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Classification & Qualifications Appeal Decisions

Washington, DC

U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Classification Appeal Decision
Under section 5112 of title 5, United States Code

[appellant's name]
Equal Employment Manager
Equal Employment Opportunity Office
U.S. Army Engineer District, [city]
[specific] Division
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
[city, state]
Equal Employment Manager

Robert D. Hendler
Classification and Pay Claims
Program Manager
Agency Compliance and Evaluation
Merit System Accountability and Compliance



As provided in section 511.612 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), this decision constitutes a certificate which is mandatory and binding on all administrative, certifying, payroll, disbursing, and accounting officials of the Government.  The agency is responsible for reviewing its classification decisions for identical, similar, or related positions to ensure consistency with this decision.  There is no right of further appeal.  This decision is subject to discretionary review only under conditions and time limits specified in the Introduction to the Position Classification Standards (Introduction), appendix 4, Section G (address provided in appendix 4, section H).

Decision sent to:

[Appellant and HR office addresses]


On November 20, 2013, OPM’s Dallas Agency Compliance and Evaluation accepted a classification appeal from [appellant’s name].  The appellant’s position is currently classified as Equal Employment Manager, GS-260-12, but she believes it should be classified at the GS-13 grade level.  The position is assigned to the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office; U.S. Army Engineer District, [city]; [specific] Division; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE); in [city, state].  We received the complete agency’s administrative report (AAR) on December 27, 2013, and the appellant’s comments on the report on January 9, 2014.  We have accepted and decided this appeal under section 5112 of title 5, United States Code (U.S.C.).

Background and general issues

In response to a Negotiated Settlement Agreement between the appellant and agency, the servicing human resources office completed the terms of the agreement “to have [the official position description (PD)] updated and accurately reviewed.”  The PD was revised, numbered [number], and classified as Equal Employment Manager, GS-260-12, on September 19, 2013.  The appellant subsequently filed a classification appeal with OPM, communicating various concerns regarding the accuracy and fairness of the agency’s evaluation.  In adjudicating this appeal, our responsibility is to make our own independent decision on the proper classification of the appellant’s position.  Because our decision sets aside all previous agency decisions, any concerns regarding the agency’s evaluation of her position are not germane to this decision.

The division oversees water resources development and military design and construction projects through its four district offices in [city, state]; [city, state]; [city, state]; and [city, state].  The appellant compares her work to that described in the now-abolished GS-13 PD for the [city]-based Equal Employment Manager.  She forwarded the GS-13 PD, which describes duties and responsibilities like the appellant’s involving the direction and management of a district EEO program.  Now, however, all district-level Equal Employment Manager positions are classified at the GS-12 grade level.  By law, we must classify positions solely by comparing duties and responsibilities to OPM position classification standards (PCS) and guidelines (5 U.S.C. 5106, 5107, and 5112).  Since comparison to the PCSs and guidelines is the exclusive method for classifying positions, we cannot compare the appellant’s current duties to an abolished PD, which may or may not have been classified properly.

Position information

The appellant’s position is responsible for the day-to-day operations of her EEO office, delivering EEO services to the approximately 1,102 district employees.  In addition, a support agreement establishes her district as the operating EEO office for the 100 division employees (headquartered in [city, state]), performing functions including processing informal and formal complaints, submitting reports required by higher headquarters, and preparing and coordinating the annual affirmative employment plan (Management Directive (MD) 715).  Her office also provides limited EEO functions to the additional 100 employees of tenant commands.  The appellant’s immediate supervisor is the district’s Deputy Commander, a military officer.

The appellant is responsible for planning, directing, and evaluating an EEO program integrating the following functions.

Advisory Services:  Advises all levels of management regarding EEO related issues including program overview, assessments, recommending courses of action to supervisors and managers, participating in strategic planning and special teams, presenting briefings, and researching special problems.  As the district’s principal adviser and technical expert on EEO, the appellant advises the Commander, her immediate supervisor, and other senior officials at meetings and briefings on topics including the services provided by the EEO office, significant workplace issues, and reported complaints.

Complaints Program Management:  Processes all EEO complaints of discrimination in accordance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations including the statutes and directives of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of the Army.  The appellant oversees, monitors, and reports on the status of all stages of complaint activity (pre complaints, mediation, formal complaint, investigation, hearing, and settlement).  Her work entails ensuring complaints are addressed timely, fairly, and thoroughly; verifying completion of required correspondence and coordination; directing the counseling and assistance provided by counselors; and overseeing the fact-gathering and investigations completed with the objective of resolving complaints before elevation to the formal complaint stage.  According to the appellant, the EEO office documented eight formal complaints and up to 25 informal complaints during calendar year 2013.

