The HIRE Vets Medallion Program is an award from the U.S. Secretary of Labor that recognizes employer efforts to recruit, employ, and retain veterans. Employers can apply for the HIRE Vets Medallion Award as of January 31, 2019 and stand out for their employment practices. Additionally, employers can reap the benefits of tax incentives generated by hiring veterans through programs such as Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). The HIRE Vets Medallion Award is a great reminder of how you can support our veterans and benefit your organization and community at the same time.
The U.S. Department of Labor states that employers who apply for the HIRE Vets Medallion Award are evaluated on a number of criteria, such as veteran hiring and retention rates. Organizations that administer a WOTC program make for especially good candidates as employers can earn tax credits for hiring veterans. Employers can earn up to $9,600 per qualified candidate.
The HIRE Vets Act website states that employer recognition varies by level and employer size. In general, however, organizations will need to provide the following measurements to qualify for an award:
- Percentage of new hires during the previous year that are veterans;
- Percentage of veteran employees retained for a period of at least 12 months;
- Percentage of employees who are veterans;
- Provision of an employee veteran organization or resource group to assist new veteran employees with integration, including coaching and mentoring;
- Provision of programs to enhance the leadership skills of veteran employees during their employment;
- Employment of a dedicated human resources professional or initiatives to support hiring, training, and retention of veteran employees;
- Provision of compensation, to employees serving on active duty in the United States National Guard or Reserve, that is sufficient, in combination with the employee’s active duty pay, to achieve a combined level of income commensurate with the employee’s salary prior to undertaking active duty;
- Provision of a tuition assistance program to support veteran employees’ attendance in postsecondary education during the term of their employment; and
- Employer with an adverse labor law decision, stipulated agreement, contract debarment, or contract termination, as defined in the rule, pursuant to either of the following labor laws will not be eligible to receive an Award: Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA); or Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA).
The deadline to submit applications is April 30, 2019. A full list of the requirements and application details can be viewed here.
For the employers that are hesitant to implement a WOTC program because of the administrative burden it may impose, there are many third-party vendors that can help oversee and manage the entire WOTC process from document retention to screening to submitting the WOTC information to your state workforce agency.
Hire vets through WOTC to generate savings, improve your community and make a difference in the life of a veteran. It doesn’t get better than that.