§ 2635.603 Definitions.
For purposes of this subpart:
(a) Employment means any form of non-Federal employment or business relationship involving the provision of personal services by the employee, whether to be undertaken at the same time as or subsequent to Federal employment. It includes but is not limited to personal services as an officer, director, employee, agent, attorney, consultant, contractor, general partner, or trustee.
Example 1 to paragraph (a):
An employee of the Bureau of Indian Affairs who has announced her intention to retire is approached by tribal representatives concerning a possible consulting contract with the tribe. The contractual relationship the tribe wishes to negotiate is employment for purposes of this subpart.
Example 2 to paragraph (a):
An employee of the Department of Health and Human Services is invited to a meeting with officials of a nonprofit corporation to discuss the possibility of his serving as a member of the corporation's board of directors. Service, with or without compensation, as a member of the board of directors constitutes employment for purposes of this subpart.
Example 3 to paragraph (a):
An employee at the Department of Energy volunteers without compensation to serve dinners at a homeless shelter each month. The employee's uncompensated volunteer services in this case are not considered an employment or business relationship for purposes of this subpart.
(b) An employee is seeking employment once the employee has begun seeking employment within the meaning of paragraph (b)(1) of this section and until the employee is no longer seeking employment within the meaning of paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
(1) An employee has begun seeking employment if the employee has directly or indirectly:
(i) Engaged in negotiations for employment with any person. For these purposes, as for 18 U.S.C. 208(a) and section 17 of the STOCK Act, the term negotiations means discussion or communication with another person, or such person's agent or intermediary, mutually conducted with a view toward reaching an agreement regarding possible employment with that person. The term is not limited to discussions of specific terms and conditions of employment in a specific position;
(ii) Made an unsolicited communication to any person, or such person's agent or intermediary, regarding possible employment with that person. However, the employee has not begun seeking employment if that communication was for the sole purpose of requesting a job application; or
(iii) Made a response, other than rejection, to an unsolicited communication from any person, or such person's agent or intermediary, regarding possible employment with that person.
(2) An employee is no longer seeking employment when:
(i) The employee or the prospective employer rejects the possibility of employment and all discussions of possible employment have terminated; or
(ii) Two months have transpired after the employee's dispatch of an unsolicited resume or employment proposal, provided the employee has received no indication of interest in employment discussions from the prospective employer.
(3) For purposes of this definition, a response that defers discussions until the foreseeable future does not constitute rejection of an unsolicited employment overture, proposal, or resume nor rejection of a prospective employment possibility.
Example 1 to paragraph (b):
A paralegal at the Department of the Army is in his third year of law school. During a discussion with his neighbor, who is a partner in a large law firm in the community, the neighbor invited him to visit her law firm. The paralegal took her up on the offer and met with an associate at the firm. The associate shared with the paralegal her experiences looking for a legal position, discussed what she does in her position at the law firm, and explained why she chose her current law firm. There was no discussion of possible employment with the firm. The Army paralegal is not seeking employment at this time. The purpose of the visit was informational only.
Example 2 to paragraph (b):
An employee of the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) is auditing the overhead accounts of an Army contractor. While at the contractor's headquarters, the head of the contractor's accounting division tells the employee that his division is thinking about hiring another accountant and asks whether the employee might be interested in leaving DCAA. The DCAA employee asks what kind of work would be involved. The DCAA employee has begun seeking employment because he made a response other than a rejection to the communication regarding possible employment with the Army contractor, although he has not yet begun negotiating for employment.
Example 3 to paragraph (b):
The DCAA employee and the head of the contractor's accounting division in the previous example have a meeting to discuss the duties of the position that the accounting division would like to fill and the DCAA employee's qualifications for the position. They also discuss ways the DCAA employee could remedy one of the missing qualifications, and the employee indicates a willingness to obtain the proper qualifications. They do not discuss salary. The employee has engaged in negotiations regarding possible employment with the contractor.
