Defense Finance & Accounting Service
Placement Assistance List
6 August 2003
This document establishes the noncompetitive placement assistance procedures Human Resources (HR) will use to place employees whose positions have been abolished. Employee’s eligibility for placement assistance or special consideration is based on statutory or regulatory entitlement.
It is the policy of HR to provide placement assistance and placement consideration for employees who have been or will be displaced from their positions, who have been determined to be medically disqualified, who have been downgraded through no fault of their own or who lost consideration under a competitive announcement. Employees whose names appear on any of the placement or special consideration lists described in this document will be referred and/or placed on positions for which they meet the minimum qualifications standards without regard to competitive procedures in the Merit Promotion Plan. Minimum qualifications cannot be waived for positions with a positive education requirement.
Management should request HR provide placement assistance in writing as soon as possible after it is determined that assistance is needed. If the determination that employees will need placement assistance is based on a decision to abolish a function, transfer work or consolidate work, documentation of the decision should be attached to the written request for placement assistance.
Priority 1 – Medically Disqualified List Eligibles
Every reasonable effort will be made to place employees who have been medically disqualified from their position. Prior to being placed on the list of medically disqualified eligibles, an employee must:
a. Provide adequate medical documentation that a medical condition exists that prevents him/her from performing the duties of their position and supports their request for placement assistance.
b. Request accommodation.
The employee’s supervisor, in conjunction with HR, will determine if the requested accommodations can be made in the employee’s current position, or recommend alternative accommodations. If appropriate accommodations cannot be made, the HR will screen the employee’s qualifications for all grade levels at or below the employee’s current grade. The employee’s name will be placed on the list of medically disqualified eligibles.
When a match is made, HR will send a request to the employee to have their physician or health care provider evaluate whether the position meets the physical requirements or other medical limitations of the employee.
If it is determined the employee is able to perform the requirements of the matched position within their documented limitations, HR will contact the supervisor of the vacant DFAS position to advise them that their position has been filled through the placement assistance process by a medically disqualified eligible. Placement is mandatory unless the supervisor requests and receives an exception from the BLE, CE, CD, or equivalent DFAS management official.
If an employee remains medically disqualified for their current position, and no reasonable placement opportunities have been identified, or the employee is unable to perform the requirements of matched positions, HR will advise the medically disqualified employee who cannot be placed of any options available to them (e.g., retirement or other benefits). Employees will remain registered as a medically disqualified eligible up to the effective date of the appropriate administrative determination.
Priority 2 – Placement Assistance List Eligibles
Before Placement Assistance List eligible employees are identified by the organization, the following steps will be taken:
a. The Business Line Executive (BLE), Client Executive (CE), Corporate Director (CD), or equivalent DFAS management official, with assistance of HR, will notify the Union (Council or Local as appropriate), of the need the reasons for placement assistance, to maximum extent possible the numbers, series grade and/or work affected will also be provided. The Union will be invited to attend any group meeting with affected employees.
b. The BLE, CE, CD or equivalent DFAS management official or designee will make every effort to place excess employees with in the local business line, product line, or work unit at the site before efforts will be expanded to the entire DFAS site. This effort should include assigning affected employees into vacant positions and matching excess employees against vacancies that would be created if employees on temporary promotion were returned to their position of record prior to the temporary promotion.
c. If efforts to place employees within the business line, product line, or work unit are not sufficient, employees within those organizational elements will be given an opportunity to volunteer for outplacement. Any restrictions on an individual who may volunteer must be coordinated with the Local Union President in advance and communicated to employees.
d. Volunteers will be matched by grade and series with positions to be abolished. If there are more volunteers than needed for a specific grade and series, volunteers will be identified for outplacement in order of service computation dates (SCD) for leave, with employees having the higher seniority date being placed on the list.
If there are insufficient volunteers for a specific series and grade, employees will be identified for outplacement in inverse order of SCD date (with employees having the least seniority) for the grade and series of positions to be abolished. For example, if an organization is reducing two management analyst positions and they have a total of four in the organization, the two employees with the lower seniority will be placed on the PAL.
HR will determine an employee’s eligibility to participate in the program. Eligibility is for those current employees at grade level GS-15 or equivalent and below, on appointments without time limitations, and facing downgrade and/or separation because of RIF. Employees identified for outplacement will be notified by their supervisor, the Union shall be notified and invited to attend.
HR will determine the jobs for which each employee will be registered based upon OPM qualifications. At a minimum, employees will be registered for positions at their current permanent grade, for their current series and for other positions for which they qualify. Employees may not be registered for positions with greater promotion potential than the grade of the position of record at the time of registration. Employees on promotion potential positions may be placed on positions with the same target grade as their current position if there are no qualified PAL eligible employees available whose grade matches the target or intermediate grades of the position. If an employee on a promotion potential position cannot be placed on a position with the same target grade, the employee will be placed at the current grade.
