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Frequently Asked Questions Pay & Leave

  • No. An employee who is returned from a temporary promotion to his or her regular grade and step and is subsequently promoted to the same grade held during the temporary promotion receives an "equivalent increase" upon the permanent promotion and begins a new waiting period on the date of the permanent promotion. The time spent in the temporary grade and step is not creditable service towards the completion of a waiting period when the employee is permanently promoted.NOTE: If a temporary promotion is made permanent immediately after the temporary promotion ends, the agency may not return the employee to the lower grade. The agency must convert the employee's temporary promotion to a permanent promotion without a change in pay. See 5 CFR 531.214(e).
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  • Agencies are not required to make loan payments in one lump sum.  In fact, making a loan payment in one lump sum to the loan holder on behalf of the employee accelerates the employee’s tax liability and may increase the resulting tax burden.  (See Questions and Answers on Tax Liability.)
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  • Under the law, an employee does not necessarily have to have 52 consecutive weeks at the grade held immediately before being downgraded in order to retain that grade under the grade retention provisions. Under 5 U.S.C. 5362(a), any employee who is placed as a result of reduction-in-force (RIF) procedures into a lower grade and who has served for 52 consecutive weeks or more in "one or more positions . . . at a grade or grades higher than that of the new position, is entitled to have the grade of the position held immediately before such placement" as the retained grade. [Emphasis added.] See also 5 CFR 536.203(a) and (c).Thus, for example, assume an employee has 2 years of service at GS-12 and 10 weeks of service at GS-13 immediately prior to being downgraded to GS-11 as a result of RIF procedures. Even though he or she has only 10 weeks of service at the GS-13 level, the GS-12 service plus the GS-13 service gives the employee more than 52 consecutive weeks at one or more grades higher than that of the position to which the employee is being reduced (i.e., GS-11). Thus, the employee meets the 52 consecutive week requirement and is entitled to retain the grade of GS-13.In contrast, if this employee were being reduced to a GS-12 position rather than a GS-11 position, the employee would not meet the 52 consecutive week requirement and could not retain the GS-13.
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  • Hazardous duty is duty performed under circumstances in which an accident could result in serious injury or death. Duty involving a physical hardship is duty that may not in itself be hazardous, but causes extreme physical discomfort or distress and is not adequately alleviated by protective or mechanical devices.
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  • Yes, provided all other requirements are met. For example, a temporary appointment must be for at least 6 months to meet the minimum period of employment required by 5 CFR 575.110(a) for a service agreement.
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  • See the pay retention fact sheet at - http://www.opm.gov/oca/pay/HTML/pay_retention.asp 
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  • Yes.  Agencies may use the standard method when the employee is covered by different pay schedules before and after promotion if the standard method produces a higher payable rate upon promotion than the alternate method.
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  • The service agreement may include any other terms or conditions that, if violated, will result in termination of the service agreement. For example, the service agreement may specify the employee’s work schedule, type of position, and the duties he or she is expected to perform. In addition, the service agreement may address the extent to which periods of time on detail, in a nonpay status, or in a paid leave status are creditable towards the completion of the service period. (See 5 CFR 575.110(f) and 575.210(f).)
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  • Agencies are responsible for making their own determination regarding what this term means.  In doing so, agencies should take into account consistency, fairness, and the cost to taxpayers of recovering monies owed to the Government.
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  • Travel status includes only the time "actually" spent traveling between the official duty station and a temporary duty station, or between two temporary duty stations, and the usual waiting time that preceds or interrups such travel.
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