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Classification & Qualifications Appeals Decisions

 

Overview

These pages summarize the Federal position classification appeals process. Throughout these pages, "you" refers to a current Federal employee, "we" or "us" refers to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and "classification appeal" refers to classification appeals by General Schedule (GS) employees and job grading appeals by Federal Wage System (FWS) employees.

The decisions posted on these pages provide useful occupational information, classification analysis, factor level accreditation patterns, and interpretations of the governing criteria. As a classification or job grading standard or guide is updated, classification appeal decisions issued using the old standard or guide may be deleted.

You must file a classification or job grading appeal in writing.

Earlier Decisions

Redaction of names and other non-Privacy Act-protected identifying information from appeal decisions was discontinued in 2015.

How to Use Our Classification Appeals Decisions

The classification appeal decisions posted on these pages do not substitute for or add to position classification or job grading standards and guides and are not "case law." Further, these decisions should not be used as the basis for other classification determinations for two reasons. First, section 5107 of title 5, United States Code, prohibits the classification of positions on the basis of position-to-position comparisons. Second, these decisions do not provide enough information for direct application in the classification of other positions.

Cautions

These decisions are provided with the following cautionary notes:

You must keep in mind that the decisions are taken out of context. Neither the actual position description nor the appeal case file is provided to supplement the decision.

Each decision relates to a specific position and may not provide an appropriate basis for extrapolation to other positions.

Each decision provides an interpretation of classification standards and guides in force at the time the case was decided appropriate for the circumstances of the position in question. This interpretation may not be appropriate for other positions given the different ways similar work may be accomplished, alternative interpretations of the flexibilities that may be allowed in the classification standards and guides, and the specific conditions associated with the work of the position being considered.

OPM Decision Numbers

An OPM decision number identifies decisions. The 12-character decision number is made up of C (for classification appeal), 4 digits for the OPM-certified occupational series of the position, 2 digits for the OPM-certified grade of the position, and 2 digits for the number of the decision for that particular series and grade.

For example, the decision number C-0802-11-02 indicates that it is a classification appeal decision for a position in the 0802 Engineering Technician occupational series at the grade 11 level and is the second decision issued with that series and grade determination.

If the grade is 00 or the series is 0000, that indicates we made a determination on only the series or the pay system; that is, whether the position should be in the Federal Wage System or the General Schedule.

The Order of Decisions

The decisions in the General Schedule, Federal Wage System and Pay System tables are listed in numerical order by occupational series and within series by grade.

Outcome Entries

The following entries describe our classification appeal decision. If the OPM-certified pay system or occupational series or grade differs from the pay system or occupational series or grade assigned to the position by the agency, we note only what the difference is.

No Change
The OPM-certified pay system, occupational series, and grade matches the pay system, occupational series, and grade assigned to the position by the agency.
New Pay System
The OPM-certified pay system differs from the pay system assigned to the position by the agency.
New Series
The OPM-certified series differs from the series assigned to the position assigned by the agency.
Upgraded
The OPM-certified grade is higher than the grade assigned to the position by the agency.
Downgraded
The OPM-certified grade is lower than the grade assigned to the position by the agency.

About Grade Changes

Although the OPM-certified grade may be higher or lower than the grade assigned by the agency, this does not necessarily mean the grade of the employee in the position will automatically go up or down. An agency has a number of options available to it when complying with an OPM classification decision. Regardless of our decision, the employee's agency still has full control over the assignment of duties to a position and who performs those duties. Any personnel action affecting an employee resulting from our classification appeal decision will be taken by the employee's agency.

Questions

Because of the detailed information required and the fact finding and analysis work we must do in a classification appeal case, we cannot respond to specific questions about your individual situation. Specific questions about your own position should be addressed to your agency's human resources office. If you have general questions about a particular classification appeal decision, please contact the OPM office serving your area. This highlighted link will take you to the addresses, telephone numbers, and service areas of our offices that provide classification appeal information and accept classification appeals.

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Fact Sheets

You must file a classification or job grading appeal in writing.

Info that Should be Included in a Classification Appeal Filed with OPM

You may have a representative (designated in writing) help you prepare and submit your appeal case, but the representative cannot be someone with management or classification authority over your position. You or your designated representative, who must be designated in writing, should send your appeal to the Office of Personnel Management office serving the geographical area where your position is located.

