599c. Veterans' preference requirements: Department of Defense failure 
          to comply treated as a prohibited personnel practice.]
     * * * * * * *

[Sec. 1599c. Veterans' preference requirements: Department of Defense 
                    failure to comply treated as a prohibited personnel 
                    practice

    [(a) Prohibited Personnel Practice.--It is a prohibited 
personnel practice for a person referred to in subsection (b) 
who has authority described in that subsection--
          [(1) knowingly to take, recommend, or approve any 
        personnel action with respect to such authority if the 
        taking of such action violates a veterans' preference; 
        or
          [(2) knowingly to fail to take, recommend, or approve 
        any personnel action with respect to such authority, if 
        the failure to take such action violates a veterans' 
        preference.
    [(b) Persons Covered.--Subsection (a) applies with respect 
to--
          [(1) an officer or employee of the Department of 
        Defense who has authority to take, direct others to 
        take, recommend, or approve a personnel action with 
        respect to an employee of the Department of Defense; 
        and
          [(2) a member of the armed forces who has such 
        authority.
    [(c) Veterans' Preference Defined.--(1) In this section, 
the term ``veterans' preference'' means any of the following 
provisions of law:
          [(A) Sections 2108, 3305(b), 3309, 3310, 3311, 3312, 
        3313, 3314, 3315, 3316, 3317(b), 3318, 3320, 3351, 
        3352, 3363, 3501, 3502(b), 3504, and 4303(e) of title 5 
        and (with respect to a preference eligible referred to 
        in section 7511(a)(1)(B) of such title) subchapter II 
        of chapter 75 and section 7701 of such title.
          [(B) Sections 943(c)(2) and 1784(c) of this title.
          [(C) Section 1308(b) of the Alaska National Interest 
        Lands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 3198(b)).
          [(D) Section 301(c) of the Foreign Service Act of 
        1980 (22 U.S.C. 3941(c)).
          [(E) Section 3(a)(11) of the Administrative Office of 
        the United States Courts Personnel Act of 1990 (28 
        U.S.C. 602 note).
          [(F) Sections 106(e), 7281(e), and 7802(5) of title 
        38.
          [(G) Section 1005(a) of title 39.
          [(H) Any other provision of law that the Director of 
        the Office of Personnel Management designates in 
        regulations as being a veterans' preference for the 
        purposes of this section.
    [(2) For the purposes of this section, such term includes 
any regulation prescribed under subsection (b) or (c) of 
section 1302 of title 5 and any other regulation that 
implements a provision of law referred to in paragraph (1).
    [(d) Personnel Action Defined.--In this section, the term 
``personnel action'' has the meaning given that term in section 
2302 of title 5.]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE 31, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 13--APPROPRIATIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


         Subchapter III--Limitations, Exceptions, and Penalties

1341. * * *
     * * * * * * *
1354. Limitation on use of appropriated funds for contracts with 
          entities not meeting veterans' employment reporting 
          requirements.
     * * * * * * *

Subchapter III--Limitations, Exceptions, and Penalties

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 1354. Limitation on use of appropriated funds for contracts with 
                    entities not meeting veterans' employment reporting 
                    requirements

    (a)(1) Subject to paragraph (2), no agency may obligate or 
expend funds appropriated for the agency for a fiscal year to 
enter into a contract described in section 4212(a) of title 38 
with a contractor from which a report was required under 
section 4212(d) of that title with respect to the preceding 
fiscal year if such contractor did not submit such report.
    (2) Paragraph (1) shall cease to apply with respect to a 
contractor otherwise covered by that paragraph on the date on 
which the contractor submits the report required by such 
section 4212(d) for the fiscal year concerned.
    (b) The Secretary of Labor shall take appropriate actions 
to notify agencies in a timely manner of the contractors 
covered by subsection (a).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


              PART III--READJUSTMENT AND RELATED BENEFITS

CHAPTER 42--EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING OF VETERANS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 4212. Veterans' employment emphasis under Federal contracts

    (a) Any contract in the amount of $10,000 or more entered 
into by any department or agency for the procurement of 
personal property and non-personal services (including 
construction) for the United States, shall contain a provision 
requiring that the party contracting with the United States 
shall take affirmative action to employ and advance in 
employment qualified [special disabled veterans and veterans of 
the Vietnam era] special disabled veterans, veterans of the 
Vietnam era, and covered veterans of the Persian Gulf War. The 
provisions of this section shall apply to any subcontract 
entered into by a prime contractor in carrying out any contract 
for the procurement of personal property and non-personal 
services (including construction) for the United States. In 
addition to requiring affirmative action to employ such 
veterans under such contracts and subcontracts and in order to 
promote the implementation of such requirement, the President 
shall implement the provisions of this section by promulgating 
regulations which shall require that (1) each such contractor 
undertake in such contract to list immediately with the 
appropriate local employment service office all of its 
employment openings except that the contractor may exclude 
openings for executive and top management positions, positions 
which are to be filled from within the contractor's 
organization, and positions lasting three days or less, and (2) 
each such local office shall give such veterans priority in 
referral to such employment openings.
    (b) If any [special disabled veteran or veteran of the 
Vietnam era] special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam 
era, or covered veterans of the Persian Gulf War believes any 
contractor of the United States has failed to comply or refuses 
to comply with the provisions of the contractor's contract 
relating to the employment of veterans, the veteran may file a 
complaint with the Secretary of Labor, who shall promptly 
investigate such complaint and take appropriate action in 
accordance with the terms of the contract and applicable laws 
and regulations.
    (c) * * *
    (d)(1) Each contractor to whom subsection (a) of this 
section applies shall, in accordance with regulations which the 
Secretary of Labor shall prescribe, report at least annually to 
the Secretary of Labor on--
          (A) the number of employees in the work force of such 
        contractor, by job category and hiring location, who 
        are veterans of the Vietnam era or special disabled 
        veterans; [and]
          (B) the total number of new employees hired by the 
        contractor during the period covered by the report and 
        the number of such employees who are [veterans of the 
        Vietnam era or special disabled veterans] special 
        disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, or 
        covered veterans of the Persian Gulf War[.]; and
          (C) the maximum number and the minimum number of 
        employees of such contractor during the period covered 
        by the report.
    (2) The Secretary of Labor shall ensure that the 
administration of the reporting requirement under paragraph (1) 
of this subsection is coordinated with respect to any 
requirement for the contractor to make any other report to the 
Secretary of Labor.
    (e) For purposes of this section, the term ``covered 
veteran of the Persian Gulf War'' means any veteran who served 
in the active military, naval, or air service in the Southwest 
Asia theater of operations during the period beginning on 
August 2, 1990, and ending on January 2, 1992.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 
1996

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                               TITLE III

                           GENERAL PROVISIONS

(INCLUDING TRANSFERS OF FUNDS)

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    Sec. 347. (a) * * *
    (b) The provisions of Title 5, United States Code, shall 
not apply to the new personnel management system developed and 
implemented pursuant to subsection (a), with the exception of--
            (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (6) chapter 81, relating to compensation for work 
        injury; [and]
          (7) chapter 83-85, 87, and 89, relating to 
        retirement, unemployment compensation, and insurance 
        coverage[.]; and
          (8) sections 3501-3504, as such sections relate to 
        veterans' preference.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *