Are VA Employees Considered Federal Employees?

Mary Barrett
January 7, 2022

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a federal agency which uses various hiring authorities established by law when staffing vacancies.

The most commonly used hiring authorities for healthcare occupations in VA are Title 38 and Hybrid Title 38. Title 5 is the hiring authority used for other jobs at the VA.

A woman having her blood pressure tested by a female healthcare worker

Which VA Jobs Are Title 38?

Title 38 is used for appointment of healthcare professionals such as physicians, chiropractors, nurses, podiatrists, optometrists, nurse anesthetists, physician assistants, and expanded-function dental auxiliaries (EFDAs).

These appointments are made based on an employee’s qualifications and professional accomplishments in agreement with standards that have been set by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

These VA appointments may be full-time, part-time, or intermittent, and either permanent or temporary. Full-time permanent appointments under Title 38 are subject to a 2-year probationary period. Title 38 VA employees are provided with a functional statement, scope of practice, or privileges which set out the major duties and responsibilities for the role.

Hybrid Title 38 Positions

Hybrid Title 38 VA employees are employed under a combination of both Title 5 and Title 38 laws. Some examples of Hybrid Title 38 roles are:

     ·   Certified/Registered Respiratory Therapist

      ·   Psychologist

      ·   Physical Therapist

      ·   Occupational Therapist

      ·   Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse, etc.

      ·   Pharmacist

Hybrid Title 38 VA employees are covered by Title 38 for appointment, promotion, and certain pay matters, and Title 5 for performance appraisal, leave, hours of duty, adverse actions, probationary period,reemployment rights, reduction-in-force, and retirement.

Appointments may be full-time, part-time, or intermittent, and either permanent or temporary. Hybrid Title 38 VA employees usually work a 1-year probationary period. Hybrid Title 38 VA employees are also given a functional statement which provides the major duties and responsibilities for the role.

Title 5 Federal Employees

Title 5 VA employees are answerable to all supervisory and legal provisions governing employees in the Competitive Service. Examples of positions under Title 5 include:

      ·   Program Analyst

      ·   Police Officer

      ·   Human Resources Specialists

      ·   Program Support Assistant, etc.

Appointments could be full-time, part-time, or intermittent, and either permanent or temporary. Title 5 VA Employees usually work a 1-year probationary period. Title 5 employees of the VA are given a position description (PD) which lays out the main duties and responsibilities for the role. PDs are reviewed on an as-needed basis to guarantee they correctly reflect the duties of the position.

What VA Jobs Can I Apply To?

If a position is announced externally at USAJOBS, VA trainees are only eligible to be considered for those jobs that specify the area of consideration as open to current and/or former trainees or as open to “US Citizens” in the “Who May Apply” section of the announcement. Positions advertised to “Status Eligibles” are only open to current or former federal employees and certain Veterans.

VA trainees are not usually eligible for “Status Eligible” jobs, unless they meet the criteria to be a “Status Eligible” employee. VA trainees are also not usually eligible to be considered for jobs publicized for “INTERNAL” VA employees, since trainees are on provisional, time-limited appointments and aren’t seen as part of the permanent workforce.

Have you been passed over for a job by the VA based on discriminatory beliefs and actions? Call us today at 404-724-0000 or fill out the form below to see how we can help. Our federal employment attorneys are highly experienced in taking on EEO, MSPB, OPM, and OSC cases.

This blog and web site published by Melville Johnson, P.C. should not be used as a substitute for seeking competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney. Readers of this information should not act upon any information contained on this blog or website without seeking professional counsel.
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