A rule that could help military spouses get jobs in the federal government quicker will take effect Sept. 11.
The final regulations published in today's Federal Register implement a Sept. 25, 2008, executive order allowing federal managers to hire qualified military spouses without putting them through the normal competitive hiring process.
Those eligible include spouses who relocated with their service members because of permanent change-of-station orders, unremarried widows or widowers of service members killed on active duty, and spouses of service members who are 100 percent disabled as a result of active duty.
Federal agencies are not required to use the hiring authority, but Defense Department officials will definitely use the new authority, said defense spokesman Army Lt. Col. Les' Melnyk.
Spouses are eligible for a noncompetitive appointment for a maximum of two years from the date of their service member's PCS orders. They must provide documentation verifying the service member is 100 percent disabled or was killed on active duty.
Spouses may receive only one noncompetitive appointment per PCS move.
On August 12, the final regulations on the non-competitive appointment/hiring of certain military spouses were posted in the Federal Register. The regulations will take effect on September 11, 2009.
After that date, three categories of military spouses will be eligible for non-competitive appointments to jobs with federal agencies:
- Spouses who are relocating with their servicemember on military orders
- Spouses of 100% disabled servicemembers who were injured on active duty
- Unremarried widows/widowers of servicemembers killed while performing active duty
The policy will pave the way for some spouses to potentially find jobs faster at their new location, and reduce their periods of relocation-related unemployment.
Certain spouse categories DON'T qualify for the program:
- Reserve component spouses whose servicemembers are attending service schools or engaging in training duties
- Spouses who marry servicemembers after PCS orders are issued
- Spouses who aren't physically relocating with the servicemember to the new location specified in the PCS orders
- An agency may waive the geographic limitation if no Federal agency exists in that geographic area
- Spouses married to 100% disabled servicemembers aren't restricted to geographic parameters
Spouses relocating in conjunction with retirement or separation orders (unless the retiring/separating member has a 100% service-connected disability)
Eligibility is limited to a maximum of two years after the date of the PCS orders, 100% disability award, or active duty death.
Jobs qualifying for the program can be found at www.usajobs.gov.
(Reminder: the new program doesn't take effect until September 11.)