Understanding Your Benefits
Understanding and managing your benefits is key to protecting your future and ensuring you are getting the most from your Federal service.
Employee Programs and Services
Get information about the Federal position classification system which determines the selection of job titles, occupational series, and pay grades for FSIS jobs.
Salary and Wages
The Office of Personnel Management provides policy leadership and expertise on a variety of Governmentwide pay programs for Federal employees, including the General Schedule (GS), Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Pay Schedules, and the Federal Wage System (FWS). Learn more about Salary & wages.
Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP)
- LTP Recipient Application (AD-1046) with instructions 02/12/2019
- LTP Donor Application Instructions 02/12/2019
- LTP Donate Leave in WebTA 02/12/2019
- LTP Donor Application (AD-1043) 02/12/2019
- LTP Outside Agency Donation Form (OPM 630-B) 02/12/2019
Flexible Work Schedules
FSIS supports options in work scheduling and location that provide employees opportunities for personal and professional balance.
Flexible spending accounts
If you're an employee who works for an Executive branch agency or an agency that has adopted the Federal Flexible Benefits Plan ("FedFlex"), you can elect to participate in the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS).
FSAFEDS allows you to save money for health care expenses with a Health Care or Limited Expense Health Care FSA. Think of it as a savings account that helps you pay for items that typically aren’t covered by your FEHB Plan, the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program, or other health insurance coverage. Learn more about Federal Flexible Spending Account Program.
Holidays & Leave
Find information on Federal employee leave policies, and view a current schedule of Federal holidays
- Federal Employee Leave Policy & Programs- The Office of Personnel Management provides Government-wide leadership on Federal leave policies and programs.
- Federal Holidays- View a complete listing of Federal Holidays, there are 10 Federal holidays per year.
- Annual Leave
Full-time employees earn 13 days of paid vacation per year for the first 3 years of employment. From 3 years to 15 years of service, full-time employees will earn 20 days of paid vacation each year. And when a full-time employee reaches 15 years of service, they will earn 26 days of paid vacation each year. Employees can carry over no more than 6 weeks (240 hours) of paid vacation from one leave year to the next. (Part-time employees earn paid vacation hours based on the number of hours they work in a pay period and based on their years of service.)
- Sick Leave
Full-time employees will earn 13 days of sick leave each year. There is no limit on the number of days that can be carried over each leave year.
Leave Bank Program
You no longer have to worry about not having enough leave if you have a personal or family medical emergency.
Become a Member during the open enrollment period, complete the FSIS Form 4630-6 and contribute at least 1 pay period's accrual of annual leave (4,6 or 8 hours). You are now a member of the Leave Bank Program (LBP) for the next leave year and are eligible to receive donated leave from the bank in the event or an approved medical emergency. Membership in the LBP is for one year. The open enrollment period will coincide with the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) open season each year. Contact the Leave Bank Program Coordinator at (202) 708-8170 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Telework is an arrangement allowing an employee to conduct work during any part of regular, paid hours at an approved alternate worksite. You may be eligible if your job allows you to conduct your work from an alternative worksite. Your supervisor determines your eligibility to telework based on agency mission goals, office coverage requirements, and performance. For more information, send an email to email@example.com or call (877) 374-7471.
Remote work is an arrangement under which an employee is scheduled to perform work within or outside the local commuting area of an agency worksite and is not expected to report to an agency worksite on a regular and recurring basis. The employee provides their own workspace to accomplish their day-to-day work and the work location is usually the employee’s residence
How is Remote Work Different from Telework?
Telework refers to a work flexibility arrangement, approved in advance by a supervisor, that allows an employee to work from an approved alternative worksite other than the employee’s official duty location for an approved number of days each pay period. Remote work is a permanent duty station designation (usually the employee’s residence) and annotated on form SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action.
WebTA is a web-based system that is used to submit work time and leave information to the Department's payroll/personnel service provider, the National Finance Center (NFC), for salary payment.
Need Help with WebTA? Call FSIS FSC @ 1-800-949-3964 or Email FSCGeneral@FSIS.USDA.GOV
Access information about Federal employee compensation policy, including current salary tables and electronic earnings statements.
- NFC Personal Page- Get information on your pay, including electronic earnings statements. Make on-line changes to tax withholding, benefits coverage, and other items.
- Federal Salary Tables- Access current and past years' Federal pay tables.
- Agriculture Federal Credit Union (AFCU)- The Agriculture Federal Credit Union offers a wide range of financial services and products to satisfy the diverse needs of AFCU members throughout their lifetimes
Transit subsidy is a monetary benefit where the Agency provides a specified amount to subsidize an employee's monthly commuting costs.
The Transit Benefit is an employer provided benefit designed to encourage employees to leave their personal vehicles at home and choose to use vanpools, commuter rail, commuter bus or other forms of mass transit for their home-to-work-to-home commute. For more information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (877) 374-7471.
