';


Title 5 Part 351 → Subpart E

Title 5 → Chapter I → Subchapter B → Part 351 → Subpart E

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 5 Part 351 → Subpart E

e-CFR data is current as of September 16, 2019

Title 5Chapter ISubchapter BPart 351 → Subpart E


Title 5: Administrative Personnel
PART 351—REDUCTION IN FORCE


§351.501   Order of retention—competitive service.

(a) Competing employees shall be classified on a retention register on the basis of their tenure of employment, veteran preference, length of service, and performance in descending order as follows:

(1) By tenure group I, group II, group III; and

(2) Within each group by veteran preference subgroup AD, subgroup A, subgroup B; and

(3) Within each subgroup by years of service as augmented by credit for performance under §351.504, beginning with the earliest service date.

(b) Groups are defined as follows:

(1) Group I includes each career employee who is not serving a probationary period. (A supervisory or managerial employee serving a probationary period required by subpart I of part 315 of this title is in group I if the employee is otherwise eligible to be included in this group.) The following employees are in group I as soon as the employee completes any required probationary period for initial appointment:

(i) An employee for whom substantial evidence exists of eligibility to immediately acquire status and career tenure, and whose case is pending final resolution by OPM (including cases under Executive Order 10826 to correct certain administrative errors);

(ii) An employee who acquires competitive status and satisfies the service requirement for career tenure when the employee's position is brought into the competitive service;

(iii) An administrative law judge;

(iv) An employee appointed under 5 U.S.C. 3104, which provides for the employment of specially qualified scientific or professional personnel, or a similar authority; and

(v) An employee who acquires status under 5 U.S.C. 3304(c) on transfer to the competitive service from the legislative or judicial branches of the Federal Government.

(2) Group II includes each career-conditional employee, and each employee serving a probationary period under subpart H of part 315 of this chapter. (A supervisory or managerial employee serving a probationary period required by subpart I of part 315 of this title is in group II if the employee has not completed a probationary period under subpart H of part 315 of this title.) Group II also includes an employee when substantial evidence exists of the employee's eligibility to immediately acquire status and career-conditional tenure, and the employee's case is pending final resolution by OPM (including cases under Executive Order 10826 to correct certain administrative errors).

(3) Group III includes all employees serving under indefinite appointments, temporary appointments pending establishment of a register, status quo appointments, term appointments, and any other nonstatus nontemporary appointments which meet the definition of provisional appointments contained in §§316.401 and 316.403 of this chapter.

(c) Subgroups are defined as follows:

(1) Subgroup AD includes each preference eligible employee who has a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more.

(2) Subgroup A includes each preference eligible employee not included in subgroup AD.

(3) Subgroup B includes each nonpreference eligible employee.

(d) A retired member of a uniformed service is considered a preference eligible under this part only if the member meets at least one of the conditions of the following paragraphs (d)(1), (2), or (3) of this section, except as limited by paragraph (d)(4) or (d)(5):

(1) The employee's military retirement is based on disability that either:

(i) Resulted from injury or disease received in the line of duty as a direct result of armed conflict; or

(ii) Was caused by an instrumentality of war incurred in the line of duty during a period of war as defined by sections 101 and 301 of title 38, United States Code.

(2) The employee's retired pay from a uniformed service is not based upon 20 or more years of full-time active service, regardless of when performed but not including periods of active duty for training.

(3) The employee has been continuously employed in a position covered by this part since November 30, 1964, without a break in service of more than 30 days.

(4) An employee retired at the rank of major or above (or equivalent) is considered a preference eligible under this part if such employee is a disabled veteran as defined in section 2108(2) of title 5, United States Code, and meets one of the conditions covered in paragraph (d)(1), (2), or (3) of this section.

(5) An employee who is eligible for retired pay under chapter 67 of title 10, United States Code, and who retired at the rank of major or above (or equivalent) is considered a preference eligible under this part at age 60, only if such employee is a disabled veteran as defined in section 2108(2) of title 5, United States Code.

