White House Issues Guidance for the Federal Hiring Freeze

​​While industrial hygienists are not specifically exempted, they could be. President Trump instituted a hiring freeze, which is typical for incoming presidents, but the action left many Federal workers scratching their heads, wondering if the freeze’s various health, safety, and other exemptions applied to them. The White House brought a degree of clarity to the matter when it released guidance​ on January 31 that includes a list of specific exemptions, such as those serving in the armed forces, political appointees, and U.S. Postal Service employees, among others. Those who contract with the Federal government to provide services are likely excluded from the freeze, but only if such contracting isn’t used to circumvent the intent of the freeze – which is to temporarily halt the growth of the Federal government until President Trump’s appointees are in place. Industrial hygienists are not specifically listed as exempted, but other exemptions are possible on a case-by-case basis, meaning that IH’s and others whose work concerns worker health and safety could be. As of now, there is still a good bit of uncertainty with regard to the fate of the Federal workforce, and the larger contracting community that performs a considerable amount of work on behalf of taxpayers.​