Employees who park at eligible parking locations and who also meet any of the additional qualifying criteria. An employee must either take mass transportation, ride in a vanpool, or ride in a carpool of two or more persons from the parking location to work. For more information, send an email to email@example.com or call (877) 374-7471.
DC Metro Area Commuting
- SmarTrip -SmarTrip is a permanent, rechargeable Metro farecard. The cared is plastic and embedded with a special computer chip that keeps track of the value of the card. Learn more.
- InfoExpress Kiosk -Commuter Connections offers a regional network of information kiosks throughout the Metropolitan region. Info Express kiosks have a wealth of information and services for area communities. Learn more.
- USDA Shuttle Bus Schedule -View the latest schedule and information on accessing the USDA Express shuttle service from the South Building.
You can select from a wide range of medical insurance plans, choosing the coverage that best suits your individual needs. Individual, self plus one, and self plus family plans are available and can help pay in-patient hospital bills, surgeons' fees, charges for doctor's visits, prescription medicine, and therapeutic treatments. The government pays part of the cost of providing medical coverage for the employee and any eligible family members, regardless of the plan chosen.
Starting on July 4, 2021, FSIS new employees and employees requesting FEHB changes due to all other Qualifying Life Events (QLE) must provide proof of family member eligibility for coverage through the FEHB Program. This requirement applies to employees who have already started working, but who have not yet submitted enrollment forms.
Employing offices are responsible for processing all enrollment changes that affect premium withholdings (e.g., change from Self Only to Self and Family). However, enrollees are responsible for telling FEHB Carriers about certain changes to Self and Family enrollments that do not affect premium withholdings. These changes include the addition of a spouse or children under age 26, including adopted children and stepchildren. The enrollee must also tell FEHB Carriers to remove a spouse or a child who no longer meets eligibility requirements, such as in a divorce. FEHB Carriers are to continue accepting these changes and additions directly from enrollees. Before adding a family member to an existing Self and Family enrollment, an FEHB Carrier must require that the enrollee provide proof of that family member’s eligibility for coverage through the FEHB Program.
Examples of acceptable documents to verify eligibility are as follows:
Married less than 12 months: copy of government-issued certificate
Married 12 months or more: copy of government-issued certificate AND one of the following sets of documents listing spouse:
- Front page of most recent tax year’s Federal or State tax return
- Proof of common residency (e.g. utility bill, other household bill, auto registration); and proof of financial interdependency (e.g. shared bank statement, credit card statement, life or auto insurance policy).
Child under age 26:
A copy of any one of the following documents listing child and enrollee:
- Government-issued birth certificate; or
- Certificate of live birth; or
- Front page of most recent tax year’s Federal or State tax return; or
- Official paternity test
As a reminder, any intentionally false statement or willful misrepresentation, such as including ineligible family members on an FEHB health insurance plan, is a violation of the law, punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both (18 U.S.C. 1001) and may be subject to investigation.
Additional information for FEHB can be found on OPM’s website at: https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/.
If you accept a position with the Federal Government, you will be given an opportunity to select life insurance coverage. This coverage will be based on annual salary.
2023 Federal Benefits Open Season
Make sure you can access your EPP
Federal Benefits Open Season runs from Monday, November 13 - Monday, December 11, 2023. During this period, you have the opportunity to enroll, change plans or plan options, change enrollment type, or cancel enrollment for the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program and the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). You also have the opportunity to re-enroll or newly enroll in the Federal Flexible Spending Account (FSAFEDS) Program. This Open Season does not include Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program.
We encourage you to utilize myEPP to make your FEHB open season elections. Establish and access myEPP NOW to review your other personal information, such as your Leave and Earnings Statements.
Why use myEPP for Federal Benefits Open Season?
- No hardcopy forms
- Instant feedback
- Simple & Efficient
- Access Leave and Earning Statements, Enroll in paperless W-2 option & more!
Don't have myEPP access?
Employees who are not current myEPP users (or who need a new user ID or password) can view sign-up instructions using this EPP Reference Guide. If you need additional assistance accessing myEPP, please contact Ms. Tamara Baker by phone at 612-852-7731 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employees retiring on or before January 13th, 2024 who wish to make any FEHB changes should NOT use myEPP; instead, submit a Health Benefits Election Form, SF2809, to your assigned District/Program Benefit Specialist.
What changes can be made in myEPP for Open Season?
FEHB Enrollment, Changes and Cancellation should be made in myEPP, using the self-service tab.
- If you make your election through myEPP, please do not fax or email in your election form.
- If you have never been enrolled in FEHB and wish to enroll this open season, submit a Health Benefits Election Form, SF2809, via email to FSISHR1@usda.gov
Not planning on making any benefit changes during Open Season?
