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A 2.7% GS Pay Raise Approved For 2022

Federal Employees will receive an across-the-board pay raise of 2.2% in 2022, plus an additional 0.5% locality pay adjustment, for a 2.7% average increase.

The 2.7% pay raise 2022 charts are now available along with all special rates. Review the locality pay area definitions outlining the pay rates for all regions nationwide. If you are employed in the federal sector, use the 2022 Federal Employee’s Excel Leave Chart to track your weekly schedule and record your annual and sick leave, comp, and credit hours used.

The rates of basic pay or salaries of the statutory pay systems are included. The general categories are listed below:

  • The General Schedule
  • The Foreign Service Schedule
  • schedules for the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Senior Executive Service
  • Certain Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Salaries
  • The Executive Schedule

The General Schedule (GS) Pay System

The General Schedule (GS) classification and pay system covers the majority of civilian white-collar Federal employees (about 1.5 million worldwide) in professional, technical, administrative, and clerical positions. This pay system is administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Agencies classify their GS positions and appoints and pays GS employees filling those positions following OPM guidelines.

The General Schedule has 15 grades, GS-1 (lowest) to GS-15 (highest). Agencies establish the grade of each job based on the level of difficulty, responsibility, and qualifications required. Individuals with a high school diploma and no additional experience typically qualify for GS-2 positions; those with a Bachelor’s degree for GS-5 positions; and those with a Master’s degree for GS-9 positions.

Each grade has 10 step rates (steps 1-10) that are each worth approximately 3 percent of the employee’s salary. Within-grade step increases are based on an acceptable level of performance and longevity (waiting periods of 1 year at steps 1-3, 2 years at steps 4-6, and 3 years at steps 7-9). It normally takes 18 years to advance from step 1 to step 10 within a single GS grade if an employee remains in that single grade. However, employees with outstanding (or equivalent) performance ratings may be considered for additional, quality step increases (maximum of one per year).

A new GS employee is usually hired at step one of the applicable GS grade. However, in special circumstances, agencies may authorize a higher step rate for a newly-appointed Federal employee based on a special need of the agency or superior qualifications of the prospective employee.

If you are being considered for an appointment to a federal job, you are able to negotiate starting salaries under certain conditions. You can’t request a higher starting salary after you official accept an offer. Those with student loans can request student loan payoff assistance of up to $10,000 a year for a maximum of $60,000!  Explore all incentives before accepting a position.

Social Worker – Care Giver Positions

The federal government is hiring a large number of Social Workers and caregivers, mostly at the Veterans Administration. These high paying job opportunities are available for those who know how to apply and tap this lucrative job market. Jobs are available at thousands of locations with excellent career advancement opportunities?

Jobs

This article features positions that engage in professional casework in the specific sense that their first purpose is to provide direct social work services to individuals and families. The term “casework” is used to designate practice associated with service to individuals and families as distinguished from methods of problem solving and prevention associated with group practice, work with community organizations, administration, consultation, research, etc.

We help those seeking federal employment explore occupations and navigate the application process. Plus, we link you to current job vacancies and provide resume/application guidance, including sample federal style resumes.

Social Worker – Caregiver Careers (GS-0185)

There are currently over 529 vacancy announcements, some with multiple positions, advertised nationwide in this occupational group. The federal government employs 18,884 in this occupation of which 111 work overseas. The Department of Veterans Affairs is the largest employer with 16,772 followed by the Department of the Army with 1,185. HHS employs 125.

The Caregiver Support Program (CSP) is one of the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) most rapidly growing service areas, as a result of infrastructure modernization, programming innovation, and expansion of population-served by the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) under the MISSION Act. The Social Worker will provide consultation on the administrative and clinical considerations of the program.

Basic Requirements:

United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.

English Language Proficiency: Social Workers must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), and 7407(d).

Education: Have a master’s degree in social work from a school of social work fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Graduates of schools of social work that are in candidacy status do not meet this requirement until the School of Social Work is fully accredited. A doctoral degree in social work may not be substituted for the master’s degree in social work.

