Generally, applicants and employees cannot be disqualified on the basis of medical standards, physical requirements, fitness tests, or other criteria that do not relate specifically to job performance. In addition, agencies are required to provide reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities who demonstrate that they can perform the work of the position to be filled. However, there are medical qualification requirements for certain positions, mainly in the law enforcement, medical and safety fields.
Similarly, there are no maximum age limits for appointment to most positions. However, some jobs in fields such as law enforcement and firefighting have a limit—typically 37, so that an employee can accumulate a full 20 years under their special retirement systems before mandatory retirement from those positions at age 57. These limits can be waived in certain circumstances, including after a successful challenge by a veterans’ preference-eligible applicant asserting that an entry age maximum is not essential to the job.
In addition, the upper age limit for hiring of career Foreign Service officers is 59 so that individuals can accumulate the minimum five years to qualify for any retirement benefit before the mandatory retirement age of 65 under the Foreign Service Act of 1980.