If you decide to submit a classification appeal to us, it should contain the following information in writing and must be signed by you or your duly authorized representative:

  • Your name, mailing address, and commercial office telephone number;
  • The present classification of your position and the requested classification;
  • The name of the department or agency and the office in which you work;
  • The city where you are employed and the installation's mailing address;
  • A copy of your official position description and either a statement affirming that it is accurate or a detailed explanation of the inaccuracies and an explanation of the efforts made to correct the position description;
  • Any additional information about the position that will aid in understanding it; and
  • Arguments supporting the requested classification by referencing the appropriate classification standards.

OPM Fact Finding

Our appeal decision is based on information supplied by you and your agency. If we need additional information, we will call, write, or visit the work site. If we conduct an interview or desk audit, you will be the only person present unless you are in a General Schedule position and we ask another person to participate. We do not conduct appeal hearings

When we conduct fact finding, it is important that you emphasize the major areas of your work and how your position fits into your unit's and agency's operations. Most importantly, do not understate or exaggerate your duties and responsibilities.

Effective Dates and Back Pay

The effective date of a classification appeal decision can be retroactive only if it corrects a classification action that resulted in an actual decrease in pay.

In order for the decision to be made retroactive, the employee must appeal the classification to either the agency or the Office of Personnel Management, but not both at the same time, within 15 calendar days after the effective date of the reclassification action.

Retroactivity may be based only on duties and responsibilities existing at the time of demotion and cannot be based on duties and responsibilities assigned later.

Cancellation or Withdrawal of an Appeal

You may withdraw your appeal at any time before we issue a decision.

We may cancel your appeal if you or your designated representative fail to provide requested information or if you leave the position that is being appealed.

Cautionary Note

These pages explain the position classification appeals process available to current employees of the United States Federal Government. Former employees of the United States Federal Government may not file a classification appeal.

You should be aware that there might be a delay between official publication of materials and their change or appearance on these pages. We will make every effort to correct errors that come to our attention.

The Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations, published by the National Archives and Records Administration, remain the official sources for regulations published by the Office of Personnel Management. The Office of Personnel Management's regulations for classification appeals for General Schedule employees are in subpart F of part 511 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations. Regulations for job grading appeals for Federal Wage System employees are in subpart G of part 532 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations. You must file a classification or job grading appeal in writing. However, you may send comments or general questions to us electronically.

Why You Must File a Classification Appeal in Writing

You must file a classification appeal in writing because the appeal must have an original signature by you or your designated representative. Additionally, a classification appeal frequently contains supporting documentation such as position descriptions, organizational charts, and work samples that are not available electronically.

Please see our frequently asked questions section if you have any additional questions about how to file a classification appeal.

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Pay System Post 2012

Pay System Appeals Decisions

View Decisions by Occupational Group

Search Appeals Decisions



DecisionColumn Sort Down Arrow Outcome

Pay System Pre 2012

Readers are advised that decisions listed on this page include those based on since superceded classifications standards.

See the overview section for information about downloading decisions, decision numbers, outcome entries and grade changes.

You must file a classification or job grading appeal in writing.
0400 Biological Sciences Group
DecisionOutcome
0462 Forestry Technician
C-0462-00-01, 12/04/01 pay system determination only
0800 Engineering and Architecture Group
DecisionOutcome
0801 General Engineering
C-0802-00-03, 02/13/98 new pay system, new series
C-0802-00-04, 02/13/98 new pay system, new series
0802 Engineering Technician
C-0802-00-01, 01/25/92 new pay system, new series
C-0802-00-02, 11/12/97 new pay system, new series

