Fed Hiring Preference for Some Spouses


Gold star spouses and spouses of 100 percent disabled veterans have been given preferencial, non-competitive hiring treatement by the federal government since September 2009. That means that if those spouses met the minimum requirements for most federal jobs, they could be given it without going through a long, complicated hiring process in which they were vetted against other potentially more qualified candidates.

But the rule only gave them special status for two years following their spouses death or “disabled” ruling. For many sposues in those circumstances, two years was simply not enough time to get back into the work force. Who can say how long it should take for someone going through such a hard thing as caring for a disabled spouse or grieving to get back in the workforce?

Fortunately, the government has decided to change the rule and has completely removed the time limit. Now those spouses can land those jobs whenever their hearts desire, no matter how long their spouse has been gone or disabled.

The government said over the 2010 fiscal year almost 890 spouses were hired under the agreement. With the restriction removed even more should be able to apply and find work.

It’s awesome (and, not to mention, completely right) that these unique spouses be given such a huge hiring advantage by the federal government. It would be wonderful to see some small (though not nearly as great) hiring preference also extended to average military spouses.

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on CNN.com, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.
  • SemperSteen

    That is fantastic news. Those spouses have the world on their shoulders and they deserve more than a tiny window of opportunity to support their family. I hope this is something I’ll never have to take advantage of, but I’m glad to know it’s available for those who need it.

  • I absolutely agree that there shouldn’t be a time limit on the preferential treatment of these spouses! Great news.

    Additionally, “average” active duty military spouses DO receive preferential treatment for government jobs. It’s called the military spouse preference, and you can read more about it here: http://www.cpms.osd.mil/ASSETS/FD22B698C55D41F892

  • ashlee0730

    Does this also apply for spouses where spouses will retire soon?

  • guest

    I am a gold star spouse. Unfortunately only SOME jobs come with the spouse/widow(er) preference, not all, not NAF, which is the majority of the jobs.

  • Lillie

    I think it should have been better wording to the comment. All Spouse serve the same standard. It can be misconstrued as offensive. I am a Service member (Officer) and a spouse of an Enlisted Soldier. I initally took offense to it. Our sacrifices are in no way being attacked here.

  • Djfaef

    I didn’t see anything offensive about the article. Although if you don’t know what gold star spouses I can see where there would be confusion.