Federal job-seekers who are shy about disclosing their weight, height, marital status, Communists Party affiliation or old brushes with the law will have things easier after Aug. 1. That is when the government will stop asking those personalque stions of people trying to get on the public payroll.
After nearly four years of work, the government is revising its standard job application form, know bureaucracy wide as SF 171. Millions of Americans have filled it out in their quest to become civil servants and many thousands have committed petty perjury by subtracting pounds or adding to their height. Now the government says it doesn't need to know that about everybody anyhow, so it will not ask.
Officials say the new SF 171 will be longer, but easier to read and understand, and less nosey than the present form. It has been around since 1968. People who applied for government jobs before then had to wrestle with something called the Form 57 which has now gone the way of 5-cent telephone calls and 10-cent stamps.
Although the government stopped requiring people to answer questions pertaining to Communist Party membership several years ago, the question remained on the form now being phased out. Party membership is still a bar to most federal jobs and it will continue to be part of the background and loyalty investigation that government workers undergo.
The question about weight and height (without shoes) has been dropped. Only persons applying for jobs that have height and weight requirements will be required to supply that information.
Women who do not want to list themselves as "Miss" or "Mrs." will, after Aug. 1, be able to use a new "Ms" checkbox on the application form.
Convictions for most misdemeanors need not be listed by new federal job applicants if the conviction is at least 7 years old. The new form will also advise applicants that a conviction, or being fired from an another job, will not necessarily keep them out of government.
Housewives who have been out of the labor force for a long time will benefit from a new section of the SF 171. It allows them to list political, social or charitable work done as volunteers, and that service may in some cases be counted as work experience.
Officials say the the changes in the form are being made either to comply with various legal and administrative rulings covering invasion of privacy, or just to make the form easier to understand and use. It is that.
The new forms will go to some agencies beginning Aug. 1 and entirely replace the current SF 171 by November.
Early Closing Policy: Federal workers may be excused from work if indoor heat-humidity levels at the office reach uncomfortable levels. The discomfort index outlined below is the official guide agency heads are supposed to use. They may allow workers to leave early, or tell them to stay home, if inside office temperature and humidity hit the following levels:(TABLE) Temperature(COLUMN)Humidity 95(COLUMN)55 96(COLUMN)52 97(COLUMN)49 98(COLUMN)45 99(COLUMN)42 100(COLUMN)38(END TABLE)
It may be advisable to clip this temperature-humidity index and put it near the air-conditioner for the time this summer when it conks out and you ask the boss to set you free.