TSA Exempt from Veterans Preference Rules

August 31, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The US District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) did not violate the Aviation and Transportation Security Act or the Veterans Preference Act when it cut the jobs of airport security screeners.

The District Judge said in her decision that the Aviation and Transportation Security Act exempts the TSA from having to follow traditional layoff procedures and veterans preference rules when it comes to screeners, according to the Federal Times. The TSA issued a reduction-in-force of 3,000 airport security screeners in 2003.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) filed the lawsuit in 2003 on behalf of five laid off screeners, according to the Federal Times. The union claimed TSA ignored proper personnel management provisions; did not take military service, tenure or efficiency ratings into account when deciding who would be laid off; and targeted union activists and screeners older than 40.

The court dismissed the first two counts but let stand the count that alleged union activists were targeted. AFGE National President John Gage said the union will continue to pursue that claim.