Temporary hiring rules


Q. Can management temporarily promote (noncompetitively) an employee to the lower grade of a 6/7 graded position for 120 days?  Are temporary promotions limited to the full-performance level only of a given position?  What specific rules support or prevent such actions?

A. Temporary promotions are intended for meeting the temporary needs of the agency’s work program when those services can’t be provided by other means.To be temporarily promoted, an employee has to meet the same qualification requirements that are needed for the permanent promotion. He or she receives the higher graded salary for the period assigned and gains quality experience and time-in-grade at the higher grade level. The first 120 days can be made noncompetitively. In other words, the employee doesn’t have to compete with other employees for the temporary assignment. If the temporary promotion is extended beyond 120 days, competition is required. The maximum time period for a temporary promotion is five years, unless OPM authorizes the agency to make and/or extend it for a longer period. If the temporary promotion that was originally made under competitive procedures, it can be extended up to five years without further competition.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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