Employees are highly encouraged to review their current benefit plans during Open Season. Don't be caught off guard in January with changes in your plan premium or coverage. More information can be found at OPM Open Season. Open Season is also the prefect time to ensure you can access your myEPP for the upcoming tax season.
What are the new rates for 2024?
Select the links below to review the new FEHB and FEDVIP rates.
- FEHB Rate Charts: 2024 FEHB Premiums (opm.gov)
- Select Premium Rates under HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) or FFS (Fee For Service) to download the premium chart.
- Column I shows the 2024 Biweekly employee cost.
- Column J shows any change in employee cost compared to 2023 rates.
- Select Premium Rates under HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) or FFS (Fee For Service) to download the premium chart.
- FEDVIP Rates: 2024 FEDVIP Premiums (opm.gov)
- Select 'Dental and Vision Premiums' to download the premium chart. The file contains one tab for Dental premiums and one tab for Vision premiums.
- 2023-2024 Open Season Employee Instructions
- 2023-2024 Open Season Resource Coordinator Instructions
- Example SF 2809
- Significant Health Plan Changes
- OPM's FEHB Program and the Affordable Care Act
- OPM's Open Season Website
- FEHB Premiums
- FEDVIP Dental and Vision Premiums
- FEHB Plan Comparison Tool
- Federal Benefits Fast Facts
Thinking About Retirement?
Find information on the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS), the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), and Social Security.
Questions about retirement? Want to learn more about your benefits? Thinking of changing your account preferences? Contact an HR representative about retirement today 1-877-FSIS-HR1 (877-374-7471) or browse the employee Intranet for up to date online information.
If you are planning to retire within the next 5 years, this pamphlet is for you. It is designed to provide you with a general guide to help you through the retirement process. It also discusses how your application for retirement is processed at your agency and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
- Federal Employee Retirement Systems – Get information on the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS).
- Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – The TSP is a retirement savings plan for civilians who are employed by the United States Government as well as members of the uniformed services. Learn more at the TSP Web site.
- Social Security Administration – View information about Social Security benefits, including Medicare at the official Web site of the US Social Security Administration.
This page provides information and guidance on aspects of official travel including reservations, reimbursements, guidelines, and contract flight information.
- ConcurGov System
The ConcurGov system contains sensitive data that must be protected. Access to the information in ConcurGov is based on a need to perform official government business. Travelers, travel agency staff, approvers, service bureau staff, contract administrator staff, systems administrators and auditors are required to agree to ConcurGov's Rules of Behavior to ensure an adequate level of protection is afforded to the information contained in the ConcurGov system.
- OCFO Travel Resource Center (e-Auth required)
1-800-949-3964 (Option 5)
Use Concur for Easy Compliance with Federal Legal Requirements when Traveling
Whenever possible, Federal regulations require you to use Concur and/or the TMC to book your travel. Did you know that using Concur and the associated travel management company (TMC), ISS, also have several distinct advantages when booking flights, hotels, and rental cars?
Beyond access to cost effective government rates, when you book a reservation in Concur, you instantly comply with a multitude of statutory requirements. For example, did you know that you have to:
- Stay at lodging that meets The Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990?
- Use a FedRooms establishment if it is available?
- Use GSA city pair flights whenever possible?
- Only rent cars from companies that participate in the DTMO insurance program?
Please keep in mind that if you choose to book reservations outside the system, you are responsible for any additional expenses that you incur. This includes cancellation fees, service fees, and any additional cost over the rates available in Concur: It will also be your responsibility to show that you complied with all relevant legal requirements, and did not incur any additional costs.
While the benefits of Concur are evident, there will be times when you cannot make arrangements using Concur and/or the TMC. If the use of Concur would result in an unreasonable burden on mission accomplishment, (such as Concur not being available during emergency travel, your travel is to a remote location with no accommodations listed in Concur, you are attending a conference, where the conference sponsor has made arrangements for you, or other such complex travel situations) then you can book directly with a vendor, outside the system. You may not use a third party travel management service, such as Orbitz, Expedia, or AirBnB. Please remember, these exceptions need to be documented on your travel authorization and you still must comply with all other federal travel requirements.
Concur can save you time and effort as you comply with federal regulations and receive full reimbursement for your travel. For further information, consult your FATA, or refer to our Travel “Frequently Asked Questions”.
FSIS began using the Concur travel system on February 23, 2015. Federal travelers must use Concur to book all travel reservations, unless mission requirements cannot be met through options available within the system. For information on how Concur works, how to become familiar with the system, or explore our helpful system documents below:
- You may access Concur at the following address: https://cge.concursolutions.com/ui/sso/usda
- Your FATA must create an account outline in Concur before you will be able to use the system; please be sure to communicate with your FATA well before the first time you travel to ensure your account is in place. Your FATA will need you to complete the PSSN form located on our Concur page
Access to Concur requires your eAuth account (either ID and password or LincPass).
