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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 classification appeal decisions (pre-1997) are not available electronically. Paper copies of decisions still in our system of records may be obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Submit the request to: Classification and Pay Claims Program Manager, Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street, NW, Room 6484, Washington, DC 20415-6000. The request should state that it is a Freedom of Information Act request and describe the requested decisions by occupational series and grade(s), the time period, and if applicable, the agency. For example, "All decisions for GS-0318 positions at grades 6 and 7 in the Department of Agriculture from 1995 to the present."
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.
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.
Some information in these classification appeal decisions, such as the appellant's name and organizational information that might identify the appellant, has been deleted under exemption 6 of the Freedom of Information Act (section 552(b)(6) of title 5, United States Code). Exemption 6 allows information in personnel and medical files to be withheld if disclosing the information would be a "clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy." Text in brackets indicates where information has been withheld under this exemption, for example [appellant's name] or [appellant's supervisor].
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 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.
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.
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.
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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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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com, 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.
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.
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.
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.
If you are unable to get your questions answered at your agency, general inquiries about classification may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. General inquiries about classification appeals may be sent to email@example.com. 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.