5 CFR § 352.706 - Agency response to reemployment application.
(a) Employee's right to reemployment. An employee is entitled to be reemployed by the reemploying agency as promptly as possible, and, in any event, within 45 calendar days after agency receipt of application.
(1) Within the competitive area the employee is entitled to reemployment in:
(i) The position held immediately before leaving the agency;
(ii) One in the same competitive level; or
(iii) Another position for which qualified and eligible at the same grade or level and in the same competitive area as the position the employee last held in the agency. The employing agency determines the position under paragraph (a)(1) (i), (ii), or (iii) of this section to which the employee is entitled. Reduction-in-force procedures shall be applied where necessary in determining the position to which the employee has a right. In applying the reduction-in-force regulations, the applicant shall be considered an employee of the agency.
(2) Extending the area. Responsibility for reemploying an applicant is nation-wide within the agency. If the applicant is not placed under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the agency must extend reemployment rights, based on the employee's availability, for assignment outside the competitive area. The employee is entitled to a position, for which qualified and eligible, at the same grade or level as the position last held in the agency. Where necessary, reduction-in-force procedures shall be applied in determining the position to which the employee has a right. The applicant shall be considered an employee for the purpose of applying the reduction-in-force regulations.
(b) Employee option. Before the competitive area is extended under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, an employee who cannot be placed under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, in the competitive area at the same grade or level as the position last held is entitled, if the employee elects, to reemployment in a position at a lower grade or level identified under the same conditions and procedures as paragraph (a)(1) of this section.
(c) Agency option. At any stage in the process, the agency has the option to satisfy the employee's right to reemployment by offering a vacant position which, under reduction-in-force regulations, is in accord with the employee's rights. Also, with the employee's consent, right to reemployment can be met by placement in a vacant position, for which the employee is qualified according to agency determination, and available, outside the organizational or geographic area of entitlement, either at the appropriate grade or at a grade other than the one to which entitled.
(d) Reemployment to an SES position. When the employee's right is to a position in the SES, reemployment or return may be to any position in the SES for which the employee is qualified. The employee shall be returned at not less than the SES rate of basic pay as determined under 5 CFR part 534, subpart D at which the employee was being paid immediately before his or her transfer.
(e) Basis for agency refusal to reemploy. An agency may refuse to reemploy when the employee was last separated from tribal employment for serious cause establishing unsuitability for reemployment.
(f) Basis for agency inability to reemploy. An agency may find it is unable to reemploy in the event no position can be found under procedures in this section.