This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Human Resources Specialist (Litigation)

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Job Announcement Number:24MR-2013-0011

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$74,872.00 to $115,742.00 / Per Year


Friday, January 04, 2013 to Tuesday, October 29, 2013




Full Time - Permanent




2 vacancies - Washington, DC, USView Map


This announcement is open to all United States citizens. (Current and Former Federal employees may also apply with a separate application to Merit Promotion vacancy announcement #6MR-2013-0008. For information on viewing Merit Promotion announcements, click Locating a Status Position on USAJOBS.)


Relocation expenses will not be paid.  This position is located in the Hearings and Appeals Branch of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Employee and Management Services Division.  This program provides litigation services on employment issues and guidance, training, and policy to APHIS; Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA); and Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

You can make a difference! The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP) needs bright, energetic and committed professionals to facilitate the domestic and international marketing of U.S. agricultural products and to protect the health and care of animals and plants in the United States. MRP offers an array of occupations and is committed to diversity in the workplace. We operate in domestic and global markets. Be part of an organization that protects the health and agriculture of the American people. Join our team!


APHIS is an emergency response agency.  This means that all Agency employees may be asked or assigned to participate in rotating temporary duty assignments to support emergency programs at some time during their careers with APHIS. For details click: APHIS Emergency Response


  • U.S. Citizenship


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The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence and limited complexity.  The duties may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Serves as a technical expert and participates with the Branch Chief in planning, developing, and implementing an effective program of hearings and appeals.
  • Reviews Reports of Investigations on Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) cases and for proposed disciplinary and adverse actions against civilian employees.
  • Assesses and answers jurisdictional questions for proceedings before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
  • Conducts extensive research of complex legal and factual issues and interprets and applies Federal sector regulations, statutes, and case precedents when available or, when not, recommends theories consistent with the law, legal precedents, and management interests.
  • Researches, drafts, and prepares pleadings, discovery, show cause orders, dispositive and procedural motions, appellate and other briefs, and other documents preparatory or incident to the hearings.
  • Evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the Agency’s actions.
  • Furnishes advice, counsel, and guidance to Agencies on legal matters within the scope of the branch’s area of responsibility.
  • Serves as advisor on a wide variety of matters ranging from simple to complex.


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To qualify, you MUST meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.  Applicants can qualify by meeting the experience requirements specified below.



Applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent in level of difficulty and responsibility to the next lower level in the Federal Service. This experience may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors.  Examples of qualifying experience include, but are not limited to:

  • Serving as a representative in EEOC Complaints, MSPB Appeals, and/or related Appellate Reviews, with responsibility for promoting the mission of the organization by thoroughly developing litigation and resolution strategies and tactics based on current case law and regulations to minimize risk and cost to the organization.
  • Employing sound litigation tactics when propounding or responding to discovery, conducting legal research, drafting motions, and examining witnesses.
  • Researching the law and other guidance for each issue in the case; identifying each claim and the burdens of proof of each party on each claim; and carrying out an investigation and discovery plan that will identify and collect evidence relevant to each claim and the burdens of proof of each party on each claim.
  • Making efficient use of discovery in order to gather as much information as possible to prepare the case of disposition by Motion or at a Hearing; making appropriate use of objections while making a good faith effort to provide information and documents that are relevant to the issues.
  • Demonstrating deposition and examination skills, pursuing independent investigations and assembly of facts outside of the discovery procedures in order to obtain all relevant information and documents, and completing the record of the case by interviewing witnesses and collecting documents relevant to the case.
  • Researching and writing dispositive motions (including motions to dismiss, motions for Summary Judgment, and Motions for Sanctions when appropriate).
  • Conducting hearings in third party litigation (EEO, MSPB) by developing a sound hearing plan that includes, but is not limited to, identifying witnesses that will provide relevant testimony; securing, organizing, and marking relevant documents and exhibits and the procedure to introduce such exhibits into evidence or their use for impeachment purposes; planning and asking questions on direct and cross-examination; making appropriate speaking objections; and presenting sound, organized and persuasive opening and closing arguments.

Special Conditions:

  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with the Selective Service.
  • DD214 (Member 4 copy) or other veterans' documents required to receive veterans' preference.
  • As a condition of employment, a background investigation may be required for this position.
  • Subject to satisfactory completion of one-year probationary period.
  • Travel is necessary and may entail transporting heavy case files.


  • Your application will be rated on the extent and quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position. Your resume must support that you meet the specialized experience requirements described above and are proficient in the following skills or competencies below. Please note you are not required to provide specific narrative responses to the skills and competencies described in this section.
    • EEO/MSPB Representation
    • Case File Development
    • Legal Research, Discovery, and Pre-Hearing Submissions
    • Trial Advocacy Skills
    • Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  • Category rating procedures will be used to rank and select eligible candidates. The following quality categories will be used: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, and Qualified. Within each quality category, veterans' preference eligibles will receive selection priority over non-veterans.
  • Your final category placement will be based on your responses to the assessment questionnaire. Please ensure your resume provides enough detail to support your responses.
  • If, after reviewing your resume and / or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score can / will be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Deliberate attempts to falsify information may be grounds for not selecting you.

To preview questions please click here.


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Eligibility for employee benefits depends on your type of appointment and your tour of duty (work schedule). Generally, you must be hired on a permanent basis and have a regular full- or part-time work schedule. For more information on potential benefits, go to: Federal Employee Benefits



Range for GS-12: $74,872 to $97,333 (incl. 24.22% locality pay)

Range for GS-13: $89,033 to $115,742 (incl. 24.22% locality pay)


*Salary range does not reflect the general pay increase scheduled for April.


  • For information regarding CTAP eligibility for displaced Federal employees click: Career Transition Assistance Programs
  • More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.
  • Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
  • For information on filing a complaint of discrimination, click: Filing a Complaint


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    A complete on-line application will require the submission of the following:
    • Resume
    • Responses to the vacancy specific questions
    • Supporting Documentation which may be required (See links under Required Documents for more information)

    For instructions on using the on-line system click: APPLYING ON-LINE

    For instructions on submitting documents click: SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION


    Click on the following links to see if the supporting documentation is applicable to you:
  • College Transcripts or List of Coursework - MUST be English (Key Requirement and/or Education Substitution)
  • Foreign Degree Evaluation (Key Requirement and/or Education Substitution)
  • DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) and other Veterans' documents (Veterans Preference)
  • ICTAP/CTAP eligibility documentation (Displaced Employees)

    Critical Submission Requirements and Reminders

  • Help in applying online is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time at the number listed in the Contact information section.
  • All application materials and supplemental documentation will be accepted until midnight Eastern Time on the closing date.
  • Application and supporting documentation will not be accepted via e-mail.
  • Due to the high volume of applicants, we are unable to confirm receipt of supporting documentation. If faxing, you should retain confirmation of a successful fax transmission including the number of pages successfully transmitted as proof of submission.
  • If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the human resources office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must fax and/or upload both the old document and the new document.
  • Applicants who cannot apply on-line must request a hard copy application packet from the Agency Contact listed in the vacancy announcement. Resumes and/or supporting documentation alone will not be considered without the inclusion of a hard copy application packet.

    Phone: 612-336-3326
    Fax: 612-336-3560
    Agency Information:
    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
    100 N 6th Street, Butler Sq Bldg, 510C
    Minneapolis, MN
    Fax: 612-336-3560


    You may check the status of your application on-line 24 hours a day through USAJOBS. Status updates will be available after 2-3 weeks. For instructions on checking your application status click: Checking My Application Status. No additional correspondence will be sent.

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