The HIRE Vets Medallion Program is an employer recognition program administered by the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS). Through the program, VETS accepts voluntary applications from employers for the HIRE Vets Medallion Award beginning on January 31 of each calendar year. The Award recognizes employers who hire and retain veterans, including their efforts to establish employee development programs and veteran specific benefits to improve retention.

HIRE Vets Medallion Award

Employer-applicants meeting criteria established in the rule receive a “HIRE Vets Medallion Award.” There are two award tiers, Platinum and Gold, for large (500-plus employees), medium (51-499 employees), and small employers (50 or fewer employees). Verification of award criteria includes a self-attestation by the applicant CEO or CHRO and a check for violations of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Act (VEVRAA).

Benefits of the Program

Successful employers receive a certificate stating the award year, a digital image of the medallion to use, including as part of an advertisement, solicitation, business activity, or product, and will be recognized on the program website. Award recipients have the opportunity to utilize the medallion in the marketing of their firm as a veteran ready business when hiring and in efforts to attract additional business.

Detailed information about how to gain eligibility can be found at HIREVets.gov. An overall summary of the program follows.

Summary of the Program

The HIRE Vets Medallion Program Final Rule codifies the requirements of the Act, lays out the process, timelines, and procedures for employers to apply for the award, and explains how the Department will review applications, verify the information provided and notify award recipients.

Criteria: The requirements for recognition vary by level (Platinum or Gold) and employer size (large, medium, and small). Please see HIREVets.gov for additional information about which elements apply to each award.

1) Percentage of new hires during the previous year that are veterans;
2) Percentage of veteran employees retained for a period of at least 12 months;
3) Percentage of employees who are veterans;
4) Provision of an employee veteran organization or resource group to assist new veteran employees with integration, including coaching and mentoring;
5) Provision of programs to enhance the leadership skills of veteran employees during their employment;
6) Employment of a dedicated human resources professional or initiatives to support hiring, training, and retention of veteran employees;
7) 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;
8) Provision of a tuition assistance program to support veteran employees’ attendance in
postsecondary education during the term of their employment; and
9) 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).

Timelines: Each year, the Department will:
1) Solicit applications no later than January 31;
2) Stop accepting applications on April 30;
3) Finish reviewing applications no later than August 31 and select the employers to receive HIRE Vets Medallion Awards no later than September 30;
4) Notify employers who will receive HIRE Vets Medallion Awards no later than October 11. The Department will also notify applicants who will not be receiving an Award at that time; and
5) Announce the names of award recipients at a time to coincide with Veterans Day.

Application Fee: The Act requires the Secretary to establish fees sufficient to cover the costs associated with carrying out the HIRE Vets Medallion Program.
1) Small Employer (1-50 employees)—$90
2) Medium Employer (51-499)—$190
3) Large Employer (over 500)—$495.

If a significant fee adjustment is necessary for future years of the program, for any reason other than inflation, then a proposed rule containing the new fees will be published in the Federal Register for comment.

Additional information about the Final Rule and the HIRE Vets Medallion Program can be found at HIREVets.gov or by contacting HIREVets@dol.gov.

The Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act of 2017 (HIRE Vets Act or the Act), signed by President Trump on May 5, 2017, required the Secretary of Labor to establish a program, by rule, that recognizes employer efforts to recruit, employ, and retain veterans. The Secretary announced the Final Rule (20 C.F.R. § 1011) on November 9, 2017, the program became effective in January 2018, and accepted initial applications in 2019.