Compliance and Program Evaluation:  Ensures the EEO office’s compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations relating to conducting surveys, developing the district-level EEO policies and procedures, performing assessments, collecting and reporting data, managing reasonable accommodation issues, etc.  The appellant identifies and assesses EEO barriers, recommending strategies to remove and neutralize barriers.  She conducts surveys based on local needs, analyzing the results from surveys, interviews, and other data sources.  She disseminates results and briefs her supervisor and other senior officials on findings.

Special Emphasis Program (SEP):  Directs, monitors, and implements employment related career development actions for special emphasis groups.  The appellant identifies barriers in the recruitment, hiring, retention, and other career areas affecting the full representation of targeted groups.  She also develops, compiles, and disseminates information to all staff to provide awareness, sensitivity, and understanding of issues affecting the protected groups.

Training:  Provides proactive, on-going training and education programs regarding EEO and other employment issues.  The appellant delivers, coordinates, tracks, and/or reports on agency-mandated EEO training.

The appellant’s position also serves as the immediate supervisor for two GS-260 Equal Employment Specialist positions assigned to the EEO office.  We discuss her supervisory duties later in the decision.

The immediate supervisor certified to the accuracy of the duties described in the appellant’s official PD.  In her appeal request to OPM, the appellant said the duties described in her PD are “dumbed down” and “does not clearly, accurately and completely reflect the proper level of responsibility, technical, administrative, supervisory, guidelines, and complexities required.”  In AAR comments to OPM, she further explains the “dumbing down” of her PD as, for instance, the switching of terms from ‘consulting with’ to ‘providing EEO consultation’ and from ‘setting goals’ to ‘coordinating achievement of.’  The appellant explains:

Consulting with according to Webster’s involves engaging in an professional exchange of ideas and opinions, giving expert advice to other professionals on a particular topic or technical expert in a particular field, body of knowledge.

Consultation, by contrast and comparison, is a different professional arrangement and involves a different type of exchange as the relationship between the two parties is different.  For example consultation involves approaching a colleague to discuss the case and receiving feedback.  The amount of detail that is shared varies, and after discussing the case the person with whom EEO Program Manager consulted with (the “consultant”) offers an opinion and/or suggestions.  Not the exchanging of ideas, opinions, or the process of working through differing professional opinions, etc., regulating the position of the EEO Program Chief down to Supervisor/Leader who seeks information, guidance and consultation from those of a higher authority of professionalism.

Classification appeal regulations permit OPM to investigate or audit a position and decide an appeal on the basis of the actual duties and responsibilities currently assigned by management and performed by the employee.  Since an OPM appeal decision classifies a real operating position and not simply the PD, our decision will be based on the work currently assigned to and performed by the appellant rather than how it is described by the PD.  Nonetheless, we noted the first paragraph of the PD’s major duties section makes various references (e.g., “consulting and advising on program resources and issues” and “consults with the District Commander(s) and senior leaders on all issues affecting the workforce”), contrary to the appellant’s comments that the PD describes this work as providing EEO consultation.

A PD is the official record of the major duties and responsibilities assigned to a position or job by an official with the authority to assign work.  A PD does not have to be a comprehensive and detailed narrative of the characteristics, guidelines, and complexities of the position’s duties and responsibilities.  OPM considers a PD to be accurate for classification purposes when the major duties and responsibilities of the position are listed and proper classification can be made when the description is supplemented by otherwise accurate, available, and current information on the organization’s structure, mission, and procedures.  Under the General Schedule position classification system, major duties are those occupying a significant portion of the employee’s time.  They should be only those duties currently assigned, observable, identified with the position’s purpose and organization, and expected to continue or recur on a regular basis over a period of time.  Based on these criteria, we find the appellant’s PD is adequate for classification purposes, and we incorporate it by reference into this decision.

To help decide this appeal, we conducted telephone audits with the appellant on January 24 and March 4, 2014, and a telephone interview with the immediate supervisor on February 21, 2014.  In reaching our decision, we carefully considered all of the information gained from these interviews, as well as the written information furnished by the appellant and her agency.

