Older vets get a break in federal hiring

Thursday - 6/30/2011, 7:41pm EDT

By Jory Heckman
Federal News Radio

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) now will adhere to a ruling made by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) that will offer more leeway on the maximum age requirement for qualified veterans.

OPM wants to make changes to the federal regulations that govern competitive service hiring through a proposed rule in the Federal Register issued Thursday.

MSPB in Isabella v. Department of State, ruled State violated the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) because there was no evidence that a maximum entry age was necessary to fulfill the obligations of the available position.

As a result, OPM has adopted a policy that waives the maximum entry age requirement for qualified veterans applying for the job, unless the age restriction is essential to carrying out the position.

An appeal procedure has been put in place for applicants who want to appeal decisions made about their qualifications.

OPM also has revised its rules and regulations to let agencies hire non-citizens to competitive service positions when no qualified U.S. citizens have applied.

In addition, OPM is revising its operating manual in order to include white-collar positions that fall under the manual's guidelines, even though these positions do not fall under the General Schedule (GS) system.

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Jory Heckman is an intern with Federal News Radio.

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