Licensure: Persons hired or reassigned to social worker positions in the GS-0185 series in VHA must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice social work at the master’s degree level.

(1) Exception. VHA may waive the licensure or certification requirement for persons who are otherwise qualified, pending completion of state prerequisites for licensure/certification examinations. This exception only applies at the GS-9 grade level. For the GS-11 grade level and above, the candidate must be licensed or certified. At the time of appointment, the supervisor, chief social work or social work executive will provide the unlicensed/uncertified social worker with the written requirements for licensure or certification, including the time by which the license or certification must be obtained and the consequences for not becoming licensed or certified by the deadline.

For appointments at the GS-9 grade level, VHA social workers who are not licensed or certified at the time of appointment must become licensed or certified at the independent, master’s level within three years of their appointment as a social worker. Most states require two years of post-MSW experience as a prerequisite to taking the licensure/certification exam, and VHA gives social workers one additional year to pass the licensure/certification exam. In states such as California, Washington, and others where the prerequisites for licensure exceed two years, social workers must become licensed at the independent, master’s level within one year of meeting the full state prerequisites for licensure.

Typical Job Titles:

  • Behavioral Health Social Worker
  • Social Worker
  • Social Worker – Caregiver
  • Substance Abuse Clinical Counselor

If you are looking for a challenging position in this field explore these opportunities. The following link will take you to the GS 0185 Social Worker Occupational Description that includes links to the current job announcements on USAJOBS.

Visit our jobs board to search for all other occupations by job title.

To find vacancies in your area, locate job announcements of interest and review the required qualifications. If you have the experience, education and/or work experience specified, apply online.

Each month we will feature a different occupation. Visit our website regularly to find information about federal jobs in your area.

Helpul Job Hunting Information:

Disclaimer: The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Older Workers Seek Federal Employment For Benefits & BLS Older Worker Trends

The Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS), in their article titled “Older Workers: Labor Force Trends and Career Options,”  indicates that approximately 40 percent of people 55 and older are either working or seeking work. This number is called the labor force participation rate. Labor force participation is the proportion of the population that is in the labor force.

The trend for the older worker has been increasing and is expected to continue its climb for at least the next ten years. Mitra Toossi and Elka Torpey, both economists at the BLS were interviewed for this article.

According to Mitra Toossi, “The labor force participation rate of the older labor force; 55-years-and-older, including the 65 to 74-year old’s have been increasing because people are living longer, healthier lives and they work more years to have income during their older ages. Also, most get their health insurance through work and having health insurance is a must for older workers. In addition, the Social Security age for retirement has increased and to take full advantage of the benefits you have to work longer years. Also, the whole structure of the benefits has changed from defined benefit to defined contribution, so when you work longer you pay more towards your retirement and to your 401 accounts.”

Additionally, Toossi cites, “By 2024, BLS projects that the labor force will grow to about 164 million people. That number includes about 41 million people who will be ages 55 and older—of whom about 13 million are expected to be ages 65 and older. The 164 million is the total number of the labor force in 2024 and not the 65+ labor force.”

Toossi relates “It is projected that the women’s labor force will be growing faster in the next ten years since women are primarily in occupations such as health services and educational services and these are projected to be increasing in the next decade.”

The referenced article indicates, “more than 42 percent of the workers were in management, professional and related occupations, and this was at a higher proportion than for all workers. Some other related fields for older workers, 55 and older make up at least one-third of occupations total employment in 2016.”

Another factor indicated in the article was self-employment. The BLS data specifies that the older worker age group had a higher self-employment rate than that of workers in younger groups. Elka Torpey states, “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of self-employed workers in all occupations will increase by 5.8 percent between 2014 and 2024. This compares with a projected 6.5 increase for all workers in all occupations over that time period.”

Other data the article denotes, “27 percent of workers ages 55 and older, and 18 percent of workers ages 25 to 54 were part-time (usually 1 to 34 hours per week) in 2016. For workers ages 65 and older, the rate of part-time employment is even higher: 40 percent.”