Series, title, and standard determination

The agency assigned the appellant’s position to the GS-260 Equal Employment Opportunity Series, titled it Equal Employment Manager, and applied the grading criteria in the GS-260 PCS to determine the grade of the position.  The appellant does not disagree and, after careful review of the record, we concur.

The appellant’s initial request to OPM states her disagreement with the agency’s crediting of Factor 2, Supervisory Controls, in the GS-260 PCS.  The agency credited her position at Level 2-5, the highest factor level described in the PCS.  During the telephone audit, the appellant explained that she agrees with the agency’s crediting of Level 2-5 in the PCS but asserts her position is supervisory and that the General Schedule Supervisory Guide (GSSG) should be used to evaluate the position’s grade level as well.  Implicit in her rationale is that the position is supervisory because she spends 25 percent of her time supervising two GS-260 Equal Employment Specialist positions, with full performance level at the GS-11 grade level, assigned to her EEO office.  One position is currently vacant and the other is occupied at the GS-5 grade level.

In the AAR to OPM, the agency provides its explanation for not applying the GSSG:

Although the one subordinate employee is currently performing below the full performance grade (GS-11 FL 2-4), this is a temporary situation.  The GS-5 employee is currently working at the FL 2-2, but once the employee starts moving through the developmental grades, FL 2 would be credited higher until the employee reaches the target grade.  The vacant position is assumed to be filled at the GS-11, that position will be credited with performing their work at FL 2-4.

Sound classification judgment requires that a position be classified on the duties that are of a recurring, and of a continuing nature.  Crediting temporary situations would cause a misclassification of the true supervisory duties of the position.  Since the developmental work must be credited at the constructed grade (target grade), temporary situations involving developmental work do not impact the position performing supervisory work at more than the credited amount of 15% on a regular continuing basis.

The appellant’s PD of record indicates she spends 15 percent of her time on supervisory responsibilities; during the telephone audit, she said this work ranges from no less than 20 percent to more than 25 percent of her time.  Subsequently, the appellant sent an email with attached spreadsheet indicating that, after tracking daily tasks for a couple weeks, she estimates spending 26 to 27 percent of her time the first week on supervisory/management responsibilities and 28 to 30 percent the second week on such work including “unique time and attendance issues” with her employee.

Although meeting the minimum 25 percent requirement for coverage by the GSSG, the appellant’s estimates include program management work time not properly considered under the GSSG.  Since the EEO office is not fully staffed, she has parceled out complaints processing work to USACE EEO Specialists assigned to other divisions.  The appellant’s log indicates she spent approximately seven hours during the week identifying new work assignments, requesting the status of ongoing assignments, and reviewing the counselor’s reports assigned to and completed by EEO Specialists assigned to other divisions.  However, this work describes program management responsibilities unrelated to the work covered by the GSSG involving technically and administratively directing the work of subordinate positions.  The USACE EEO Specialists performing collateral work for the appellant’s program receive technical and administrative supervision from staff in their own office whose supervisory positions have been credited for purposes of the GSSG as their official supervisors of record.  Thus, these EEO Specialist positions cannot be counted as subordinate employees of the appellant for purposes of applying the GSSG.

The appellant’s estimates also include a “unique” time and attendance issue involving her subordinate employee, requiring a significant expenditure of her time (3.5 hours during the week) to seek advice from human resources staff, counsel the employee, and develop and issue letters to address concerns.  Regardless, performance and conduct issues are temporary with either the subordinate employee making appropriate adjustments or his/her being removed from the position.  The appellant’s subordinate employee also occupies a GS-5 position, a developmental position generally subject to closer review and supervision.  The developmental stage is temporary with supervisory controls lessening as the position progresses to the full performance level.  This is confirmed by a review of the GS-11 Equal Employment Specialist PD assigned to the appellant’s subordinate positions.  The GS-11 PD, certified as current and accurate by competent management authority, credits the position’s supervisory controls at Level 2-4 for working independently within a framework of established guidelines and procedures with the supervisor setting overall objectives and resources available.

To be covered by the GSSG, a position must spend at least 25 percent of the work time on a regular and recurring basis on the administrative and technical direction of others.  The appellant’s estimate ranges from 26 to 30 percent, just meeting the threshold for GSSG coverage.  This figure, however, includes program management responsibilities not considered under the GSSG; it also includes the time spent on a “unique” time and attendance issue and with supervision of a developmental employee.  Thus, her estimate represents a transitory situation, not the baseline percentage of supervisory work performed on a regular and recurring basis for a staff of two full-performance level GS-11 employees.  For these and other reasons, we find the appellant does not spend 25 percent or more of her time supervising two subordinate GS-260 Equal Employment Specialist positions.  Therefore, we find the GSSG is not appropriate for grade-level determination.