TDY Travel Vouchers are to be submitted, through the Concur system, within 5 days of the end of your trip.
Concur is not to be used for local travel. Contact your FATA for guidance on the use of the AD-616 or SF-1164 for reimbursement of local travel expenses.
TRAVEL MANAGEMENT CENTER (TMC)
Use the agency TMC for emergency travel arrangement and when Concur can't be used to book reservations: ISS. (Information and Assistance 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year. Service fees may be charged as indicated below)
Toll Free: 1-877-655-1047
Local or International: 610-964-2063
Concur TAV Authorization and Voucher Services
Automatically added when the authorization is stamped SIGNED
Billed to the traveler's USDA issued IBA card when voucher is APPROVED
GENERAL TRAVEL INFORMATION
FAQs- General Travel Information
FAQs- Lapse in Funding Closure or Shutdown
FSIS Directives and Notices on Travel
Domestic Travelers Checklist
Arrange transportation for arrival/departure
Verify number to the hotel where you are staying
Label all luggage in case it is lost/stolen
Carry proper identification and verify exact match with your flight reservation
Verify flight information and gate numbers
Carry a complete itinerary for when you land at the desired destination
Arrive early to allow ample time to transition through all checkpoints and arrive at the correct gate
Pack neatly to help get you through security faster
Pack prescription medications in carry-on luggage and have an approved doctor’s note in case of questions
Address special needs or requests early
Verify with the airline the flight is leaving on time
Follow this guide to consolidate bottles prior to screening if you have any liquids in your carry-on luggage:
o 3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume) ; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3.4 ounce (100ml) container size is a security measure
ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE REQUESTS: For use when greater than normal per diem will be required. A request for actual subsistence reimbursement must be made, to the fullest extent possible, in advance of travel.
TDY CLAIM FORMS:
GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CHARGE CARDS
FAQs- Travel Charge Cards
Question: How do I sign up for a travel charge card?
Obtain an application from your A/OPC.
Provide an address where your travel charge card will be mailed.
Provide an identifier to activate your travel charge card.
Read the back of the form or the page, which advises you of your responsibilities in accepting a government travel charge card.
Sign the form and have your supervisor sign it also.
Submit the signed form to your A/OPC who will verify it to make sure all necessary information is provided. Your A/OPC will send it to the bank.
Question: What should I do after I receive my travel charge card?
Answer: You will receive your government travel charge card in the mail within 10 days from the time the application is submitted. When you receive your travel charge card:
- Read the Cardholder Agreement.
- Sign your travel charge card.
- Follow the instructions to activate your travel charge card.
- Store your travel charge card in a secure location until you are ready to travel.
Question: How do I use my travel charge card on travel?
Answer: Use your travel charge card only for authorized official travel expenses.
If your travel charge card does not work, there may be several possible reasons this may occur including:
- The transaction may be denied due to an agency block. Call your A/OPC for advice or to get the block lifted. The bank cannot unblock a merchant category code or raise your credit limit without approval from your A/OPC.
- Your travel charge card may be suspended or cancelled due to delinquent payment. If you recently paid the bill, it may not have posted yet, or there may be other payment problems. Call the bank's customer service representative for advice.
Question: How does the travel charge card bill process work?
Answer: You will receive a billing statement from the GSA SmartPay® bank once a month when using a government travel charge card.
- The bill will be issued for all travelers in your office on the same date each month.
- When you receive the billing statement of account, verify all of the charges listed.
- The full amount of undisputed transactions is due to the bank on the billing due date indicated whether or not you have been reimbursed by your agency. There is no minimum payment that can be made to keep the account from becoming delinquent. In addition, if payment is not received in a timely manner, you may lose your charging privileges, which may adversely affect your ability to perform your job responsibilities.
Question: How do I handle charges I do not recognize on my bill?
Answer: If there are charges on your billing statement that you do not recognize, call the merchant first, and ask for clarification. Act promptly, so that you will have the necessary information before payment is due.
- If you need help identifying the merchant, call your bank's customer service number.
- If the charge is erroneous, generally the merchant will reverse it, and it will appear as a credit on your next billing statement. Before paying your bill, check with the bank's customer service representative, or view your account on-line, to see if the credit has posted. If so, deduct the amount from your payment. If there has been sufficient time for the merchant to reverse the charge, and the credit has not posted, file a dispute form. If the merchant says it is a legitimate charge to your account, ask for proof, such as a signed receipt. Request that it be faxed to you. If, after receiving the information from the merchant, you do not agree that it is a legitimate charge, file a dispute form.
Question: What if I have a change of address?