Older workers, for the foreseeable future,  will continue to have a significant impact on the economy. One of the major benefits of federal employment is early retirement, most can retire at age 55 with 30 years of service. Many federal retirees seek employment to remain active, earn additional funds for fun and necessity, and simply to stay involved in their respective fields.

The Federal  Retiree’s Job Center, located on FederalRetirement.net, lists many jobs for retirees. Private sector employers target federal retirees that are known for their exceptional skills and strong work ethic. Federal retirees may also reapply and return to federal employment under the rehired annuitant program.

Helpful Career Planning Tools

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages

Management and Program Analyst Specialist – Featured Occupation

The federal government, including the U.S. Postal Service, employs approximately 2.8 million civilian workers, or about 2 percent of the United States’ workforce. The federal government is this nation’s largest employer.

Excellent federal job opportunities are available for those who know how to tap this lucrative job market. Where else can you find and apply for high-paying jobs that offer employment at thousands of locations stateside and overseas with excellent career advancement opportunities?

This article features management and program analyst jobs in the GS-0343 occupational series. We help those seeking federal employment explore occupations and navigate the application process. Plus, we link you to current job vacancies.

Management and Program Analyst (GS-0343)

Positions in this series serve as staff analysts, evaluators, and advisors to management on the effectiveness and efficiency with which agencies and their components carry out their assigned programs and functions. Such positions may be found at any organizational level within Federal agencies. The primary purpose of the work is to provide line managers with objectively based information for making decisions on the administrative and programmatic aspects of agency operations and management. Positions in this series are concerned with a wide variety of assignments.

Currently there are over 530 job announcements from agencies including the IRS, the US Marshalls Service, Veterans Administration and others that are actively recruiting management and program analysts across the country.

A number of these job announcements list multiple vacancies at various locations. For example, one of the announcements from the Department of Homeland Security is hiring 3 for this position in the Washington DC area. When you add up the multiple vacancies, you will discover many additional opportunities in this field for you to explore and at locations across the country and overseas.

Currently, the IRS and the Veterans Administration have many positions posted. You will also find current positions available with the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, the U.S. Census Bureau, civilian military, and many others.

If you are looking for a challenging position in the program analyst field explore these opportunities. The following link will take you to the GS 0342 Occupational Description that includes links to the current management and program analyst job announcements on USAJOBS.

Visit our jobs board to search for all other occupations by job title.

To find vacancies in your area, locate job announcements of interest and review the required qualifications. If you have the experience, education and/or work experience specified, apply online.

Each month we will feature a different occupation. Visit our website regularly to find information about federal jobs in your area.

Helpul Job Hunting Information:

Disclaimer: The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Federal Resumes – How They Differ from the Private Sector

I personally reviewed and rated hundreds of federal applications during my 35-plus years of federal service and participated in many interview and selection panels. I was also a rating official for select occupations for our organization and can tell you from first-hand experience that many highly qualified applicants never made the cut because they didn’t devote the time or effort to properly complete their application packages.

Federal resumes require more information than a typical two-page civilian resume, according to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the hiring arm of the federal work force. Applicants must include detailed educational and work experience, job titles, salary, employment dates, duties and accomplishments, and describe how their past experience and education relates to the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) in the job announcement. Uncle Sam’s federal resume must include specific data or it may be rejected.

I can’t stress enough the importance of tailoring your federal resume to the job announcement’s key duties, responsibilities and specialized experience. If you tailor your resume to the job announcement you will improve your chances of being referred for interviews. Everything is about showing rating officials, through your detailed work descriptions, that you deserve to be placed in the “Best Qualified” group.

Unlike private sector companies, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) provides detailed Federal Qualification Standards for applicants that list qualifying work experience and education. These documents, along with the job announcement, will help you determine whether or not you meet the basic qualifications for a desired position.

Applications are accepted online and each job announcement provides links to APPLY and complete an online application and resume. Search for job vacancies in your local area that are compatible with your background and education.

Use our Federal Resume Guide to walk you through the process. We provide a federal resume sample for you to use as a template for your application.