Grade determination

The GS-260 PCS is written in the Factor Evaluation System (FES) format, under which factor levels and accompanying point values are assigned for each of the nine factors.  The total is converted to a grade level by use of the grade conversion table provided in the PCS.  Under the FES, each factor-level description demonstrates the minimum characteristics needed to receive credit for the described level.  If a position fails to meet the criteria in a factor-level description in any significant aspect, it must be credited at a lower level unless an equally important aspect that meets a higher level balances the deficiency.  Conversely, the position may exceed those criteria in some aspect and still not be credited at a higher level.

The appellant only disagrees with the agency’s evaluation of Factors 3 and 4.  We have reviewed the agency’s crediting of Levels 1-7, 2-5, 5-4, 6-3, 7-3, 8-1, and 9-1; concur; and have credited the position accordingly.  Therefore, our evaluation will focus on Factors 3 and 4.

Factor 3, Guidelines

This factor considers the nature of guidelines and the judgment needed to apply them.

At Level 3-4, EEO managers work within agency policies, guidelines, and instructions.  They use judgment to interpret agency guidelines to formulate policies and plans for specific equal employment programs covering one or more components of an independent agency or department.

At Level 3-5, EEO managers work within guidelines that are broadly stated and nonspecific such as basic legislation, broad court decisions, and Governmentwide policies.  They use judgment to interpret the guidelines that do exist to formulate operating policies and plans for specific equal employment programs covering independent agencies or departments, or the primary organizational subdivisions of very large departments.

The appellant’s guidelines meet Level 3-4.  Her position is responsible for managing the district’s EEO program within the laws, regulations, Executive Orders, court and appeal decisions, and policies and instructions issued by EEOC, U.S. Department of Defense, Army, and USACE.  As at Level 3-4, the appellant uses judgment to interpret agency policies, guidelines, and instructions to fit the situation at hand.

The appellant seeks to credit her position at Level 3-5, stating her district is equivalent to a department or a primary organizational subdivision of a very large department.  She explains in her appeal request to OPM:

My rationale is this, throughout the District (the largest District in [the division]) where appropriate for ‘particular’ positions and/or ‘other arguments’, the Commander and Executive leadership continually state the fact that [the district] is so large, vast covering over [number] miles, with far reaching scopes, tentacles and for months this same leadership has completely pushed the idea of Regionalization (i.e., the Regional Planning Environment Center, the Contracting Division and the Real Estate Acquisition Center) and the Integrated Management Document (IMD) continues to grow adding employees to [the district] that are located throughout the Region/Division…yet the EEO PD does not reflect the scope of this responsibility for the position, neither is the regional perspective and widening responsibility to provide a comprehensive EEO Program to Regional employees.  As of January 2013 the [district] included 1,114 permanent employees; 143 temporary employees; 52 contract employees; and 38 rehired annuitants, prior to the Regionalization efforts.  The District has employees deployed in the Middle East, to include Iraq and Afghanistan, who should an EEO issue arise are directed to [the district EEO office].

The appellant’s guidelines do not meet Level 3-5.  Her work does not require or permit her to use judgment to interpret broadly stated and nonspecific guidelines in developing operating policies and plans.  The appellant drafts memorandums on zero tolerance for harassment and discrimination, the reasonable use of official time, and other local policies and standard operating procedures requiring evaluation and compilation of information from existing laws, regulations, and policies and instructions issued by EEOC, Army, and USACE rather than the interpretation of broadly stated and nonspecific guidelines described at Level 3-5.  The level of judgment required of the appellant to apply guidelines and develop local procedures is consistent with Level 3-4, where employees use initiative and resourcefulness to extend or redefine guidelines, or deviate from traditional principles and practices.

