Quick Hit: The U.S. Department of Labor has announced the recipients of the 2018 HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration Award. The award recognizes employers who hire veterans and take efforts to establish employee development programs and veteran-specific benefits to improve their retention. The list of successful employers honored as the 2018 award recipients includes small businesses, community-based nonprofits, and national companies.
Key Takeaway: Award recipients receive a certificate stating the award year and a digital image of the HIRE Vets Medallion Award, which they have the opportunity to utilize in marketing their company as a veteran-friendly business. Although the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) accepted only a limited number of applications in 2018, the 2019 HIRE Vets Medallion Program will be open to all employers and those who successfully meet the program requirements will receive the awards. The Department of Labor will begin accepting applications for the 2019 HIRE Vets Medallion Award on January 31, 2019, the link to apply is available here: https://www.hirevets.gov/.
The Department of Labor established the HIRE Vets Program under the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act (“HIRE Vets Act”), signed by President Trump on May 5, 2017. The program recognizes employer efforts to recruit, employ, and retain veterans. Employer-applicants meeting criteria established in the rule receive a “HIRE Vets Medallion Award.”
There are different awards for large employers (500-plus employees), medium employers (51-499 employees), and small employers (50 or fewer employees). Additionally, there are two award tiers: Gold and Platinum. For each award, the employer must satisfy a set of criteria. For example, a large employer will qualify for a platinum award if:
- its veterans hired during 2018 calendar year is not less than 10% of all employees hired,
- its retention of veterans hired during 2017 calendar year is not less than 85% of veterans hired and retained for 12 months,
- it had a veteran organization or resource group established and in existence on December 31, 2018,
- it had a leadership program established and in existence on December 31, 2018,
- it had a dedicated HR professional for veteran employees,
- it provided a pay differential program,
- it made a tuition assistance program available, and
- it did not have any of the labor law violations identified in 20 CFR § 1011.120.