Answer: Notify the bank immediately in any of these ways:
- Calling the toll free customer service number, using the bank's electronic access system, or asking your A/OPC to submit it electronically.
Question: What do I do if my card is lost or stolen?
Answer: Report a lost or stolen travel charge card promptly to:
- The bank by calling the number provided in your Cardholder Agreement or the customer service number, your A/OPC, and your supervisor.
- Once you have reported your travel charge card lost or stolen, your account will immediately be closed.
- Cooperate with bank representatives in providing as much information as possible surrounding the loss or theft.
- The bank will mail a new travel charge card to you within 7 to 10 business days. You do not need to reapply. You will receive a new account number.
- You will only be responsible for those valid charges made before your travel charge card was reported lost or stolen. The liability for a lost or stolen travel charge card shall not exceed the lesser of $50 or the amount of money, property, labor, or services obtained before notification to the bank.
Question: When is the payment due date?
Answer: Payment for all undisputed charges must be made in full by the statement billing due date, which is 25 to 30 days after the closing date on the billing statement of account, depending on the bank. The due date is printed on the bill.
Under the GSA SmartPay® contract, an account is considered past due if payment for the undisputed principal amount has not been received 45 calendar days from the closing date on the statement of account in which the charge appears.
Question: How do I cancel my Travel Charge Card?
Answer: Contact your A/OPC and they will cancel your Travel Charge Card.
Completed Travel Charge Card Application:
To request a government travel charge card contact your FATA
General Services Administration- Find all information related to Government travel regulations on the GSA Web site.
Fly.FAA.gov- The Federal Aviation Administration, bringing safety to America's skies. Visit this site for travelers to find up to date news on travel, aviation, and airports in general.
Traveling Abroad-Find information from the Foreign Agriculture Service including visa requirements and overseas traveling precautions. Find out if the country you will be visiting requires a visa or is the subject of caution.
Government Contract Flights-Search the listing of Government Contract Flights. You may be interested in a government contract flight if you are a frequent traveler and looking for a discounted rate for government employees.
MyGovTrip- Your one-stop shop for all your travel needs. Whether you need to plan a trip, get your trip approved or approve a trip, prepare an expense voucher, or manage your travel card, MyGovTrip.com is your answer.
Sidewalk.com- Find information for travelers about every city in the United States and abroad. Learn more about a specific city or destination: restaurant guide, hotels, events and more.
Travel Guidelines- View this USDA directive on official travel. All travel guidelines for government employees are outlined here for your convenience.
Per Diems- Need to find out a per diem rate in another city or country? A list of per diems for every travel destination in the world is available simply by clicking here.
Credit Card- Click here if you are interested in obtaining information about the Federal Travel Card program. The travel charge card is a convenient method for Federal agencies and their employees to make payments for official government travel and travel related expenses.
Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) Mileage Reimbursement Rates- View the latest mileage reimbursement rate for your private owned automobile, motorcycle, airplane and for government-owned vehicle and relocation.
Guaranteed Free Ride Home- Commuter information for the Guaranteed Free Ride Home.
Federal Employee Transportation Coordinators-This is a one-stop resource for employee transportation coordinators. The site contains information on developing, implementing and maintaining employee commute assistance, programs and activities.
This online repository contains hundreds of official FSIS forms available for downloading, as well as links to Other Federal Forms utilized in the Agency. Only official forms are acceptable in the conduct of Agency business, so please carefully read the information and instructions pertaining to the form(s) you wish to use.
Most of our FSIS PDF forms have fill-print-save-send capabilities. Not all FSIS PDF forms are savable. The FSIS PDF forms that have save & send capabilities, referred to as Adobe Reader Extensions, are licensed for internal FSIS employee use. It violates our license to make, for instance, an AD form savable. A few of our internal forms are completed by someone outside of the Agency and therefore, are not assigned the save rights.
FSIS users can identify a savable PDF by the v8RE508 at the end of the form title: Example: FSIS 1360-6 Enterprise Request for Change_v8RE508. The "RE" means that Adobe Reader Extensions have been assigned to this form, and it can be saved.
Many USDA forms are available on-line. The OCIO internet site, provides a repository of USDA's AD, SF and OF forms.
Performance Management and Recognition Resources - For more information, you may wish to submit requests for assistance to PerformanceManagement@usda.gov or FSISAwards@usda.gov, or to the general HR email box FSISHR1@usda.gov.
- Overview of FY2021 Policy Changes - 06/23/2020 - This document provides an overview of the major policy differences between the old and new rating systems.
- Frequently Asked Questions - 06/25/2020 - Common questions related to the new Performance Management system are covered in this document.
- Meaningful Performance Plans - 06/23/2020 - This document outlines what should be included in a meaningful performance plan.
- Performance Based Conversations - 06/23/2020 - This brief guide provides advice on how to have positive conversations between supervisors and employees.
