Federal News Network: Agencies can virtually onboard new employees during coronavirus pandemic

“In an effort to continue federal hiring activities but observe social distancing recommendations, the Office of Personnel Management advised agencies to virtually or remotely onboard new employees.”

“’Agencies may elect to perform onboarding processes remotely, via visual inspection using remote electronic capabilities (e.g., Skype, FaceTime, etc.),’ Michael Rigas, OPM’s acting director, wrote Tuesday in a new memo to agencies. ‘Agency HR directors should work with their respective agency chief information officers to determine the best options…’”

“Agencies should also make onboarding documents available electronically. New employees should sign these documents and email them to their agencies, either with an electronic form and signature or by simply taking a picture of the completed document, OPM said…”

“In addition, the Department of Homeland Security said it will ease up on Employee Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) requirements. To comply with these requirements under the Immigration and Nationality Act, agencies typically must review an employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in his or her physical presence.”

“But given the current circumstances, DHS will allow agencies to review employee documents remotely. These flexibilities only apply to employers who are operating remotely…”

“All of these procedures, including the DHS exceptions, are meant to be temporary and only apply to the current public health crisis, OPM said…”

“Besides dual compensation waivers for reemployed annuitants, OPM also authorized Schedule A hiring authority for agencies. The goal, Rigas said, is to allow agencies to quickly appoint new employees to excepted service positions, again, for coronavirus response…” Read the full article here.

Source: Agencies can virtually onboard new employees during coronavirus pandemic – By Nicole Ogrysko, March 24, 2020. Federal News Network.

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