More Details Provided on Exceptions to Hiring Freeze

OPM has issued further guidance on the Trump administration’s general hiring freeze, addressing some less common situations not addressed in previous memos.

It says that: the exception for members of the uniformed services applies, along with DoD, to other agencies with uniformed personnel, such as the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service; agencies have discretion to determine whether cybersecurity positions fall under the national security or public safety exemptions from the freeze; and that ALJ positions are not automatically exempt but may fall under one of those exemptions.

Also: agencies can use the Intergovernmental Personnel Act to accept individuals on detail assignments from non-federal entities but cannot use that law to hire them unless the position is otherwise exempt; agencies may use volunteers, such as students pursuing educational goals, if otherwise permitted by law;

Also: agencies still may accept interns under an agreement with a third party internship provider such as an association of universities; they still may hire a reader, interpreter, or personal assistant when necessary to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee with a disability; but they may not rehire retired federal employees unless the position is otherwise exempted.

Further, in deciding whether to honor or cancel job offers made before January 22 but with a starting date of February 22 or after, or indefinite, agencies “should consider merit system principles, essential mission priorities, and current agency resources and funding levels.”