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Title 38 vs. Hybrid 38: What’s the Difference?

There are unique sets of federal laws and regulations surrounding Veterans Affairs (VA) personnel, such as wage and hour matters, leave, discrimination, and disciplinary actions. Two common categories that VA employees fall under include Title 38, Title 5, and Hybrid 38.

One of the most common challenges that VA employees face is understanding the different laws surrounding Veterans Affairs – particularly Title 38 and Hybrid 38.

Title 38 vs. Hybrid 38

What Is Title 38?

Employees under Title 38 don’t have the same typical rights as federal employees. Title 38 employees are medical or health care providers who work at Veteran Affairs or the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This means that Title 38 is given to employees in specific professions.

Common professions under Title 38 include the following:

  • Physicians
  • Dentists
  • Chiropractors
  • Podiatrists
  • Optometrists
  • Nurses
  • Nurse anesthetists
  • Physician assistants
  • Expanded-function dental auxiliary (EFDA)

Under Title 38, employees in the professions listed above have unique laws and regulations compared to traditional federal employees. For example, Title 38 employees have staff appointments and privileges handled through a Professional Standards Board. They also have personnel action appeals not directed to the Medical Center Director or the federal district court.

Administrative investigations and disciplinary appeals are also handled differently for Title 38 employees. Administrative hearings are often conducted by the Administrative Investigation Board (AIB), and the board will typically consist of peers. Disciplinary appeals will go before the Disciplinary Appeals Board (DAB) and will be held like a formal hearing.

What Is Hybrid 38?

VA employees come under the authority of either Title 5 personnel or Title 38 personnel systems. Occasionally, they fall under both in a hybrid manner. Jurisdiction depends on the title or nature of the specific position.

Title 5 is for non-medical federal personnel. Therefore, a Title Hybrid 38 is for employees in specific positions, such as:

  • Certified/registered respiratory therapist
  • Physical therapist
  • Occupational therapist, licensed practical/vocational nurse
  • Audiologist
  • Social worker
  • Nursing assistant
  • Pharmacist
  • Dietician
  • LPN[1]
  • Speech pathologist

Below is a chart that explains some of the common comparison guidelines between Titled 38 and Hybrid Title 38.

Title 38 vs. Hybrid Title 38 Comparison Chart

Dealing with Title 38 or Hybrid 38 Issues?

If you have encountered a problem as a VA employee, you should contact our team at Pines Federal. Our federal employment attorneys have represented employees across the country. Our team can help you with both your oral and written responses since we have successfully helped many clients reduce (i.e., mitigate) the disciplinary penalty or eliminate the discipline altogether, which is important due to the presence of progressive discipline in the government.

Contact our team today at (888) 898-9902 to schedule a consultation!

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