[51 FR 319, Jan. 3, 1986, as amended at 56 FR 10142, Mar. 11, 1991; 60 FR 3062, Jan. 13, 1995; 62 FR 62500, Nov. 24, 1997]

return arrow Back to Top

§351.502   Order of retention—excepted service.

(a) Competing employees shall be classified on a retention register in tenure groups on the basis of their tenure of employment, veteran preference, length of service, and performance in descending order as set forth under §351.501(a) for competing employees in the competitive service.

(b) Groups are defined as follows:

(1) Group I includes each permanent employee whose appointment carries no restriction or condition such as conditional, indefinite, specific time limit, or trial period.

(2) Group II includes each employee:

(i) Serving a trial period; or

(ii) Whose tenure is equivalent to a career-conditional appointment in the competitive service in agencies having such excepted appointments.

(3) Group III includes each employee:

(i) Whose tenure is indefinite (i.e., without specific time limit), but not actually or potentially permanent;

(ii) Whose appointment has a specific time limitation of more than 1 year; or

(iii) Who is currently employed under a temporary appointment limited to 1 year or less, but who has completed 1 year of current continuous service under a temporary appointment with no break in service of 1 workday or more.

[60 FR 3063, Jan. 13, 1995]

return arrow Back to Top

§351.503   Length of service.

(a) All civilian service as a Federal employee, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2105(a), is creditable for purposes of this part. Civilian service performed in employment that does not meet the definition of Federal employee set forth in 5 U.S.C. 2105(a) is creditable for purposes of this part only if specifically authorized by statute as creditable for retention purposes.

(b)(1) As authorized by 5 U.S.C. 3502(a)(A), all active duty in a uniformed service, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2101(3), is creditable for purposes of this part, except as provided in paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) of this section.

(2) As authorized by 5 U.S.C. 3502(a)(B), a retired member of a uniformed service who is covered by §351.501(d) is entitled to credit under this part only for:

(i) The length of time in active service in the Armed Forces during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign or expedition badge has been authorized; or

(ii) The total length of time in active service in the Armed Forces if the employee is considered a preference eligible under 5 U.S.C. 2108 and 5 U.S.C. 3501(a), as implemented in §351.501(d).

(3) An employee may not receive dual service credit for purposes of this part for service performed on active duty in the Armed Forces that was performed during concurrent civilian employment as a Federal employee, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2105(a).

(c)(1) The agency is responsible for establishing both the service computation date, and the adjusted service computation date, applicable to each employee competing for retention under this part. If applicable, the agency is also responsible for adjusting the service computation date and the adjusted service computation date to withhold retention service credit for noncreditable service.

(2) The service computation date includes all actual creditable service under paragraph (a) and paragraph (b) of this section.

(3) The adjusted service computation date includes all actual creditable service under paragraph (a) and paragraph (b) of this section, and additional retention service credit for performance authorized by §351.504 (d) and (e).

(d) The service computation date is computed on the following basis:

(1) The effective date of appointment as a Federal employee under 5 U.S.C. 2105(a) when the employee has no previous creditable service under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section; or if applicable,

(2) The date calculated by subtracting the employee's total previous creditable service under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section from the most recent effective date of appointment as a Federal employee under 5 U.S.C. 2105(a).

(e) The adjusted service computation date is calculated by subtracting from the date in paragraph (d)(1) or (d)(2) of this section the additional service credit for retention authorized by §351.504(d) and (e).

[64 FR 16800, Apr. 7, 1999; 64 FR 23531, May 3, 1999]

return arrow Back to Top

§351.504   Credit for performance.

Note to §351.504: Compliance dates: Subject to the requirements of 5 U.S.C. Section 7116(a)(7), agencies may implement revised §351.504 at any time between December 24, 1997 and October 1, 1998. For reduction in force actions effective between December 24, 1997 and September 30, 1998, agencies may use either §351.504 effective December 24, 1997, or the prior §351.504 in 5 CFR part 351 (January 1, 1997 edition).

(a) Ratings used. (1) Only ratings of record as defined in §351.203 shall be used as the basis for granting additional retention service credit in a reduction in force.

(2) For employees who received ratings of record while covered by part 430, subpart B, of this chapter, those ratings of record shall be used to grant additional retention service credit in a reduction in force.

(3) For employees who received performance ratings while not covered by the provisions of 5 U.S.C. Chapter 43 and part 430, subpart B, of this chapter, those performance ratings shall be considered ratings of record for granting additional retention service credit in a reduction in force only when it is determined that those performance ratings are equivalent ratings of record under the provisions of §430.201(c) of this chapter. The agency conducting the reduction in force shall make that determination.

(b)(1) An employee's entitlement to additional retention service credit for performance under this subpart shall be based on the employee's three most recent ratings of record received during the 4-year period prior to the date of issuance of reduction in force notices, except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (b)(2) and (c) of this section.

(2) To provide adequate time to determine employee retention standing, an agency may provide for a cutoff date, a specified number of days prior to the issuance of reduction in force notices after which no new ratings of record will be put on record and used for purposes of this subpart. When a cutoff date is used, an employee will receive performance credit for the three most recent ratings of record received during the 4-year period prior to the cutoff date.

(3) To be creditable for purposes of this subpart, a rating of record must have been issued to the employee, with all appropriate reviews and signatures, and must also be on record (i.e., the rating of record is available for use by the office responsible for establishing retention registers).

(4) The awarding of additional retention service credit based on performance for purposes of this subpart must be uniformly and consistently applied within a competitive area, and must be consistent with the agency's appropriate issuance(s) that implement these policies. Each agency must specify in its appropriate issuance(s):

(i) The conditions under which a rating of record is considered to have been received for purposes of determining whether it is within the 4-year period prior to either the date the agency issues reduction in force notices or the agency-established cutoff date for ratings of record, as appropriate; and

(ii) If the agency elects to use a cutoff date, the number of days prior to the issuance of reduction in force notices after which no new ratings of record will be put on record and used for purposes of this subpart.

(c) Missing ratings. Additional retention service credit for employees who do not have three actual ratings of record during the 4-year period prior to the date of issuance of reduction in force notices or the 4-year period prior to the agency-established cutoff date for ratings of record permitted in paragraph (b)(2) of this section shall be determined under paragraphs (d) or (e) of this section, as appropriate, and as follows:

(1) An employee who has not received any rating of record during the 4-year period shall receive credit for performance based on the modal rating for the summary level pattern that applies to the employee's official position of record at the time of the reduction in force.

(2) An employee who has received at least one but fewer than three previous ratings of record during the 4-year period shall receive credit for performance on the basis of the value of the actual rating(s) of record divided by the number of actual ratings received. If an employee has received only two actual ratings of record during the period, the value of the ratings is added together and divided by two (and rounded in the case of a fraction to the next higher whole number) to determine the amount of additional retention service credit. If an employee has received only one actual rating of record during the period, its value is the amount of additional retention service credit provided.

(d) Single rating pattern. If all employees in a reduction in force competitive area have received ratings of record under a single pattern of summary levels as set forth in §430.208(d) of this chapter, the additional retention service credit provided to employees shall be expressed in additional years of service and shall consist of the mathematical average (rounded in the case of a fraction to the next higher whole number) of the employee's applicable ratings of record, under paragraphs (b)(1) and (c) of this section computed on the following basis:

(1) Twenty additional years of service for each rating of record with a Level 5 (Outstanding or equivalent) summary;

(2) Sixteen additional years of service for each rating of record with a Level 4 summary; and

(3) Twelve additional years of service for each rating of record with a Level 3 (Fully Successful or equivalent) summary.

