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Frequently Asked Questions Pay & Leave

Which method should be used when an employee is promoted from one locality pay area to another, from outside the continental United States to within the continental United States, or to any new location where different pay schedules apply and there is no other change in the employee’s position of record (besides the grade)?

Agencies must first process a geographic conversion before deciding which promotion method to apply. When an employee’s official worksite is changed to a new location upon promotion where different pay schedules apply*, the agency must convert the employee to the applicable pay schedule(s) and rate(s) of basic pay for the new official worksite based on the employee’s position of record before promotion before applying the two-step promotion rule. The agency must set the employee’s rate(s) of basic pay in the applicable pay schedule(s) in the new location based on his or her position of record (including grade) and step (or rate) immediately before the change in the employee’s official worksite. The resulting rate must be used as the existing rate in applying the two-step promotion rule. (See 5 CFR 531.206 and 531.214 for rules on processing other pay actions that may occur simultaneously with a promotion action.)

*In the context of applying the geographic conversion rule, the phrase “where different pay schedules apply” means that an employee’s official worksite is changed to a new location that would cause the employee to lose or gain coverage under a location-based pay schedule (i.e., locality rate schedule or special rate schedule) if the employee were to remain in the same position of record.

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