- Quarterly Conversations - 03/08/2020 - This document outlines basic policy requirements related to quarterly performance management conversations.
- FSIS Ten Step Guide to Writing Accomplishment Reports - 11/12/2014 - A guide for employees to assist with developing clear, concise and effective accomplishment reports.
- DR-4040-430 Performance Management - 06/24/2020 - USDA regulation for Performance Management.
- FSIS Monetary and Non-Monetary Recognition - 06/24/2020 - Supervisors can recognize employees for their special contributions to the efficiency and effectiveness of the agency and for their noteworthy career service through monetary, time-off and non-monetary awards. In lieu of a formal non-monetary awards program or catalog, FSIS supervisors can provide informal non-monetary awards to employees on the basis of their contribution(s) in accordance with Departmental Regulation (DR) 4040-030, Employee Performance and Awards.
The Reasonable Accommodation Program supports FSIS' commitment in ensuring an inclusive workplace environment and allows qualified employees or applicants with disabilities to receive the same rights, benefits, and privileges of an employee without a disability.
What are reasonable accommodations?
Reasonable accommodations are what an employer does differently for an employee or applicant to remove a workplace barrier. Reasonable Accommodations can be modifications or adjustments to a job, employment practice, or work environment that make it possible for an employee with a disability to:
- Perform essential job duties
- Adhere to uniformly applied conduct rules
- Enjoy equal benefits/privileges of employment
Reasonable accommodations can also be modifications or adjustments for an applicant with a disability to have equal access to the application process.
Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, section 501, requires a Federal Government Agency to provide reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities, unless it would cause undue hardship. A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way a job is performed that enables a person with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities.
Although many individuals with disabilities can apply for and perform jobs without any reasonable accommodations, workplace barriers may keep others from performing jobs which they could do with some form of accommodation. These barriers may be physical obstacles, or they may be procedures or rules. A reasonable accommodation removes workplace barriers for individuals with disabilities.
Link to access your electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF). For registration instructions or questions, please email eOPF@usda.gov.
Problems in your personal life can impact not just your peace of mind, but also your ability to effectively do your job. The EAP is available to provide support, sound guidance and referrals to helpful resources for all of life’s challenges. No matter what the issue relates to – work, family relationships, health, finances or substance abuse – the EAP is here to help.
For more information or to request any of the services listed below, call 800-222-0364.
Licensed or credentialed professional counselors can provide face-to-face or virtual short-term counseling to employees and family members. Counselors can also provide referrals to community resources based on client needs, health insurance coverage, and financial resources. Issues can include, but are not limited, to the following:
- Anxiety, Stress or Depression
- Family or Parenting Concerns
- Family or Workplace Conflict
- Grief and Loss
- Relationship Difficulties
- Substance Abuse
Financial and Legal Services
Free consultation with financial experts and licensed attorneys and referral services for a wide range of financial and legal services. Issues can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Buying a Home
- Debt Consolidation and Budgeting
- Education Funding
- Estate and Retirement Planning
- Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Support
- Housing and Real Estate Matters
- Identity Theft
- Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney
- Personal Injury and Traffic Violations
- Savings and Investment Strategies
- Tax Information
Senior EAP counselors are available to consult with supervisors and managers about concerns with employee behavioral issues and provide guidance to effectively identify, interact with, and refer employees to the EAP.
EAP and WorkLife Employee Orientation
Emergency Backup Dependent Care Program
The EBDC program is a benefit available to all FSIS employees with dependent family members. As with the WorkLife4You and Employee Assistance Program (EAP), the EBDC is administered by Federal Occupational Health (FOH) and available to employees 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What is it?
The EBDC program helps employees and their families find and pay for high quality care - even at the last minute. Backup care is temporary care designed to help employees when their regular child or adult care arrangements are disrupted, either expectedly (due to scheduled closings, holidays, vacations, etc.) or unexpectedly (due to illness, inclement weather, or other emergencies, etc.).
FOH has an extensive nationwide network of licensed and highly credentialed center-based and in-home dependent care providers, such as nannies, companions and home health aides. Employees may also choose to use licensed providers outside of the network in the event that in-network providers are not available (due to location or space constraints) or other caregivers (including friends and family) they already know and trust.
Who can use it?
Coverage is provided for dependent children (infants through teens, including mildly ill) or adults (spouse, parents, parents-in-law and adults with special needs) for whom employees are responsible - even if the dependent does not reside in their household. Employees can also use backup care for self-care when they are ill or recovering from surgery and cannot care for themselves.
How it works
Call the FOH national call center at 800-222-0364 or log in to www.worklife4you.com (new user registration code: FSIS) to request assistance with the type of care you need. The EBDC program provides up to twenty (20) visits per employee dependent, per fiscal year.
