Federal Eye: Military Spouses Get Federal Hiring Preference

Federal agencies will soon have the option of hiring certain military spouses without having them compete for jobs, under new guidelines issued by the Obama administration Wednesday.

The guidelines apply to the spouses of military service members relocating for new assignments, some physically disabled spouses, and those whose husband or wife was killed in the line of duty. They will be able to apply for a federal job and ask that recruiters allow them to bypass the traditional hiring process.

The Office of Personnel Management published the guidelines Wednesday in the Federal Register.

“This family-friendly policy provides employment opportunities for individuals and a measure of economic stability to military families who must deal with a multitude of issues arising from one spouse serving their country,” OPM Director John Berry said in a statement.

It is unclear which federal agencies will use the optional hiring authority when it takes effect next month. Hundreds of thousands of spouses could potentially benefit, since roughly half of the 400,000 to 500,000 active-duty service members restationed each year are married, according to the Pentagon.

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