Military Spouses to Get Federal Jobs Preference
Under new guidelines, eligible military spouses will be allowed to bypass the traditional hiring process when they apply for a job at a federal agency.
By Ed O'Keefe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Federal agencies will soon have the option of hiring certain military spouses without having them compete for federal jobs, under new guidelines the Obama administration issued Wednesday.
The rules apply to the spouses of military service members relocating for a new assignment, some physically disabled spouses, and those whose husband or wife was killed in the line of duty. The widow or widower must remain unmarried before getting a job.
Under the guidelines issued on Wednesday by the Office of Personnel Management, eligible spouses will be able to apply for a federal job and ask that recruiters allow them to bypass the traditional hiring process.
"This family-friendly policy provides employment opportunities from individuals and a measure of economic stability to military families who must deal with a multitude of issues arising from one spouse serving their country," OPM Director John Berry said in a statement.
It is unclear how many federal agencies will use the new optional hiring authority when it takes effect next month. But hundreds of thousands of spouses could reap its benefits, since roughly half of the 400,000 and 500,000 active-duty service members restationed each year are married, according to the Pentagon. Active-duty troops relocate every three years on average.