When authorized by the BLE, CE or CD, employees may |be placed or considered for vacancies for which they do not meet minimum qualifications if the employee’s overall background and experience is such that the employee can be reasonably expected to perform the duties of the position with only a brief period of orientation and training. What constitutes a brief period of orientation and training will be determined based on the nature of the work and the complexity of the duties to be performed but shall be no less than six months from start of the new assignment.
Employees referred by the PAL will be selected as an exception to competitive procedures established in the Merit Promotion Plan.
The BLE, CE, CD or equivalent DFAS management official of the gaining organization may, after reviewing written justification from an immediate subordinate supervisor, approve in writing an exception to the placement of a PAL eligible. HR will advise the losing organization that an exception has been approved. If disagreement arises concerning the approval of the exception, the DFAS director will resolve the issue. Absent a written approval of exception, placement of the employee is mandatory.
The agency will provide the Council with a PAL report on a quarterly basis (approved waiver exceptions with brief description of why, listing by site of all current PAL registrants). The Council may obtain more frequent reports as requested.
All Requests for Personnel Actions (RPAs) will be cleared against the PAL for eligible employees. When there is only one eligible employee, the selecting supervisor will be advised of the match. The employee will be placed into the position. If there are more than one eligible employee on the PAL, the supervisor must select from among the list of PAL eligibles, unless the selecting supervisor requests an exception from and obtain approval in writing from the respective Business Line Executive, Client Executive, Corporate Director or equivalent DFAS management official.
The HR representative will advise the losing organization and the employee of the selection and coordinate the effective date with both the gaining and losing organizations.
If placement through PAL would substantially change the working conditions of employee, e.g. travel, physical requirements, mobility agreements, the employee may offer an explanation why he/she should be granted an exception to the placement in the position. HR, along with management officials, would consider and adjudicate the requests on a case-by-case basis.
PAL eligibles will be removed from the PAL when on of the following occurs:
4. The employee resigns or retires.
Priority 3 – Repromotion Eligibles
Qualified repromotion eligible employees will be referred for vacancies in all serviced activities in the commuting area. Selection is not mandatory.
HR will register employees when downgraded through no fault of their own. New employees downgraded while employees of another agency will be registered when identified as a repromotion eligible.
Employees eligible for repromotion will be registered until expiration of pay retention. This means employees granted grade retention are registered during the period of grade retention and remain registered during the period of pay retention.
When an employee is identified as eligible for repromotion, the specialist will determine the series and grades for which the employee will be registered. Registration is for series for which the employee is qualified, in the same plan as the position from which downgraded, and for grades at or below the level of the position from which the emp|loyee was downgraded. Employees will not be registered for positions that offer known promotion to a grade higher than the one from which demoted.
Registration can be for any pay plan, WG employees registering for GS positions.
When a repromotion eligible matches an RPA, the eligible will be referred for consideration in advance of other candidates not entitled to priority consideration. There is no entitlement to selection.
Repromotion list eligibles will be removed from placement assistance when one of the following occurs:
Priority 4 – Special Consideration Eligibles
Special consideration will be given to employees who failed to receive proper consideration in a competitive promotion action through no fault of their own. Special consideration is given in advance of the referral process but there is no entitlement to selection. Employees are accorded one special consideration for the next appropriate vacancy. The next appropriate vacancy is one that meets all of the following conditions:
Priority 5 – Reemployement Priority List (RPL) Eligibles
When a qualified and available RPL eligible matches a vacant position, the RPL eligible must be selected before the position is filled by new appointment (except for a 10-point preference eligible), transfer, or reinstatement (except for a preference eligible).
The following categories of employees are RPL eligible. (These categories do not include persons restored to duty from military service or from a compensable injury within one year from the date compensation began. Employees restored to duty under these circumstances are entitled to immediate placement in accordance with applicable government-wide regulations.)
When an employee becomes an RPL eligible, the employee wil be advised of the RPL and registration procedures. Employees may register as soon as a specific notice of RIF separation or a Certification of Expected Separation notice is received. Employees must apply for registration within 30 days of the Reduction of Force (RIF) separation date. Within 10 days of receipt of the employee’s application for registration, the HR will determine the positions for which qualified and interested and register the employee in the RPL for positions in the local commuting area.
When more than one RPL eligible matches a position, employees shall be offered reemployement in retention standing order. That is, the supervisor may select from among subgroup eligibles, but may not pass over an individual in a tenure group I to select from group II, and within a group, may not pass over an individual in a higher subgroup to select from a lower subgroup.
Employees will be removed from the RPL under the following circumstances: