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Article 17: Reassignments

Section 1

The Employer has the right to reassign employees based upon legitimate management considerations. The Employer will consider assertions by the employee that the reassignment will cause undue personal hardship.

Section 2

A. Prior to filling a vacant position, the Employer will, in this order:

• seriously consider candidates for reassignment because of hardship as described below in Section 3; and

• consider voluntary requests for reassignment as described below in Section 4.

B. The employee must be qualified for any position to which he or she requests reassignment.

Section 3

A. The Employer agrees to seriously consider an employee's request for reassignment when the employee demonstrates that a significant hardship exists, including, but not limited to the following:

• a serious medical condition affecting a member of an employee's immediate family, as defined in the Family Medical Leave Act;

• access to special education or a medical facility that is not available in the employee's current commuting area;

• the employee's spouse or life partner has received either a job in a new location or military orders to relocate outside the employee's current commuting area; and

• the employee's hardship would be relieved by his or her reassignment.

B. An employee desiring consideration for reassignment based upon significant hardship may submit a request to the Office of Human Resources. The employee must provide appropriate documentation concerning the situation or condition that gave rise to the significant hardship request along with his or her resume / application and most recent performance appraisal. The employee must indicate the specific bargaining unit position and Division/Office/Regional Office to which he or she seeks reassignment.

C. A request under this Section will be forwarded by the Office of Human Resources to the Division/Office/Regional Office specified in the reassignment request within one (1) week of receipt. The request will remain active for a period of six (6) months from the date that the employee's application package (as outlined above) is forwarded by the Office of Human Resources to the Division/Office/Regional Office specified in the reassignment request. After six (6) months, a request will no longer be in effect unless the employee has updated it.

D. Nothing in this Article precludes an employee from applying for a position in response to a vacancy announcement.

Section 4

A. The Employer will consider an employee's request for voluntary reassignments.

B. If an employee requests voluntary reassignment, he or she must submit a current resume and most recent performance appraisal to the Office of Human Resources for each reassignment request. Each reassignment request must indicate the position(s) sought. While the Employer will continually accept reassignment requests throughout the year, it will only forward a list of requests to the appropriate Divisions/Offices/Regional Offices as vacancies arise, immediately prior to the vacancy being posted. The Union will be provided with a copy of the list at the same time.

C. The Agency shall publish a notice in SEC Today on a quarterly basis that informs employees of the availability of the reassignment program. The Agency shall provide the Union with an annual report of all reassignment requests, including the name of each employee who requested reassignment; the employee’s grade, position and current office; the office/position to which the employee requested to be reassigned; and whether or not the employee was reassigned. In addition, the Union may request and receive at any time a list of all requests for voluntary and hardship reassignments that are then pending.

D. Nothing in this Article precludes an employee from applying for a position in response to a vacancy announcement.

Section 5

A. In reviewing requests from employees who have requested voluntary reassignment because of hardship or otherwise, the Employer will consider reassignment requests as described in Section 2 of this Article. The Employer will consider requests for reassignment as described in Sections 3 and 4 of this Article prior to filling a position with a candidate from outside the bargaining unit. Nevertheless, nothing in this Article precludes the Employer from continually considering and interviewing external candidates for positions in the bargaining unit.

B. While the selecting official will review reassignment requests as described above in Section 2 of this Article, the selecting official or the hiring committee is not precluded from beginning its consideration of employees on the voluntary reassignment list before making a final decision on whether to select or not select employees who have requested reassignment for hardship reasons. Furthermore, the selecting official or hiring committee is not precluded from beginning its consideration of candidates from other sources before making a decision on whether to select or not select employees who have requested voluntary reassignment. Nothing in this Article precludes the selecting official or hiring committee from selecting an employee from any of the active reassignment lists it has previously considered.

C. If an employee has already been considered and not selected for a particular position, the same selecting official or hiring committee may reconsider him or her for the same position if another vacancy exists, but is not required to do so. Nevertheless, the Employer encourages the reconsideration of employees on these lists, even those employees previously passed over for a particular vacancy. The Employer will seriously reconsider hardship reassignment requests in connection with each vacancy.

D. The selecting official can interview all, some, or none of the employees on the voluntary reassignment lists.

E. When an employee is not selected for a vacancy in an office to which he or she has requested a reassignment, the Employer will notify the employee that he or she was not selected and that he or she may resubmit a request for reassignment.

Section 6

A. Unless a reassignment is directed for a specific employee(s) for legitimate management considerations, the Employer will follow the following procedures prior to effecting an involuntary reassignment of an employee(s):

1. The Employer will determine which employees are qualified for the reassignment.

2. The Employer will solicit volunteers from within the pool of qualified employees.

3. If there are more volunteers than needed, the Employer will reassign the employee(s) with the greatest amount of Agency seniority.

4. If there are not enough volunteers, the Employer will reassign the employee(s) with the least amount of Agency seniority.

B. As soon as practicable, the Employer agrees to give an employee who will be involuntarily reassigned advance notice setting forth the reasons for the reassignment.

Section 7

The provisions of this Article will not apply to any reassignment resulting from a major reorganization, restructuring or closing of Divisions/Offices/Regional Offices. In such cases, the Employer agrees to provide the Union with advance notice of an opportunity to bargain in accordance with the requirements of Article 40 (Office Relocations, Openings and Space) and/or Article 6 (Mid-term Bargaining) of this Agreement.