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2600 Electronic Equipment Installation and Maintenance Family
DecisionOutcome
2601 Electronic Equipment Installation and Maintenance Inspection
C-2601-00-01, 05/17/99 no change
2602 Electronic Measurement Equipment Mechanic
C-2602-00-01, 3/28/00 pay system determination only
C-2602-00-02, 4/07/00 pay system determination only
2604 Electronics Mechanic
C-2604-00-01, 01/29/02 pay system determination only
C-2604-00-02, 10/16/03, pay system determination only
C-2604-00-03, 07/08/04, pay system determination only
C-2604-00-04, 03/22/05, pay system determination only
C-2604-00-05, 03/14/05, pay system determination only
C-2604-00-06, 10/06/05, pay system determination only
C-2604-00-07, 01/16/09, pay system determination only
C-2604-11-06, 03/28/06, no change
C-2604-11-07, 01/16/09, downgraded
3300 Instrument Work Family
DecisionOutcome
3359 Instrument Mechanic
C-3359-00-01, 3/28/00, pay system determination only
3400 Machine Tool Work Family
DecisionOutcome
3414 Machining
C-3414-00-01, 3/14/05 pay system determination only
3700 Metal Processing Family
DecisionOutcome
3701 Metal Processing General
C-3703-00-01, 11/16/99 pay system determination only
C-3703-00-02, 03/14/05, pay system determination only
3800 Metal Work Family
DecisionOutcome
3806 Sheetmetal Mechanic
C-3806-00-01, 02/28/02, pay system determination only
C-3806-00-02, 03/14/05, pay system determination only
3820 Production Shop Planner
C-3820-00-01, 03/14/05, pay system determination only
4200 Plumbing and Pipefitting Family
DecisionOutcome
4204 Production Shop Planner
C-4204-00-01, 03/14/05, pay system determination only
C-4204-00-02, 03/14/05, pay system determination only
4700 General Maintenance and Operations Work Family
DecisionOutcome
4749 Maintenance Mechanic
C-4749-05-01, 11/23/10, pay system determination only
4800 General Equipment Maintenance Family
DecisionOutcome
4805 Medical Equipment Repairing
C-4805-00-01, 11/30/99, pay system determination only
5300 Industrial Equipment Maintenance Family
DecisionOutcome
5330 Marine Machinery Mechanic
C-5334-00-01, 03/14/05, pay system determination only
C-5334-00-02, 10/16/12, pay system determination only
6900 Warehousing and Stock Handling Family
DecisionOutcome
6907 Materials Handler
C-6907-00-01, 04/10/12, pay system determination only
6912 Materials Examining and Identifying
C-6912-00-01, 04/23/01 pay system determination only

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7600 Personal Services Family
DecisionOutcome
7601 Miscellaneous Personal Services
C-7601-00-01, 03/06/97 new pay system, new series
8800 Aircraft Overhaul Family
DecisionOutcome
8801 Miscellaneous Aircraft Overhaul
C-8852-00-01, 05/17/99 no change
8852 Aircraft Mechanic
C-8852-00-02, 06/01/01 pay system determination only
C-8852-00-03, 06/01/01 pay system determination only
C-8852-00-04, 06/01/01 pay system determination only

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Digests

Periodically we publish the Digest of Significant Classification Decisions and Opinions (Digest). In each Digest we present summaries of several decisions and opinions that we believe have Governmentwide applicability. The Digest is designed to aid classifiers in exercising their judgment. Digest items do not supersede or supplement classification standards and do not constitute "case law." As a classification or job grading standard or guide is updated, Digest articles issued under the old standard or guide may be deleted.

Suggestions for improving future issues of the Digest may be made via fax to 202-606-2663, or email to fedclass_appeals@opm.gov, or by writing to the Classification and Pay Claims Program Manager, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street, NW., Room 6484, Washington, DC 20415-6000.

The Digest articles are arranged in the following categories.

Contact Us

Before you email us

Talk with your supervisor

If you believe your position is not properly classified or your position description does not accurately describe your work, we recommend that you talk with your supervisor. Because your supervisor certifies your position description's accuracy, he or she should be able to explain its contents. If your supervisor believes that your position should be reevaluated, he or she can request a review by your human resources office.

Talk with your human resources office

If you have questions your supervisor cannot answer, talk with someone in your human resources office. You can ask to see the position classification standards used to classify your position.

Then

If you want to file a classification appeal after talking with your supervisor and your human resources office, please review our position classification appeals employee fact sheet.

Remember that a classification appeal must be filed in writing and signed.

Otherwise

If you are unable to get your questions answered at your agency, general inquiries about classification may be sent to fedclass@opm.gov. General inquiries about classification appeals may be sent to fedclass_appeals@opm.gov. To help us better respond to your inquiry, please include your name, agency, telephone number, and geographic location. We will not contact your agency unless we first check with you.

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