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Frequently Asked Questions Employment

  • Agencies should use this hiring authority for a number of good reasons:
    • Individuals with disabilities are a source of excellent applicants.
    • No public notice is required. This may shorten the time to hire a well qualified candidate
    • It can support an agency's Career Patterns initiative. Technological advances and growing emphasis on telework may dovetail with the needs of many applicants with disabilities.
    • Agencies don't have to clear surplus employees lists prior to using the appointing authority.
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  • An agency may noncompetitively convert to a career or career-conditional appointment in the competitive service an employee who has completed 2 years of satisfactory service under this authority. Satisfactory service is service that begins with a non-temporary (e.g., permanent or indefinite) 5 CFR 213.3102(u) appointment. (Refer to 5 CFR 315.709)
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  • Students are appointed under Schedule B, 5 CFR § 213.3202. This is the appointment authority regardless of the type of academic program.
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  • Under Executive Order 11935, only United States citizens and nationals may be appointed to competitive service Federal jobs. In rare cases, agencies may hire certain non-citizens when there are no qualified U.S. citizens available, unless the appointment is prohibited by statute. In addition, Congress frequently restricts agencies’ ability to hire non-citizens into the excepted service as well, through appropriations provisions. For more information about citizenship requirements, please visit: http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/EI9.asp.
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  • An intermittent schedule is appropriate only when the nature of the work is so sporadic and unpredictable that a regularly scheduled tour of duty cannot be scheduled in advance. In establishing the Student Educational Employment Program, OPM did not intend to have STEP or SCEP students working on intermittent schedules. Students may work full- or part-time schedules, however, as best meets their needs and the needs of the agency
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  • Yes. Although the Federal Employees Part-Time Career Employment Act of 1978 defines part-time as from 16 to 32 hours a week, 5 CFR § 340.202(b) permits agencies to allow employees in tenure group 1 or 2 to perform regularly scheduled work of from 1 to 15 hours per week. Students in the Student Career Experience Program are in tenure group 2. The Act does not cover employees in tenure group 3 so students in the Student Temporary Employment Program (tenure group 3) may work any number of hours acceptable to all parties.
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  •  

    An agency is not required to make an accommodation if it can demonstrate that providing the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on its everyday operations. An undue hardship is an action that requires "significant difficulty or expense" in relation to:

     

    • overall size of the agency's program with respect to the number of employees, number and type of facilities and size of budget;
    • type of operation, including the composition and structure of the agency's workforce; and
    • nature and cost of the accommodation.

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  • In establishing the Student Educational Employment Program, OPM intended, generally that students always be either attending classes, working at the agency, or both. However, agencies may use their discretion to permit a break in program during which time a student is neither attending classes nor working. The student would be placed on leave without pay (LWOP) during this time.
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  • A major life activity is a function that the average person in the general population can perform with little or no difficulty. Major life activities include activities such as caring for oneself, seeing, hearing, walking, breathing, speaking, learning, sitting, standing, lifting, reaching, and working.
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  • Health and life insurance coverage for Federal employees depends on the type of appointment an employee has and the expectation of substantial employment during the year. Students in the Student Temporary Employment Program are considered temporary employees and are generally not entitled to these benefits. However, once students have been continuously employed for a year without a break in service exceeding 5 days, they may enroll in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, but they would have to pay 100 percent of the premium (i.e., both the employee and government share). There is no provision for temporary employees to be eligible for life insurance coverage.

    Students in the Student Career Experience Program are eligible for both health and life insurance coverage as long as they are expected to be employed under this appointment authority for at least one year and are expected to be in a pay status for at least one-third of the total period of time from the date of their initial appointment to the date of the completion of the program. Cost of premiums is split between the employee and the agency, as for all permanent employees. (See 5 CFR § 870.202 for life insurance and 5 CFR § 890.102 for health benefits.)

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