NOTE: All requests for backup care must be made through the call center. Requests made directly to providers will not be covered.
What it costs
For in-network providers, employees pay a $10 copay and FOH will pay the remaining balance directly to the provider. For out-of-network providers, including friends or family members, employees pay the provider directly and submit a Backup Care Reimbursement Form, (provided by FOH) for reimbursement up to $100 per day.
This benefit is available to all FSIS employees effective immediately.
Critical Incident Response
Critical and traumatic incidents, such as threats or acts of violence, natural disasters or employee deaths that occur throughout the country and in the workplace can have a profound impact on employees. The EAP’s professionally trained and experienced critical incident and crisis intervention counselors can help make a significant impact on preventing, recognizing, and alleviating stress before it harms the psychological health, productivity, and personal lives of employees. Counselors are available to assist in developing plans for handling and responding to traumatic events, including immediate response and employee counseling services.
The EAP’s critical incident response services include a variety of crisis intervention services to support both the individual employee and the Agency as a whole, including:
- Psychological First Aid
- Individual crisis consultations
- Crisis Management Briefings
- Critical Incident Debriefings
- Employee Grief Groups
Crisis, Trauma & Resiliency Resources:
- Recognizing and Reducing Anxiety in Times of Crisis
- Resources for Stress Management
- Resources for Trauma, Grief and Resilience
- Strategies for Self-Care & Resilience
- Tips for Responding to Children and Youth after Traumatic Events
- Trauma in the Community
EAP Departmental Regulation and Guidelines
The Federal Occupational Health’s WorkLife4You Program provides employees and their family members with resources and tools to effectively manage life’s milestones, transitions and responsibilities at work and at home. Work/Life specialists have expertise in numerous fields including child development, gerontology, education, finance, and law and provide personalized guidance and pre-screened referrals to meet each employee’s specific needs. For more information, visit https://player.vimeo.com/video/116901793.
For more information or to request any of the services listed below, call 800-222-0364:
Child and Elder Caregiving
Trusted child and elder care resources, including referrals, counseling and education, in-home care and post-hospitalization assessments, facility reviews, and coordination of continued care. Services can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Adult Care Options and Living Arrangements
- Caregiver Issues and Concerns
- Child Care and Development
- Children with Disabilities
- Funeral Planning
- Hospice Services and Respite Care
- Meal Delivery
- Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security
- Parenting, Grandparenting and Nontraditional Families
- Prenatal Care and Breastfeeding
- Professional Care Management and In-Home Assessments
- Summer Programs
- Transportation Services
Daily Life and Life Events
Personalized consultations, research and guidance for daily needs and major life events, including, but limited to:
- Aging Loved One
- Education and Career
- Emotional Health and Wellness
- Grief and Loss
- Home Improvement, Organization and Safety
- Pet Services and Care
- Serious Illness
Free products and information delivered right to your door, designed to help employees and their family members during various stages and aspects of life, including the following:
- Adult Care Kit helps older adults with daily living.
- Be Well Kit aids in proactively manage your health.
- Child Safety Kit is geared for parents of toddlers to improve safety in and around the home.
- College Kit equips students with products and tools to address health, safety and academic success.
- Pet First Aid Kit is designed for pet emergency care while on the go.
- Prenatal Kit assists expectant parents plan for a healthy pregnancy and learn about child-care and parenting issues.
Emergency Kit is designed to help keep you safe should disaster strike.
LifeMart Discount Center
LifeMart offers over millions of pre-negotiated discounts on a wide variety of products and services, such as delivery and streaming services, grocery coupons, learning resources and more. Employees and their family members can use any personal device (iPhone, iPad, Android, Notebook, etc.) to access the discount center.
Go to https://discountmember.lifecare.com
Screen Name: LMDISCOUNTS
Note: When making purchases on LifeMart, employees must use a non-Government, personal device. Shopping on Government computers is strictly prohibited!!
The majority of the content displayed within this section is also available through the Careers section.
i-Impact- i-Impact is a new FSIS employee initiative to help our employees reconnect to the mission of our agency and demonstrate how every single employee has an impact on food safety and public health. i-Impact will assist each employee draw a line of sight from your daily work activities to the mission of FSIS. i-Impact will also help you become familiar with the agency’s statutes, Strategic Plan, and Annual Performance Plan.
Career Options- Find information about different positions, how others got where they are now, and opportunities within job families.
Open Positions- Find out what FSIS positions are open to the general public.
FSIS Onboarding Manual- The FSIS Onboarding Manual(PDF Only) provides agency-specific information for newer employees.(Experienced employees will also find the manual useful!)
Training- Access the AgLearn system and find other training opportunities.
USDA's Learning Management System (AgLearn) currently provides educational services for FSIS employees.
