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Frequently Asked Questions Employment

Disability Employment

  • OPM is changing the procedures in support of the President's "New Freedom Initiative" introduced in 2001, which encourages Federal agencies to consider employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The regulation improves the Federal Government's ability to hire persons with these disabilities. It is designed to remove possible barriers and increase employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.
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  • Employers have found that people with disabilities and people without disabilities are about the same in terms of attendance and job performance. Perhaps the longest recurring study of employment issues concerning people with disabilities was done by DuPont, a private corporation. For over 35 years, this DuPont study has shown that employees with disabilities are equivalent to other DuPont employees in job performance, attendance and safety.
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  • No, conversion to a career or career-conditional appointment is not mandatory. The hiring agency maintains the discretion to determine whether an employee is ready for placement in the permanent career workforce. The agency is not required to convert an individual on the 5 CFR 213.3102(u) appointing authority; however, the intent of Executive Orders 12125 and 13124 concerning employment of people with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities and psychiatric disabilities is to permit these individuals to obtain "civil service competitive status." Civil service competitive status is obtained through conversion to the competitive service, rather than remaining in the excepted service.
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  •  

    In addition to competing for a position by applying via the link on a USAJOBS vacancy announcement, people with disabilities who are eligible for the Schedule A hiring authority may use the non-competitive hiring process to apply directly to agencies’ Selective Placement Program Coordinators (SPPC’s). SPPC’s may use this hiring authority to streamline the appointment of people with disabilities.

     

    If you are interested in being considered under this special hiring authority, please provide the agency’s SPPC your "Proof of Disability" letter stating that you have a severe disability. You can get this letter from your doctor, a licensed medical professional, a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist or any Federal, state or local agency that issues or provides disability benefits.

    Certain veterans may also be considered under special hiring programs for veterans with disability ratings of 30% or more. Department of Veterans Affairs vocational rehabilitation counselors should be able to provide additional information about this process.

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  • All denials of reasonable accommodation requests must be made in writing, and the decision must specify the reason for the denial. The denial should be written in plain language, clearly stating the specific reasons for the denial. After denying a request, the individual must be informed that s/he has the right to file an EEO complaint, has the right to pursue any applicable union grievance and informal alternative dispute resolution.

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  • Yes.
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  • The date the regulation goes into effect is 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
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  •  

    The term "reasonable accommodation" is a term of art that Congress defined only through examples of changes or modifications to be made, or items to be provided, to a qualified individual with a disability. A reasonable accommodation is adapting the job site or job functions

     

    for a qualified person with a disability to enable an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. This does not mean that the employer must lower the standards of work for the position or change the job requirements. There are three categories of reasonable accommodations:

    • Modifications or adjustments to a job application process to permit an individual with a disability to be considered for a job (such as providing application forms in alternative formats like large print or Braille);
    • Modifications or adjustments necessary to enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job (such as providing sign language interpreters); and
    • Modifications or adjustments that enable employees with disabilities to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment (such as removing physical barriers in an office cafeteria).

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  • Yes, if the individual is from a different agency. However, if the person is going from one location/activity/component to another location/activity/component in the same agency, the agency would not have to clear the RPL. For purposes of the RPL, all DOD agencies are considered the same agency. DOD agencies (e.g., Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Investigative Service) and the Departments of Army, Navy, and Air Force are all considered DoD.
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  • If you believe your performance has been unfairly evaluated because of your disability, you should talk with your supervisor about his/her appraisal of your performance to resolve the matter. You may also obtain advice on how to seek redress from the employee relations office, a union official, or Office of Equal Employment Opportunity.

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