We reviewed the various work samples forwarded by the appellant, noting the work products are largely grounded by existing guidelines.  For example, EEO discrimination complaints are processed in accordance with EEOC directives and Army Regulation (AR) 690-600; the EEO and special emphasis programs are developed, implemented, and evaluated according to AR 690-12; award nominees are certified by the EEO office to have not acted in a discriminatory manner as required by AR 672-20; and the MD 715, Disabled Veterans Affirmative Action Program, and other mandatory reports are completed within deadlines specified by higher authorities.  The existence of EEOC, Army, and USACE directives and policies on various topics including, but not limited to, complaints processing, reasonable accommodation, sexual harassment, and mandatory reporting requirements precludes the appellant’s position from meeting the full intent of Level 3-5 as there is no need to make extensive interpretation of basic legislation and broad policy statements characteristic of this level.  If or when extensive interpretation of basic legislation, policy statements, and other broadly stated or nonspecific guidelines is required, she consults with onsite staff attorneys or EEO personnel at the division, USACE, or Army level.

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 3-5, neither requiring the interpretation of broadly-stated and nonspecific guidelines nor the formulating of policies or plans for a bureau, agency, or departmental EEO program envisioned at this level.  She asserts her EEO office is equivalent to a department or a primary organizational subdivision of a very large department, citing the increasing size and location of the district’s servicing population.  Discussion regarding the size, location, and other complexities of the appellant’s servicing population follows under Factor 4, Complexity.  The appellant also references the definition and synonyms of an online dictionary, stating in her appeal request to OPM:

Webster’s online dictionary defines a department as – a division of a large organization such as a government, university, business, or shop, dealing with a specific subject, commodity, or area of activity.  Synonyms for department via Webster’s online dictionary include:  division, section, sector, unit, and branch.

As previously stated, we must classify positions solely by comparison of its duties and responsibilities to OPM PCSs and guidelines.  Thus, by law, we must use the organizational definitions in the GS-260 PCS and not Webster’s as the appellant proposes in evaluating her position and we will not address her application of the online dictionary further.  In that regard, the GS-260 PCS includes benchmark descriptions illustrating two equal employment manager positions properly credited with Level 3-5.  One position describes responsibility for managing the EEO program for a small Federal agency to provide leadership to the agency’s top management, and the other describes management of a Federal women’s program of an independent department to include coordinating activities throughout the agency through program managers at subordinate organizational levels.  The appellant’s operating-level district EEO program fits neither description; her position does not manage the EEO program for an entire Federal agency like the first illustration nor does she manage the EEO program through program managers at multiple subordinate organizational levels like the second illustration.  Instead, her position is organizationally at the district level and is thus buffered by the division, USACE, Army, and Department of Defense EEO program offices.  We conclude the appellant’s EEO program matches Level 3-4 in that her district-level organization may be considered a component of a department rather than a primary organizational subdivision of a very large department as described at Level 3-5.

Level 3-4 is credited for 450 points.

Factor 4, Complexity

This factor covers the nature, number, variety, and intricacy of tasks, steps, processes, or methods in the work performed; the difficulty in identifying what needs to be done; and the difficulty and originality involved in performing the work.

At Level 4-4, EEO managers direct the day-to-day operations of EEO programs.  They plan program activities, solve problems, and recommend changes in emphasis and level of program resources.  They advise managers of their EEO responsibilities, e.g., by participating in general training sessions or seminars.  Work requires making decisions such as recommending disposition of individual complaints, accepting or rejecting an affirmative action plan, setting program priorities when resources are limited, and selecting appropriate problem-solving methodology.  EEO managers usually operate in medium size organizations; i.e., 1,000 to 5,000 employees, with moderate complexity.

At Level 4-5, EEO managers set program goals, formulate short- and long-term plans, direct day-to-day operations, systematically evaluate progress, and recommend resource levels and overall organization of the program.  Decisions regarding what must be done include major areas of uncertainty in approach, methodology, or interpretation.  The programs focus on solving broad and significant problems and correcting underlying causes of problems in moderately large; i.e., 7,500 to 15,000 employees, and complex organizations.

The complexity of the appellant’s position meets Level 4-4.  She plans and directs the day-to-day activities of a complete EEO program under the general administrative direction of the Deputy Commander, following a range of guidelines and requirements occasionally requiring interpretation to fit the situation.  Similar to Level 4-4, the appellant handles situations with varying complexity and difficulty involving setting goals, monitoring progress toward meeting goals, and advising officials.  Her advisory, complaints management, SEP, and other assignments normally follow the same course of action including identifying issues, defining problems, and determining the course of action to achieve resolution.  The characteristics of the appellant’s position are comparable to the illustrations of work meeting Level 4-4, which describe establishing an EEO program oriented towards solving individual complaints of varying complexity, developing affirmative action plans, and monitoring plan accomplishments.  Also similar to Level 4-4, her advisory responsibilities include identifying methods to eliminate barriers to equal employment, recommending changes in management policies and practices, and setting program priorities.  The appellant’s recommendations and decisions require selecting the appropriate analytical and consulting methods for solving problems involving, for example, the disposition of individual complaints concerning matters such as nonselection for vacant positions, disciplinary actions, and sexual harassment.

