Starting May 26, 2018, to be able to be rehired the following service year without having to compete again for a similar temporary seasonal position, seasonal employees must work no more than a combined total of 1,039 hours anywhere in the National Park Service (NPS) within their service year. This change follows an audit of the NPS hiring and human resource practices by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
Why is the change necessary?
For the past five months, the NPS Workforce and Inclusion Directorate has worked with the Department of the Interior (DOI) and OPM to resolve differing interpretations of OPM's regulations on how the NPS uses the non-competitive rehire authority (i.e., the ability to be rehired the following service year without having to compete again for a similar temporary seasonal position) to bring seasonal staff on board. Following multiple appeals, the NPS and DOI must now use the DOI definition of "major subdivision" as a bureau (the entire NPS). The NPS had traditionally defined major subdivisions at the park level and more recently at the region level.
What does this mean for seasonal employees?
Temporary seasonal employees can only maintain non-competitive rehire eligibility by working no more than a combined total of 1,039 hours (less than six months) anywhere in the NPS within their service year. A service year is the consecutive 12-month period beginning with the date of an employee’s initial temporary seasonal appointment in the NPS.
Temporary seasonal employees may still compete and be selected for multiple temporary seasonal positions that result in a combined total greater than 1,039 hours. However, doing so will result in the loss of non-competitive rehire eligibility. Temporary seasonal employees who lose their non-competitive rehire eligibility would need to apply for positions they held in the previous season.
The Workforce and Inclusion Directorate has provided updated policy guidance, effective May 26, 2018, to human resource offices across the country to ensure that the required changes are issued and implemented consistently.
How can I learn more?
For more information, read the introductory memo from the Deputy Director (142KB PDF) and accompanying guidance from the Associate Director, Workforce and Inclusion (1.8MB PDF) .