In response to the state economy and financial outlook, effective May 18, 2020, Governor Inslee has directed state agencies under his authority to implement a freeze on hiring employees for positions not related to public safety or other non-discretionary activities. The list of agencies under the Governor can be located here:
While the freeze does not apply to agencies headed by separated elected officials and some boards or commissions, you are encouraged to implement similar cost-saving measures.
State agencies under the governor's authority are prohibited from filling a new or vacant position unless it:
Exemption is also granted for activities directly involved in producing revenue:
If you believe you meet one or more of the exceptions above, please work with your HR Business Partner for next steps in the hiring process.
If you have a position that needs to be filled but does not meet any of the bullet points under Exceptions to Hiring Freeze, a hiring freeze exemption request can be filed. The request will be reviewed by the State HR and OFM Budget. State HR will track all exemption requests received and notify you when a decision has been made on your request.
Agencies should write exemption requests as if they are explaining the position to the media, the Legislature, or the member of the public. Focus less on the importance of the position and more on why you can't delay the workload or redistribute it to existing staff.
Please work with your HR Business Partner when completing a hiring freeze exemption request.
Agencies must track hires during the hiring freeze, and be prepared to respond to inquiries regarding individual hiring decisions. Agencies should track which positions/hires met the automatic exemption criteria and which positions were approved to be filled through the OFM exemption request process. The hiring freeze exemption tracking log may be useful to you in tracking your hiring activities. Agencies must also keep a log of any positions where the individual accepted a position prior to May 18, 2020 but did not start in that position until after May 18, 2020.
If you have any questions, please contact your HR Business Partner.