Human Resources and Security Specialists should use this tool to determine the correct investigation level for any covered position within the U.S. Federal Government.
If you do not have a copy of your last PS-50, and are currently employed by USPS, your PS Form 50 may be obtained in hard copy format through your servicing personnel office, or in electronic format from the Postal Service's electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF) system. If you are no longer employed by USPS, you can obtain a copy of your PS Form 50 from the National Personnel Records Center of the National Archives and Records Administration. Civilian personnel records are normally transferred to the National Personnel Records Center within 120 days after an employee's separation from Federal employment. To obtain copies of your PS-50s, send written authorization to:
NOTE: The USPS uses the same series as the rest of the Federal Government, except for occupations which are unique to the Postal Service. These unique occupations are in the 2300 series. The USPS uses its own Rate Schedule Codes (RSC), in place of the General Schedule (GS) and Federal Wage System (FWS) used by much of the Federal Government.
We are sometimes asked why positions that seem to involve the same kind of work in different locations or organizations are classified differently. There are two reasons why positions that seem similar are classified differently:
Because the positions or jobs are actually different. While the tasks might seem to be similar, the complexity of the work, as well as the level of responsibility, authority, level of contacts, purpose of contacts, or other classification or job grading factor could be sufficiently different to justify a different classification or grading. The classification or job grading decision is made by agency officials who have the most information about the position or job in question.
Because one or more of the positions or jobs is not classified or graded correctly. OPM classification and job grading standards may have been interpreted differently by whoever classified or graded the positions or jobs. When OPM learns of such situations, we remind the agency or agencies of their responsibility to classify or grade similar positions or jobs consistently.
A classification appeal is a written request by an employee for their agency, department, or OPM to review his/her classification. Issues which may be appealed include the pay system, occupational series, grade, and official position title. Employees considering the appeal process should review the applicable information at http://www.opm.gov/classapp. A job grading appeal covers the same issues except pay system. Federal wage system employees who believe their job is properly placed in the General Schedule must follow classification rather than job grading appeal procedures.
Employees should discuss any discrepancies with their supervisor before requesting a review at higher organizational levels. Remember, while some appeals may result in a position being classified to a higher grade, others may result in grades remaining the same, being classified or graded lower, or being placed in a different pay system.
Only a current Federal employee may appeal the classification of his or her current official position. The right to appeal ends after the employee leaves the appealed position or job. The appeal choices available depend on whether the employee is a General Schedule (GS) employee or a Federal Wage System (FWS) employee.
If you are a GS employee, you may appeal the pay system, occupational series, grade, and/or official title of your position at any time to your agency or directly to OPM but not both at the same time. Another option available to a GS employee is to make your classification appeal to OPM through your agency. Your agency must act on your appeal within 60 calendar days or forward it to OPM for action. If your agency's decision on your appeal is not in your favor, your appeal is automatically forwarded to OPM.
Generally, we recommend that you first seek an appeal decision from your agency. If you appeal to your agency and its decision is unfavorable, you can still appeal to OPM. However, if you appeal first to OPM and receive an unfavorable decision, you cannot then appeal to your agency.
If you are an FWS employee and disagree with the grade of your job, you must first appeal to your agency. Then, if you are dissatisfied with your agency's decision, you may appeal to OPM. Your appeal to OPM must be filed within 15 calendar days of the date you receive your agency's decision. You must tell us which specific part of your agency's appeal decision you disagree with and why.
Federal employees who call our offices to get information about filing a classification appeal frequently ask how long will it take to get a decision and what are their chances of receiving a favorable decision. Because of the investigative work and analysis that we must do in each case, we cannot answer that question in individual cases. However, we can provide an historical perspective.
In about 85 percent of cases, the classification or grading of the job does not change. Of the remaining 15 percent, recent trends show more positions or jobs are downgraded or result in another unrequested change than are upgraded.
Although the OPM-certified grade may be higher or lower than the grade assigned by the agency, this does not necessarily mean that 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 appeal decision.
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