Federal Manager's Daily Report

Federal employees may work in temporary jobs related to this year’s census within certain restrictions, OPM has said in a memo, while asking agencies to “make your employees aware of this information so that they may take advantage of these short-term employment opportunities.”

OPM said it has been receiving questions from current employees about working on the side for the Census Bureau, which is filling hundreds of thousands of temporary positions including for recruiting, general office work, supervisory positions and enumerators.

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OPM said the general ban in law against receiving pay for more than one federal position does not apply under an exception in which the Census Bureau may hire federal employees for such positions with agency approval. A list of agencies with dual employment agreements for 2020 census work is at www.2020census.gov/en/jobs/faqs.

The exception applies only for “temporary, short-term work” related to the census, it added.

In a 2018 memo, OMB had pointed to that exception and encouraged federal employees to take such jobs, saying that would “not only allow the Census Bureau to have access to a larger pool of potential applicants, but also enable it to capitalize upon the vast experience that federal workers have to offer.”

However, it added that the jobs “must not interfere with employees’ responsibilities or performance in their primary positions” and that employees will not earn additional credit toward retirement or other benefits through such work.

See also, Concerns about Training, Other Issues Raised ahead of Census