(e) Multiple rating patterns. If an agency has employees in a competitive area who have ratings of record under more than one pattern of summary levels, as set forth in §430.208(d) of this chapter, it shall consider the mix of patterns and provide additional retention service credit for performance to employees expressed in additional years of service in accordance with the following:

(1) Additional years of service shall consist of the mathematical average (rounded in the case of a fraction to the next higher whole number) of the additional retention service credit that the agency established for the summary levels of the employee's applicable rating(s) of record.

(2) The agency shall establish the amount of additional retention service credit provided for summary levels only in full years; the agency shall not establish additional retention service credit for summary levels below Level 3 (Fully Successful or equivalent).

(3) When establishing additional retention service credit for the summary levels at Level 3 (Fully Successful or equivalent) and above, the agency shall establish at least 12 years, and no more than 20 years, additional retention service credit for a summary level.

(4) The agency may establish the same number of years additional retention service credit for more than one summary level.

(5) The agency shall establish the same number of years additional retention service credit for all ratings of record with the same summary level in the same pattern of summary levels as set forth in §430.208(d) of this chapter.

(6) The agency may establish a different number of years additional retention service credit for the same summary level in different patterns.

(7) In implementing paragraph (e) of this section, the agency shall specify the number(s) of years additional retention service credit that it will establish for summary levels. This information shall be made readily available for review.

(8) The agency may apply paragraph (e) of this section only to ratings of record put on record on or after October 1, 1997. The agency shall establish the additional retention service credit for ratings of record put on record prior to that date in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.

[62 FR 62501, Nov. 24, 1997]

return arrow Back to Top

§351.505   Records.

(a) The agency is responsible for maintaining correct personnel records that are used to determine the retention standing of its employees competing for retention under this part.

(b) The agency must allow its retention registers and related records to be inspected by:

(1) An employee of the agency who has received a specific reduction in force notice, and/or the employee's representative if the representative is acting on behalf of the individual employee; and

(2) An authorized representative of OPM.

(c) An employee who has received a specific notice of reduction in force under authority of subpart H of this part has the right to review any completed records used by the agency in a reduction in force action that was taken, or will be taken, against the employee, including:

(1) The complete retention register with the released employee's name and other relevant retention information (including the names of all other employees listed on that register, their individual service computation dates calculated under §351.503(d), and their adjusted service computation dates calculated under §351.503(e)) so that the employee may consider how the agency constructed the competitive level, and how the agency determined the relative retention standing of the competing employees; and

(2) The complete retention registers for other positions that could affect the composition of the employee's competitive level, and/or the determination of the employee's assignment rights (e.g., registers to which the released employee may have potential assignment rights under §351.701(b) and (c)).

(d) An employee who has not received a specific reduction in force notice has no right to review the agency's retention registers and related records.

(e) The agency is responsible for ensuring that each employee's access to retention records is consistent with both the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552), and the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a).

(f) The agency must preserve all registers and records relating to a reduction in force for at least 1 year after the date it issues a specific reduction in force notice.

[64 FR 16800, Apr. 7, 1999]

return arrow Back to Top

§351.506   Effective date of retention standing.

Except for applying the performance factor as provided in §351.504:

(a) The retention standing of each employee released from a competitive level in the order prescribed in §351.601 is determined as of the date the employee is so released.

(b) The retention standing of each employee retained in a competitive level as an exception under §351.606(b), §351.607, or §351.608, is determined as of the date the employee would have been released had the exception not been used. The retention standing of each employee retained under any of these provisions remains fixed until completion of the reduction in force action which resulted in the temporary retention.

(c) When an agency discovers an error in the determination of an employee's retention standing, it shall correct the error and adjust any erroneous reduction-in-force action to accord with the employee's proper retention standing as of the effective date established by this section.

[51 FR 319, Jan. 3, 1986, as amended at 60 FR 3063, Jan. 13, 1995; 62 FR 10682, Mar. 10, 1997]

return arrow Back to Top