Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office v. Edwards

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Administrative Law
  • Date Filed: 04-13-2016
  • Case #: A157146
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: DeHoog, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Tookey, J.

Under ORS 408.230 (the veterans’ preference law), a public employer’s application process for hiring and promotion decisions must utilize a coherent, stable method for giving special consideration to disabled veterans.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (the County) appealed a final order from the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) ordering the County to implement a method to assure preferential consideration of disabled veterans during hiring procedures. The County also appealed BOLI’s decision to award emotional distress damages to Edwards, a disabled veteran who did not receive a promotion after competing with two other applicants who were not disabled veterans. BOLI concluded that the County's internal promotion process failed to comply with the veterans’ preference requirements under ORS 408.230, which provides that a public employer must use a coherent method to apply a standard giving special consideration to disabled veterans throughout the hiring process. Because the County did not have such a method in place during Edwards’ application process, BOLI found the veterans’ preference standard was not applied consistently by hiring personnel. The Court held that BOLI correctly concluded that the County had violated the veterans’ preference law. Affirmed.

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