Find out information on faculty members, upcoming courses, colleges, and workplace training requirements.
FSIS Competency Models
FSIS has developed Competency Models to build upon and sustain a foundation of qualified and trained professionals like you to meet our current and future needs. The Models include customized FSIS competencies that directly link to essential FSIS job functions, strategic plans, and organizational mission. Each Model also has a companion Resource Guide that contains detailed information regarding the critical knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors required for each competency as well as an array of tools, suggestions, and training materials FSIS personnel can use to develop these competencies in themselves and others.
Online Training Resources
Provides reference materials for management controls, state, local and international studies, pathogen reduction and HACCP.
No FEAR Act Training
The No Fear Act (Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002), also known as Public Law (PL) 107-174, is a U.S. federal law that seeks to discourage federal managers and supervisors from engaging in unlawful discrimination and retaliation. Federal agencies are required to provide training to their employees regarding their rights and protection under the Act. Employees can now find the mandatory training in their AgLearn learning plans at www.aglearn.usda.gov. For employees without computer access, a paper version of this training will be mailed to their work sites. Both versions take less than 10 minutes to complete.
FSIS Science and Technology Seminar Series
These seminars keep FSIS aware of new research, technology, and methodologies in approaching ways to promote and protect public health.
Organization and Employee Development Branch
The Organization and Employee Development Branch (OEDB) provides a multi-functional approach to training and organization effectiveness through leadership development, coaching and consulting. OEDB has a team of internal consultants certified in training and organization development. These consultants are available to help FSIS individuals and groups learn to achieve superior developmental results in an environment of constant change.
CD & DVD Catalog
The CD & DVD Catalog contains over 80 resources on food safety and public health related training materials for reference. View the catalog for more information. To order training materials and receive copies of the CDs and DVDs in the mail contact CEDL@fsis.usda.gov.
Featured CFL Courses and Programs
The Center for Learning continues to develop new eLearning courses for employees in various subject areas. We will update this page frequently with featured courses.
Click here to view videos on various training topics such as Reprisal, LGBT, and LEP.
Learn about other tools available to assist in recruiting diverse and talented interns.
Click here for instructions on how to connect with an interpreter for help with interactions with Limited English Proficient Individuals
Click here to view an information booklet on the services the Civil Rights Staff provides in the areas of EEO, civil rights, diversity, alternative dispute resolution, and special emphasis programs.
The Civil Rights Staff (CRS) provides advice, guidance and assistance on the implementation, management and compliance with Equal Employment Opportunity programs. Such programs include: Affirmative Employment Program, Complaints Management, Special Emphasis Program, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Training, and Workforce Diversity. CRS's goal is to ensure fair and equal treatment to internal and external customers.
Information about USDA's conflict prevention and resolution programs.
This page outlines employee, union, and management rights and responsibilities.
Maintaining ethical conduct among Federal employees is critical in building the American public's trust in the integrity and fairness of government.
"Eye on Ethics" is a series of monthly Agency-wide Outlook announcements featuring the following fourteen (14) Principles of Ethical Conduct - each supported by actual scenarios, question and answer segments, brief analysis, reference information, and an invitation for employees to submit their inquiries to: FSIS.Ethics@fsis.usda.gov.
View Equal Employment Opportunity Programs that emphasize employment and advancement opportunities for under-represented groups such as minorities, women, and people with disabilities.
View Agency policies and acts aimed at ensuring all employees and clients experience a productive and safe working environment.
Access USDA's Office of Civil Rights and other related sites.
The FSIS Workers' Compensation Program provides employee compensation for lost wages and medical expenses resulting from workplace injuries. The goal of the Workers’ Compensation Program is to have employees return to work as soon as they are “medically able.”
The Workers' Compensation Program also provides employees and supervisors instructional guidance on the completion and submission of an initial workers’ compensation claim and wage loss claim when an on-the-job injury or illness has occurred. Guidance further includes information for return-to-work efforts when medical documentation indicates the employee may return to gainful employment.
Helpful workers’ compensation resources are listed below:
- Printable Forms: www.dol.gov/agencies/owcp/FECA/regs/compliance/forms
- Directive 4810.1, On the Job Injury and Illness Compensation Program: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/policy/fsis-directives/4810.1
- Supervisory Guide (coming soon)
- Employees Compensation Operations and Management (ECOMP): ECOMP - U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov)
- How to Initiate a Claim (coming soon)
- How to File a Form: How to File a Form (dol.gov)
For additional information, send an e-mail to email@example.com or call the HR central hotline: 1-877-FSIS-HR1 (1-877-374-7471).
Dedicated and passionate FSIS employees are critical to our success now and in the future. To attract and retain skilled and talented employees, FSIS offers many incentives ranging from moving expenses to recruitment bonuses. Learn more about our incentives programs.