(a) Hiring preference. We will develop and initiate procedures to implement a plan to partially or completely assume the disability determination function from the State agency under § 404.1690 or § 404.1691, as appropriate. Except for the State agency's administrator, deputy administrator, or assistant administrator (or his equivalent), we will give employees of the State agency who are capable of performing duties in the disability determination function preference over any other persons in filling positions with us for which they are qualified. We may also give a preference in hiring to the State agency's administrator, deputy administrator, or assistant administrator (or his equivalent). We will establish a system for determining the hiring priority among the affected State agency employees in those instances where we are not hiring all of them.
(b) Determination by Secretary of Labor. We will not assume responsibility for performing the disability determination function from a State until the Secretary of Labor determines that the State has made fair and equitable arrangements under applicable Federal, State and local law to protect the interests of employees who will be displaced from their employment because of the assumption and who we will not hire.