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 (Employee Relations)

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Job Announcement Number:24MR-2013-0013

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$72,907.00 to $97,333.00 / Per Year


Monday, February 18, 2013 to Wednesday, February 27, 2013




Full Time - Term, not to exceed 13 months; may be extended up to 4 years.




1 vacancy in the following location(s):
Washington, DC, USView Map
Minneapolis, MN, USView Map


This announcement is open to all United States citizens.


Relocation expenses will not be paid.  AMS/GIPSA Employee Relations Branch (ERB) is responsible for carrying out comprehensive agency-wide employee relations programs for the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), and International Services for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).  The incumbent provides services in a team setting to assigned agency units at the program level and acts as the primary employee relations advisor for managers in assigned programs.

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!


This is a term appointment not to exceed 13 months. (Appointment may be extended up to 4 years without reannouncing.) For more details click: Term Appointments


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 may include, but are not limited to:

  • Provides advice and guidance to managers, supervisors, and employees on morale and workplace conflicts; conduct and performance problems; ethics; performance plans; disciplinary, adverse, and performance-based actions; alternative discipline; administrative grievances; Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) appeals; and related areas.
  • Analyzes cases and situations and recommends disciplinary or other corrective measures to resolve problems or improve working relationships.
  • Develops and delivers training to employees and supervisors on employee relations issues and serves as a subject matter expert to staff specialists in the preparation and updating of policy and guidance issues.
  • Prepares requests for personnel conduct investigations as necessary; analyzes information obtained through investigations or provided by the supervisor, ensures sufficiency of documentation and evidence, and recommends appropriate penalties or corrective action.
  • Writes proposal and decision notices in adverse and performance-based actions.
  • Reviews formal administrative grievances to ensure that the subject matter falls within the program and that the appropriate procedures have been followed.
  • Provides advice and guidance to managers, supervisors, and employees regarding conflict of interest situations.


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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 SPECIALIZED 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:

  • Providing Employee Relations advice to management and employees regarding controversial, serious, or sensitive issues, such as sexual harassment, actions concerning persons with a disability, performance management, disciplinary problems, and employee protections or rights.
  • Researching and applying current, relevant law to cases to assess the strengths and weaknesses of individualized case facts and explain the pros and cons of various options to supervisors and customers.
  • Writing complex documents requiring analytical ability involving burdens of proof, evidence, and credibility.

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 trial period.
  • Some travel is required.


  • 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.
    • Equal Employment Opportunity/Merit Systems Protection Board Representation
    • Case File Development
    • Legal Research, Discovery, and Pre-Hearing Submissions
    • 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 Washington, DC: $74,872 to $97,333 (incl. 24.22% locality pay)

Range for Minneapolis, MN: $72,907 to $94,778 (incl. 20.96% locality pay)


  • 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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