Reinstatement Eligibility for former career federal civil service workers
May 13, 2011 at 2:11 am #130284
I’d like to ask the federal HR gurus out there a question. From the responses I’ve gotten from different HR staff at different agencies, I’m thinking there’s confusion or lots of room for interpretation, but I’d like to know what you think.
I am a former fed, with 13+ years of service. I left with career status 11 years ago to take a job at a DOE national laboratory, and have been working on the M&O contractor staff ever since. Most (90%) of the work I’ve done in these past years is directly related to the type of work I performed as a civil servant, only now I’m a “contractor”. I’ve been applying to postings on USAJOBS and have made many certs, and even got a job offer last year.
My question has to do with the GRADE I’m allowed to apply for with my reinstatement eligibility. I was a GS12, step 8 when I resigned, with ~ 7 years as a 12. Since then I’ve had 11 more years of experience at increasing levels of responsibility doing ‘federal’ work. Some agencies have evaluated what I’ve done since resigning and have seemingly no problems crediting me for that advancement in skills and responsibilities, and offered me a GS14 (which I had to turn down for various reasons). However, one agency recently told me I was not qualified to apply for a position where the area of consideration included reinstatement eligible, because I didn’t leave the goverment having been a GS13 for at least one year.
I’ve asked this question on the OPM contact page and have not yet received a response.
Is this subject to interpretation or is there something in the HR regulations that has a definitive read on this issue? What do you think? If there is a definitive regulation, please tell me where to find it.
May 13, 2011 at 1:55 pm #130292
Welcome to the complicated “rules” of Federal HR!
First, check out this page on OPM’s web-site: http://www.usajobs.gov/ei/reinstatementeligibility.asp.
Then check this page from the Code of Federal Regulations: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2002/janqtr/pdf/5cfr335.103.pdf
If you had “career” status when you resigned (and it looks like you did), you may apply to be reinstated to a position at a grade no higher than the grade of the position you left. Such a “Reinstatement” action is viewed as a “non-competitive” personnel action.
You may also apply to be reinstated to positions at higher grades, but such an action must be done under an agency’s internal merit promotion procedures, meaning you’d be competing with agency employees. 5 CFR 335.103 (c) vi , which deals with Merit Promotion, includes this kind of personnel action as one in which “competition” is required: “(vi) Reinstatement to a permanent or temporary position at a higher grade or with more promotion potential than a position previously held on a permanent basis in the competitive service.”
Finally, you may apply to be “appointed” to any position for which you now qualify, including those at higher grades.
Such an appopntment would be “competitive” — open to the public.
Hope this makes sense!
May 13, 2011 at 6:12 pm #130290
Its becoming a bit clearer. I tried to wade through the CFR link you provided and was flummoxed!
So…reinstatement eligibles being mentioned in the “who may apply section” can mean more than one thing.
If its a merit promotion announcement, they’re allowing me to compete with internal/other fed candidates.
If it somehow indicates they would also consider reinstating under non-competitive procedures, that’s another type of action and you would need to meet time in grade requirements. Did I understand what you’ve explained?
The wording used in this section is so unique to each announcement that it is very unclear, and the personnelists who are listed as POCs often know less than I do.
Thanks for your insights!
May 13, 2011 at 9:17 pm #130288
I’m wondering if you’d be interesting in writing a blog post when you complete your research, on what folks like you should know, that we might post on the AOL Gov site when it goes live at the end of next month. If so, let me know. thanks.
May 13, 2011 at 10:35 pm #130286
For now I’ll say “perhaps”. I’m going to request through GovLoop to become ‘friends’ so I can discuss with you off-line.
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