(1) The state and political subdivisions in the state shall give preference in appointment and retention in positions of employment to:
(a) Those disabled veterans:
1. Who have served on active duty in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States, have been separated therefrom under honorable conditions, and have established the present existence of a service-connected disability which is compensable under public laws administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, or
2. Who are receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension by reason of public laws administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Department of Defense.
(b) The spouse of any person who has a total disability, permanent in nature, resulting from a service-connected disability and who, because of this disability, cannot qualify for employment, and the spouse of any person missing in action, captured in line of duty by a hostile force, or forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power.
(c) A veteran of any war as defined in s. 1.01(14). The veteran must have served at least 1 day during a wartime period to be eligible for veterans’ preference. Active duty for training shall not be allowed for eligibility under this paragraph.
(d) The unremarried widow or widower of a veteran who died of a service-connected disability.
(2) The Department of Veterans’ Affairs shall adopt rules to ensure that veterans are given special consideration in the employing agency’s selection and retention processes. The rules must include the award of point values as articulated in s. 295.08, if applicable, or, where point values are not relevant, must include procedures to ensure that veterans are given special consideration at each step of the employment selection process, unless the sponsoring governmental entity is a party to a collective bargaining agreement, in which case the collective bargaining agreement must comply within 90 days following ratification of a successor collective bargaining agreement or extension of any existing collective bargaining agreement.
(3) Preference in employment and retention may be given only to eligible persons who are described in subsection (1) and who are residents of this state.
(4) The following positions are exempt from this section:
(a) Those positions that are exempt from the state Career Service System under s. 110.205(2); however, all positions under the University Support Personnel System of the State University System as well as all Career Service System positions under the Florida Community College System and the School for the Deaf and the Blind, or the equivalent of such positions at state universities, community colleges, or the School for the Deaf and the Blind, are included.
(b) Positions in political subdivisions of the state which are filled by officers elected by popular vote or persons appointed to fill vacancies in such offices and the personal secretary of each such officer, members of boards and commissions, persons employed on a temporary basis without benefits, heads of departments, positions that require licensure as a physician, licensure as an osteopathic physician, licensure as a chiropractic physician, and positions that require that the employee be a member of The Florida Bar.
History.—s. 1, ch. 24201, 1947; s. 1, ch. 70-7; s. 1, ch. 77-422; s. 1, ch. 78-372; s. 1, ch. 80-370; s. 4, ch. 87-356; s. 1, ch. 89-323; s. 3, ch. 92-80; s. 2, ch. 98-33; s. 79, ch. 99-13; s. 1, ch. 2001-273; s. 2, ch. 2003-42; s. 42, ch. 2007-217.