I suggest writing your detailed job descriptions and collecting key data for your federal resume offline using a word processor. You will be able to spell check your federal resume and compose coherent work histories tailored to the job announcement or position description without time limits. To submit your application online simply copy and paste your draft into the online résumé builder.

Helpul Job Hunting Information:

Disclaimer: The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

A 1% Pay Raise Approved for 2021 – GS Pay Charts Now Available

Federal civilian employees will receive a pay increase starting January 1, 2021; a 1% increase in basic pay, with no increase in locality pay.

 

The President signed an Executive Order in December.  The 1% pay raise 2021 charts are now available along with all special rates and wage grade salaries.

The pay raise will take effect with the first full pay period of 2021. We published the new pay table on January 1, including the locality pay area definitions outlining the pay rates for all regions nationwide.

The rates of basic pay or salaries of the statutory pay systems are included. The general categories are listed below:

  • The General Schedule
  • The Foreign Service Schedule
  • schedules for the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Senior Executive Service
  • Certain Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Salaries
  • The Executive Schedule

OPM was fast to react to the Presidential Order and released the new tables in late December.

Following are links to the new 2021 locality pay tables:

Click here for: Special Rates Tables

Helpul Job Hunting Information:

Disclaimer: The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

3.1% GS 2020 Pay Raise – Pay Charts Now Available

Federal civilian employees will see an average 3.1% pay increase starting January 1, 2020; a 2.6% increase in basic pay, with an average 0.5% increase in locality pay.  The pay increases for GS employees ranges from 2.85% to 3.52%.

The President signed an Executive Order on December 20th officially averting a second government shutdown in 2019.  The 3.1% pay raise 2020 charts are now available along with new paid parental leave benefits providing all federal employees with up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave per year.

The pay raise will take effect with the first full pay period of 2020, which begins Jan. 5. We published the new pay table on December 26th including the locality pay area definitions outlining the pay rates for all regions nationwide.

The rates of basic pay or salaries are included for the following list of statutory pay systems:

  • The General Schedule
  • The Foreign Service Schedule
  • schedules for the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Senior Executive Service
  • Certain Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Salaries
  • The Executive Schedule

This was the largest annual increase since 2009 when federal employees received a base rate increase of 2.9%. OPM was fast to react to the Presidential Order and released the new tables the day after Christmas.

Following are links to the new 2020 locality pay tables:

Click here for: Special Rates Tables

Helpul Job Hunting Information:

Disclaimer: The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

NDAA / Bill Impacting Benefits and Department of Defense Pay

So many employers are embarking on a new concept for Parents; benefits, grants for daycare and even back pay may all be a part of the 2020 Defense Authorization Bill. The House and Senate recently passed a bipartisan bill funding the government through 2020. We should learn soon, after the House and Senate Bills are reconciled, if parental leave, pay, childcare, and cyber security education are included in the final rule.

Many of the foundational platforms represented in this bill focus on key areas to include Department of Defense pay. For example, contractor back-pay as new wage bills would give funding to contractors who were furloughed or had reduced hours during a government shutdown; workers making $965 a week or less would qualify for the back pay. Parental leave and childcare are important issues that need attention; this bill would extend Parental Leave to up to 12 weeks for maternity as well as enable additional flexibility in how it is taken.

Paid parental leave impacts both economic and logistical concerns since it is extremely important for new parents. In addition, it is a positive endeavor for organizations; encouraging new parents to return to their employers instead of seeking additional opportunities with other ‘parental friendly’ companies. The ability to return to work recharged and refreshed increases the employee’s focus and morale in many cases. Finally, it is better for the economy since more women are likely to return to their jobs after utilizing paid maternity leave; this productivity boost can increase business as well as performance while simultaneously satisfying the work/life balance so critically needed for new parents.

Paid parental leave may not impact a company’s bottom line. California, who recently implemented a new parental leave policy, reported that over 90% of organizations witnessed a more positive effect on their profit, turnover and morale. Also, a study completed by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research offered that paid leave reduces costs, increases workplace productivity and improves family incomes. Also, Rutgers University recently found that close to 40% of women who take paid leave from work are less likely to apply for welfare.

