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OMB and OPM Memo Lists Exemptions From Hiring Freeze

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

On January 23, 2017, President Trump issued a memo directing agencies to implement an across-the-board hiring freeze, with the exception of military personnel in the armed forces. New guidance provides information on the types of exemptions authorized under this hiring freeze as well as instructions on how departments and agencies can request exemptions from the director of the Office of Personnel Management for critical situations where additional exemptions may be warranted. 

Some of the exemptions include: 

  • filling of positions under programs where limiting the hiring of personnel would conflict with applicable law
  • nomination and appointment of officials to positions requiring presidential appointment, with or without Senate confirmation

  • appointment of officials to non-career positions in the Senior Executive Service (SES) or to Schedule C appointments in the Excepted Service, or the appointment of any other officials who serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority

  • appointment of seasonal employees and short-term temporary employees necessary to meet traditionally recurring seasonal workloads, provided that the agency informs its OMB Resource Management Office in writing in advance of its hiring plans

  • appointments made under the Pathways Internship and Presidential Management Fellows Programs (this does not include the Recent Graduates Program); agencies should ensure that such hires understand the provisional nature of these appointments and that conversion is not guaranteed

  • conversions in the ordinary course to the competitive service of current agency employees serving in positions with conversion authority, such as Veteran’s Recruitment Act (VRA) and Pathways Programs

  • internal career ladder promotions. 

For the full list of exemptions, read the complete guidance.




About the Author

Ryann K. Ellis is an editor for the Association of Talent Development (ATD). She has been covering workplace learning and performance for ATD (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 1995. She currently manages ATD's Community of Practice blogs, as well as ATD's government-focused magazine, The Public Manager. Contact her at rellis@td.org. 

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