Example 4 to paragraph (b):
An employee at the Department of Energy (DOE) lists his job duties and employment experience in a profile on an online, business-oriented social networking service. The employee's profile is not targeted at a specific prospective employer. The employee has not begun seeking employment because the posting of a profile or resume is not an unsolicited communication with any prospective employer.
Example 5 to paragraph (b):
The DOE employee in the previous example was recently notified that a representative of a university has viewed his profile. The employee still has not begun seeking employment with the university. Subsequently, a representative of the university contacts the employee through the online forum to inquire whether the employee would be interested in working for the university, to which he makes a response other than rejection. At this point, the employee has begun seeking employment with the university until he rejects the possibility of employment and all discussions of possible employment have terminated.
Example 6 to paragraph (b):
The DOE employee in the previous two examples receives emails from various companies in response to his online profile. He does not respond. The employee has not begun seeking employment with the companies because he has not made a response.
Example 7 to paragraph (b):
An employee of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is complimented on her work by an official of a State Health Department who asks her to call if she is ever interested in leaving Federal service. The employee explains to the State official that she is very happy with her job at CMS and is not interested in another job. She thanks him for his compliment regarding her work and adds that she'll remember his interest if she ever decides to leave the Government. The employee has rejected the unsolicited employment overture and has not begun seeking employment.
Example 8 to paragraph (b):
The employee in the preceding example responds by stating that she cannot discuss future employment while she is working on a project affecting the State's health care funding but would like to discuss employment with the State when the project is completed. Because the employee has merely deferred employment discussions until the foreseeable future, she has begun seeking employment with the State Health Department.
Example 9 to paragraph (b):
Three months prior to the end of the current administration, a political appointee at a large department receives a telephone call from the managing partner of an international law firm. The managing partner asks if the official would be interested in joining the law firm. The official says, “I am not talking to anyone about employment until I leave the Government.” The official has rejected the unsolicited employment overture and has not begun seeking employment.
Example 10 to paragraph (b):
A geologist employed by the U.S. Geological Survey sends her resume to an oil company. The geologist has begun seeking employment with that oil company and will be seeking employment for two months from the date the resume was mailed, provided she does not receive a response indicating an interest in employment discussions. A letter merely acknowledging receipt of the resume is not an indication of interest in employment discussions. However, if she withdraws her application or is notified within the two-month period that her resume has been rejected, she will no longer be seeking employment with the oil company as of the date she makes such withdrawal or receives such notification.
(c) Prospective employer means any person with whom the employee is seeking employment. Where contacts that constitute seeking employment are made by or with an agent or other intermediary, the term prospective employer means:
(1) A person who uses that agent or other intermediary for the purpose of seeking to establish an employment relationship with the employee if the agent identifies the prospective employer to the employee; and
(2) A person contacted by the employee's agent or other intermediary for the purpose of seeking to establish an employment relationship if the agent identifies the prospective employer to the employee.
Example 1 to paragraph (c):
An employee of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has retained an employment search firm to help her find another job. The search firm has just reported to the FAA employee that it has given her resume to and had promising discussions with two airport authorities, which the search firm identifies to the employee. Even though the employee has not personally had employment discussions with either airport authority, each airport authority is her prospective employer. She began seeking employment with each airport authority upon learning its identity and that it has been given her resume.
Example 2 to paragraph (c):
An employee pays for an online resume distribution service, which sends her resume to recruiters that specialize in her field. The online service has just notified her that it sent her resume to Software Company A and Software Company B. Even though the employee has not personally had employment discussions with either company, each software company is her prospective employer. She began seeking employment with each company upon learning from the online service that Software Company A and Software Company B had been given her resume by the intermediary.
(d) Direct and predictable effect, particular matter, and personal and substantial have the respective meanings set forth in § 2635.402(b)(1), (3), and (4).
(e) Public filer means a person required to file a public financial disclosure report as set forth in § 2634.202 of this chapter.