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Facts for Your First Day of Work

Congratulations on being selected to work at the U.S. Census Bureau! You are joining a dedicated team of public service employees who continuously support the Bureau’s mission to serve as the nation’s leading provider of quality data about its people and economy. On the Census Team, everyone counts, from the student intern and recent graduate to the senior-level executive. Joining Census gives you the opportunity to put your skills to work in a challenging environment where innovation is part of the mission.

Your supervisor, team members, and New Employee Orientation (NEO) experts (Human Resources, IT, Security, and more) have been preparing for your arrival. To ensure you are prepared and have a successful first day, please review the following new employee information.

Prior to Orientation

There are several items that must be reviewed or completed prior to your orientation:

  • Complete payroll documents at New Employees (census.gov).
  • Review the New Employee Handbook (pdf file)
    • Contains:
      • Census Bureau’s Mission
      • Safety and Security information
      • Amenities
      • Administrative Procedures
      • Training
    • Download checklists:
      • What To Do Before You Start (pdf file in process)
      • What To Expect on The First Day of On-Boarding (pdf file in process)
      • What To Expect on The First Day of New Employee Orientation (pdf file in process)
  • Complete training requirements
    • Data Stewardship

To access the Data Stewardship and Title 26 training modules, please use the following links:

Reporting for Work

On your first day of work, report directly to Suitland Federal Center, at 8:30 am. You will attend a one and a half to two-day orientation session before going to your division work area. We encourage you to ask any questions you might have about the Census Bureau at this time. Please call the Recruiting Office at 301-763-4748 for the location of your orientation session.


The Census Bureau is located at the intersection of Silver Hill and Suitland Roads in Suitland, Maryland, about 2 miles outside the southeastern limits of Washington, D.C.

Hours of Work

With some exceptions, employees may participate in a flexible work schedule (Alternate Work Schedule or Flextime). These options permit the employee to select a work schedule with non-traditional hours of arrival and departure. Hours of work fall between 7 am and 6:30 pm. A package provided at orientation contains more information. All work schedules are subject to supervisory approval.


Commuter information can be accessed at the following websites: Virginia Railway Express, Maryland Mass Transit Administration (MTA) and Metro Area Transit Authority. The Southern Maryland Bus Routes are available in pdf and we offer a Carpool Database on the Human Resources Division intranet site that new employees can utilize on their first day of work.


If you receive a temporary parking permit, you may use it to park anywhere in the general parking areas designated by white lines. Your division's administrative liaison will issue a permanent parking permit to you on your first day. “Carpool Only" parking areas are designated by green lines and require special parking permits. The orientation package includes a form to indicate interest in a carpool.

Building Pass

The Census Bureau is a secured building. On your first day of work, if you have not received a temporary building pass and parking permit, you must obtain them from the gate 5 guard station located just inside the fence at the intersection of Silver Hill and Swann Roads. The orientation session covers procedures for obtaining a permanent building pass. You must display your building pass to the Federal Protective Officer upon entering the building; you must wear your pass at all times.

Obtaining Your Employee Badge

It is strongly recommended that applicants use Census Offices or Headquarters to complete badging actions. To make an appointment at a Census Office, contact the nearest one using the below information.

Obtaining Your Laptop and Mobile Devices

A PIV badge is required for laptop login. After scheduling your badge appointment, contact your supervisor to schedule laptop pick up 30 minutes after the badge appointment. Your supervisor will coordinate with a Directorate POC to schedule the appointment.  Availability is Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM. The appointment must be scheduled at least 3 business days in advance of pickup. Your supervisor or POC will email instructions on how to pick up the laptop once the appointment is confirmed.

If you are picking up a mobile device in addition to the laptop, your supervisor should notify the POC so the appointments can be coordinated.

Note: If you are not located within the local commuting area and cannot pick up the laptop at HQ, please notify your supervisor so shipment can be arranged.

Reasonable Accommodations Requests

The Reasonable Accommodations Branch (RAB) located within the Human Resources Division (HRD) is available to assist employees with disabilities who may need a reasonable accommodation. The RAB works with the employee and the Deciding Management Official (DMO), who is typically the first level supervisor, to determine the appropriate reasonable accommodation. In many cases employees may be required to submit medical documentation to the RAB. Medical information is kept secure and confidential through protection under the Privacy Act.

To request a reasonable accommodation, notify your supervisor or another manager within your chain of command of your need for a reasonable accommodation. It is not necessary to share your medical condition with your supervisor.

You may also contact the RAB directly to notify of your need for a reasonable accommodation or to inquire about the reasonable accommodations process. The RAB can be contacted by phone at 301-763-4060, by Video Phone at 703-722-6414, or by email at hrd.accommodations@census.gov.


