Ask The Lawyer

By Debra Roth

Q & A Session – Grade Increase After Minimally Successful Performance Appraisal

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.

Q:

If a federal employee receives a grade increase to the next career ladder grade immediately following a minimal successful performance appraisal, what action should be taken by management/human resources to address and correct the issue?

A:

The situation you described sounds like a major ball dropping of a well thrown pass. Once an appointment (promotion to a higher grade level) is made by an authorized appointing authority it cannot be taken away from a non-probationary employee without due process. But it sounds like due process and a possible adverse action is in order. You can try to report this to an IG Hotline, but most IG offices will lack the resources to investigate this type of issue.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.

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Comments

  1. Kraig Adamson Says:
    July 13th, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I am a preference eligible veteran, I applied for a position with the Department of the Interior and was told by the hiring authority that I was the top candidate. I was then told I was being “direct hired”. I bought back my military time in 15 months and was asked by the union to be a steward. I agreed and since that time my supervisor and co-workers have turned against me and are in the process of trying to get me fired. I am now being told that I have a 2 year probation. Those hired after me are done with their probation, but apparently I am still under probation. This does not seem right , nor was this explained to me when I agreed to the “direct-hire” option. My performance evaluations up to this point have been excellent, what do I do?