A federal appeals court has ordered a finding on whether military “constructive service” time—time not actually served but credited on a veteran’s record, such as time added as a reenlistment incentive—should count toward service time for veterans preference purposes during a reduction in force. The Federal Circuit court said it never has addressed the issue directly and told the Merit Systems Protection Board to reconsider the case of a federal employee who retired before a RIF hit because he knew he stood no chance of keeping a job without the preference; he contends he was misled into resigning by incorrect information given to him regarding his preference status. The key issue for the employee in Starkey v. Dept. of the Navy was whether he had passed the 20-year military service time at which veterans’ preference in a RIF no longer applies. The outcome could be important to all federally employed veterans with constructive service time to their credit.