Section 1. Introduction
The Department will adhere to all applicable Government-wide rules and
regulations and the provisions in this Article in the administration of Merit Staffing.
Moreover, the Department shall administer this Article in accordance with DPR 335,
dated April 28, 2004, as specified or except as provided herein. Any future
changes to this regulation will be handled in accordance with Article 38. The
purpose and intent of this Article are to ensure that employees are given full and
fair consideration and to ensure selection from among the best-qualified
candidates. The Department and Local 12 also agree to fill positions in the
bargaining unit on the basis of merit in accordance with systematic and equitable
procedures adopted for this purpose.
Section 2. Coverage
The following personnel actions are covered under competitive merit staffing
a. Promotions other than those which are excepted in Section 3 below;
b. Time-limited promotions for more than 120 days (prior service during the
preceding 12 months under noncompetitive time-limited promotions and
noncompetitive details to higher graded positions counts toward the 120-
c. Details for more than 120 days to a higher grade position or to a position
with higher promotion potential (prior service during the preceding 12
months under noncompetitive time-limited promotions and noncompetitive
details to higher graded positions counts toward the 120-day total);
d. Selection for training which is part of an authorized training agreement, part
of a promotion program, or required by a formal training program before an
employee may be considered for promotion;
e. Reassignment or demotion to a position with more promotion potential than
a position previously held on a permanent basis in the competitive service
(except as permitted under reduction-in-force);
f. Transfer to a position at a higher grade or with more promotion potential
than a position previously held on a permanent basis in the competitive
g. Reinstatement to a permanent or temporary position at a higher grade or
with more promotion potential than a position previously held on a
permanent basis in the competitive service.
Section 3. Exclusions
Actions not specifically described as covered actions in Section 2 above are
excluded from coverage including, but not limited to, the following:
a. A promotion resulting from the upgrading of a position without significant
change in the duties or responsibilities due to the issuance of a new
classification standard or the correction of an initial classification error;
b. A position change permitted by reduction-in-force regulations;
c. A promotion without current competition of an employee who was
appointed in the competitive service from a civil service register, by direct
hire, by noncompetitive appointment or noncompetitive conversion, or
under competitive procedures for an assignment intended to prepare the
employee for the position being filled, (e.g., career ladder, trainee, and
understudy positions, and conversions from various special appointing
authorities (e.g., Career Intern Program, etc);
d. A promotion resulting from an employee’s position being reclassified at a
higher grade because of additional duties and responsibilities;
e. A temporary promotion, or detail to a higher-grade position or a position
with known promotion potential, of 120 days or less;
f. Promotion to a grade previously held on a permanent basis in the
competitive service (or similar OPM-approved system) from which the
employee was separated or demoted for other than performance or conduct
g. Promotion, reassignment, demotion, transfer, reinstatement or detail to a
position having promotion potential no greater than the potential of a
position an employee currently holds or previously held on a permanent
basis in the competitive service (or similar OPM-approved system) and did
not lose because of performance or conduct reasons;
h. Priority consideration of a candidate not given proper consideration in a
competitive promotion action;
i. Appointments of career SES appointees with competitive service
reinstatement eligibility to any position for which they qualify in the
competitive service at any grade or salary level, including positions
established under 5 CFR 319;
j. A temporary promotion made permanent if the temporary promotion was
made under competitive procedures and the fact that it might lead to a
permanent promotion was made known to all potential candidates; and
k. An appointment from a certificate of eligibles resulting from a competitive
examination, e.g., delegated examining.
Section 4. Vacancy Announcements
Vacancy announcements will be publicized in such a way as to ensure fair and
open competition in accordance with Merit Systems Principles, 5 U.S.C. 2301.
Section 5. Interviews and Selections
Selecting officials have the right to select or not to select. However, no selection
shall be made unless and until the selecting official has interviewed all available
candidates on the certificate who are within the unit. The interview may be done
face-to-face, by telephone, or by other state of the art technology as available.
Candidates may be required to submit items such as work products upon
interview, or may be required to complete writing samples, etc., during interviews.
Section 6. Career Ladders in DOL
a. A career ladder is a series of positions of increasing difficulty in the same
line of work through which a group of employees may progress from the
entrance levels to the journey level of full performance. They are all given
grade-building experience and are promoted as they demonstrate ability to
perform at the next higher level, and meet all eligibility requirements.
b. Career ladder positions are developmental in nature. To be promoted, an
employee in a career ladder must meet the following criteria, in the
(1) Meet all performance requirements for the duties and responsibilities
of the current position, and also carry out specific assignments or
projects typical of the next higher grade position in the career ladder.
(2) Regularly demonstrate, through assigned work, performance in the
current position that clearly indicates the probability of satisfactory
performance in the next higher graded career ladder position.
(3) Perform in the position for a sufficient length of time to allow
adequate observation of the work performed.
Section 7. Informing Employees about Opportunities for Entrance Level
The Department’s Director of Human Resources will inform employees in the unit
at least twice a year through a Spotlight or other issuance of the jobs, including
qualification requirements that are likely to be filled at the entrance levels of career
ladders during the year.
Section 8. Review of Merit Staffing Actions
There will be regularly scheduled Departmental reviews of Agency personnel
actions taken under this Article. A representative nominated by Local 12 may
participate in each such review to determine if the purpose and intent of this
Article are being fulfilled.