39-30-201. Employment preference in initial hiring. (1) Except as provided in 10-2-402 and subsection (3) of this section, in an initial hiring for a position, if a job applicant who is a person with a disability or eligible spouse meets the eligibility requirements contained in 39-30-202 and claims a preference as required by 39-30-206, a public employer shall hire the applicant over any other applicant with substantially equal qualifications who is not a preference-eligible applicant.
(2) The employment preference provided for in subsection (1) does not apply to a personnel action described in 39-30-103(2)(b) or to any other personnel action that is not an initial hiring.
(3) To minimize confusion between 39-29-102 and this section, if a public employer in an initial hiring for a position uses a scoring procedure, the employer shall follow the guidelines in 39-29-102 if an applicant requests a veterans' or disabled veterans' preference. If a scoring procedure is not used, the employer shall provide preference first to a disabled veteran, then to a person with a disability, a veteran, an eligible relative as defined in 39-29-101, and an eligible spouse as defined in 39-30-103, in that order, over any applicant that does not have preference eligibility and that has substantially equal qualifications.