Ask The Lawyer

By Debra Roth

Q & A Session – Hiring Selection

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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:

Currently, I am on retained pay, GS-13 Step 00. I interviewed for a GS-14 position and was not selected. Informally, two of the three members of the hiring panel said I scored much higher than the person chosen by the Selecting Official. Both members of the hiring panel said they are troubled by what happened. Do I have a right to ask for the panel scores through the Freedom of Information Act or other means?

I believe I was not selected because I am targeted for another position which is a GS-15. Those interviews are complete and we are awaiting selection. If selected, the non-selection of the GS-14 position will cause me to be brought in at a step below what I would have been entitled to. Is there any recourse?

A:

The only recourse is EEO. An EEO complaint must be filed within 45 days of learning of the non-selection. You can ask for the panel scores under FOIA, but you are likely to receive them if you file an EEO complaint.

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

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