Finally, education is another critical element for consideration in this plan, and specifically cyber security education, where non-traditional schooling (online and remote opportunities) is being considered as part of a resource/tool for military personnel training expansion.

References:

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Background Investigations and Clearance Processing (New & Improved?)

Background and security clearance investigation processing delays have created many problems for agencies. The responsibility for these Investigations may soon be transferred to the Department of Defense from the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB), who handles them now. The President is expected to issue an executive order to authorize this change in the near future.

With a myriad of agencies, people and elements involved, the consolidation is taking longer than expected. The Defense Information System Agency (DISA) investigations system (NBSIS), has already moved operations to the Defense Security Service (DSS) and reduced its backlog to 541,000 cases. Still a significant backlog by any standard. A final merger of the NBIB and DSS into the new agency (Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA)) will centralize the government-wide security clearance processes including personnel security, vetting and counterintelligence programs.

New technology will automate, collect and execute data required for investigations and will assist with the merger. The new system networks and data collection processes will enhance the sharing of information and collaboration among agencies.

This consolidation is expected to reduce delays significantly. In addition, the development of new processes, policies, and procedures will serve as the foundation for an improved background investigation and security clearance program. There will be over 10,000 federal employees and contract investigators collectively working to decrease waiting periods for security clearances, background investigations and re-investigations.

From a personal perspective and participant of the investigation, re-investigation and clearance processes, efficiency is paramount; the ability to improve upon the security clearance process, not only for new employees, but for required re-investigations will serve as a welcomed
move in the right direction.

Technology, along with knowledgeable and skilled investigators are the key elements that will help to foster efficiencies, streamline processes and procedures, and reduce waiting times for a myriad of individuals and employees.

Many fantastic potential employees who are ‘waiting’ for their background investigations to be completed are lost to other industry competitors and/or state and local government entities. Now, there is finally a much needed, renewed focus on the need to automate, collect and execute data in
preparation for processing clearances and investigations; this is a good thing for the people who work to protect our national security, our future, and our freedom.

References

Career Planning Tools

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Federal Pay Raise Approved!

The 2019 spending bill, H.J. RES.31, approved an increase in salaries for Federal workers. President Trump signed the package which includes funding for the government through September 30 and a 1.9% raise in pay for federal workers. In addition, the pay raise is retroactive to the first pay period of 2019.

In the past, these raises have been caught in a pay freeze and were considered uncertain until recently. Also considered long overdue, this raise brings hope to federal employees. Given their numerous contributions to safeguarding the nation, many feel the raise was justified. This good news is especially exciting for those in six new locality pay areas that President Trump approved in 2018. These include: Alabama, Vermont, Texas, Nebraska, San Antonio, and Virginia.

For a bit of history, after mid-term elections, a bill was passed by the House that included a 2.6% pay raise. This included civilian employees receiving the same compensation as military personnel; it was introduced to the Senate where it was doubtful to pass. Congress then went back to the 1.9% raise to increase the chances for approval.

This multi-billion dollar spending package was also the final step in the requirement to avoid a 2nd government shutdown. Securing this average 1.9% pay raise takes federal workers safely through the rest of the year; the entire spending package also ensures final funding for all of the government through the rest of fiscal year 2019 or September 30th.

According to the National Treasury Employees Union President, “this bipartisan compromise funding package is a refreshing turnabout that gives their agencies stable funding and their paycheck a modest bump.” Some also feel that federal salaries were falling short of those in the private sector; in order to ensure a more qualified, skilled, prepared, and high performing workforce, the raise was welcomed. Recruitment of federal workers is also expected to be improved over the next year and beyond, with this new, approved pay increase.

Lastly, the bill is a much needed, a positive move forward, as it also impacts GS-15 employees who serve on the Executive Schedule. Caps that were in place are no longer, and GS-15’s are also able to receive the 1.9%  increase. Below are a few links to additional references providing additional details on the history, establishment, and implementation of this new increase.

References

Career Planning Tools

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages