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White House Details Exemptions to Federal Hiring Freeze

The White House has issued new guidance to provide federal agencies information on exemptions permitted under the hiring freeze on federal civilian positions and instructions on how agencies can ask for exemptions from the Office of Personnel Management.

Positions that are exempted from the hiring freeze include military and federal uniformed personnel, officials appointed to non-career posts in the Senior Executive Service, employees hired by the U.S. Postal Service and federal civilian staff hired by the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, according to the memo published Tuesday.

The Trump administration also exempts from the hiring freeze appointments made through the Pathways Internship and Presidential Management Fellows programs, temporary employees tasked to perform seasonal workloads and job offers made before Jan. 22 provided that the hired individual will begin work on or prior to Feb. 22.

Agencies that seek to exempt certain positions from the hiring freeze should explain to the OPM the urgency of the position and its association with critical mission requirements and discuss the reason why personnel reallocation is not possible.

The hiring freeze will cease once the Office of Management and Budget implements a long-term plan to shrink the federal workforce’s size through attrition, according to the document.

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