Individuals working for or on the behalf of the U.S Census Bureau are appointed to their position based off a pre-employment suitability determination.  Your completed background investigation will be adjudicated upon receipt from our investigative service provider.  Once you have onboarded, should you be contacted by Census Investigative Services Division (CISD) and/or Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) you should comply with the inquiry immediately.  All federal employees must maintain a favorable suitability determination as a condition of continued employment.  Additionally, federal employees will be required to undergo continuous vetting as a condition of their continued employment.

In addition to utilizing the whole person concept, below are the eight suitability/fitness guidelines used to evaluate suitability for federal employment:

  1. Misconduct or negligence in employment
  2. Criminal or dishonest conduct (including financial considerations)
  3. Material, intentional false statement, or deception or fraud in examination or appointment
  4. Refusal to furnish testimony
  5. Alcohol abuse without evidence of substantial rehabilitation, of a nature and duration that suggests that the applicant or appointee would be prevented from performing the duties of the position in question or would constitute a direct threat to the property or safety of the applicant or appointee or others
  6. Illegal use of narcotics, drugs, or other controlled substances without evidence of substantial rehabilitation
  7. Knowing and willful engagement in acts or activities designed to overthrow the United States government by force
  8. Violation of any statutory or regulatory bar which prevents the lawful employment of the person involved in the position in question

Pay Schedule

The official payday is every other Thursday. You must arrange to have your salary sent to your financial institution by direct deposit. You should be aware that direct deposit ensures a safe and prompt transfer of funds to your account. You can find the pay period calendar and current pay rates online.


Convenient housing is available. Washington, D.C. newspapers provide a wide range of options which should satisfy any particular need within the greater metropolitan area. Our Recruitment Office can also provide home and apartment guides. You can contact the Recruitment Office by calling 301-763-4748 or toll-free 1-800-638-6719.

Employee Benefits

Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB)

  • Employees are eligible to enroll in Federal Health Benefits unless appointment is excluded by law or regulation.  Premiums are paid both by the employee and the Government. Eligible employees who enroll in the FEHB Program may elect to participate, waive participation in premium conversion, or begin participation if they have previously waived participation. Once eligible, employees must enroll within 60 days after becoming eligible.  Employees will also have opportunities to elect, change, or terminate participation during an Open Season or with a Qualifying Life Event.

Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)

  • FEGLI is a group term life insurance that does not build up cash value. New or newly eligible employees are automatically enrolled in Basic life insurance. It is effective on the first day in a pay and duty status unless coverage is waived before the end of the first pay period.  Employees have 60 days to enroll in Optional life insurance.

Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)

  • Dental and Vision Insurance program is a voluntary, enrollee-pay-all program.  Premiums for enrolled Federal employees are withheld from salary on a pre-tax basis.
  • New and newly eligible employees can enroll within the 60 days after they become eligible.  Eligible individuals can also enroll during the annual Open Season from mid-November to mid-December. 
  • The Dental and Vision Options
    • Self only
    • Self + 1
    • Self + family
  • Eligible family members include your spouse and unmarried dependent children under age 22. This includes legally adopted children and recognized natural children who meet certain dependency requirements, stepchildren, and foster children who live with you in a regular parent-child relationship. Under certain circumstances, coverage may also continue for a disabled child 22 years of age or older who is incapable of self-support.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

  • The FSA allows you to pay for certain health and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars. FSAs are not carried over from one plan year to the next, so during the annual Open Season from mid-November to mid-December you must make a new election for the upcoming plan year.
  • New and newly eligible employees who wish to enroll in this program must do so within 60 days after they become eligible, but before October 1st of the calendar year.  If you do not enroll before October 1 or you’re hired on or after October 1, you cannot participate in the current benefit period.  You can elect an FSA for the next benefit period during Open Season.  Your elections during Open Season are effective on January 1st in the following year.

Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)

  • The FLTCIP provides care that you need if you can no longer perform everyday tasks by yourself due to a chronic illness, injury, disability, the aging process, or the supervision you might need due to a severe cognitive impairment.
  • New or newly eligible employees have 60 days to enroll using the abbreviated underwriting application. After the 60-day timeframe, employees will have to use the long underwriting application with a possible review of medical records and/or an interview with a nurse.

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

  • The TSP is a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees and members of the uniformed services. As a new employee, you are automatically contributing 3% of your basic pay, unless you choose to cancel it. FERS employees - you may want to consider increasing it to at least 5% to get the full agency matching and your agency will contribute 1% of your basic pay each pay date to your TSP account.


  • All employees hired on or after January 1, 2014 are covered under Federal Employees Retirement System-Further Revised Annuity Employees (FERS-FRAE), and required to pay both social security and Medicare taxes. FERS-FRAE is a retirement plan that provides benefits from three different sources: a Basic Benefit Plan, Social Security and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).  The Basic Benefit of FERS requires you to pay your share each pay period.  Your agency pays its part too.  Then after you retire (must meet retirement eligibility), you receive annuity payments each month for the rest of your life.

Additional Information

If you have any additional questions or need to know the location of the orientation session, please contact the personnel specialist who offered you employment.

Page Last Revised - August 4, 2022
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