Also typical of Level 4-4, the appellant’s EEO program serves a medium-sized organization of moderate complexity with a population of about 1,100 district employees.  As part of a service agreement, the office also performs a full range of EEO functions for the 100 division employees and limited tasks (i.e., complaints processing and occasionally SEP) for up to 100 employees of tenant agencies and commands located within the district’s area of responsibility.  The workforce served includes occupational series covering professional, administrative, technical, clerical, and trades and crafts work.  Although a portion of the employees work at the district office (approximately 45 percent), much of the workforce is geographically dispersed throughout [state], [state], [state], and other sites where the district maintains employees and/or project responsibility.

The appellant seeks to credit her position at Level 4-5, explaining in her appeal request to OPM:

…the complexities do not address the fact that the EEO Program Manager is required to complete operational duties for [the division] an additional (95-100) employees; and process EEO complaints for employees via located in [city], [city], and [city] given the Regionalization of Contracting, Planning and Environmental and Real Estate Acquisition Center.  Nor the fact that the EEO Program Manager is responsible for providing EEO Program services, specifically complaints processing to other Army Commands/Installations located within [the district’s] area of responsibility…

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 4-5.  According to the Deputy Commander, plans are being discussed to redistribute offices and employees within the region but have yet to be implemented.  The appellant said if the regionalization occurs as anticipated, an additional 500 employees will fall under her EEO office’s area of responsibility.  Even counting the 1,100 district employees, the 200 employees provided services through service agreements, and the additional 500 employees to be picked up if and when the reorganization occurs, the estimated total of 2,000 employees falls in the low- to mid-range of the moderately sized organization credited at Level 4-4.  The PCS cautions that the size of the organization’s workforce is only one consideration in determining the appropriate level under this factor.  More important in determining the correct factor level are the complexity and variety of the problems handled by the appellant.

Notwithstanding the appellant managing an EEO program for an organization of “medium” size rather than a “moderately large” one, the nature and variety of the problems encountered (in resolving individual complaints and specific problems with narrow impact) do not meet the intent of Level 4-5.  As EEO manager, the appellant is responsible for conducting a climate survey at least yearly or when a new district Commander arrives; this work entails identifying appropriate questions, distributing the survey, analyzing results, and briefing senior officials and other staff on findings.  Other work entails reviewing the district’s recruitment plans, interview questions, and other recruitment and hiring tools to ensure the process is conducted fairly, equitably, and consistently in addition to sitting on selection panels to ensure interviews are conducted in a non-discriminatory manner.  The appellant also certifies award recommendations and processes reasonable accommodation requests (e.g., receives initial request; discusses request with employee, his/her supervisor, staff attorneys, etc.; requests medical and other required documentation; determines if accommodation is feasible; and identifies other suitable alternatives to accommodate the employee).  Unlike Level 4-5, this and other advisory work does not involve making recommendations to organizational decision makers to resolve very difficult and complex individual problems, change specific management policies or practices, take other actions to change conditions underlying problems, and develop detailed action plans.

Furthermore, the appellant’s decisions do not involve major areas of uncertainty in approach, methodology, or interpretation and evaluation processes resulting from continuing changes in program emphasis and direction; changing conditions in the organization concerned; conflicts between program requirements and fundamental and long established policies and practices of the institutions concerned; and often include a level of program resources requiring the program manager to make difficult choices in setting program priorities as described at Level 4-5.  Her complaints management work entails reviewing each claim to determine if circumstances surrounding the claim meet criteria for dismissal, ensuring all complaints are handled in accordance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations.  The appellant seeks to credit her position at Level 4-5, partly because she is required to use a variety of automated data collection software and programs to gather information (e.g., on the local labor force) for mandatory EEO reports.  She uses automation as a tool to extract, collect, and report the data required for a variety of weekly, quarterly, monthly, and yearly reports her office provides to division, USACE, and Army officials.  She also provides regular briefings to senior officials on reported complaints and other EEO related data.  The automation tool used by her position, i.e., the knowledge required by the work and how it is used, is addressed under Factor 1, Knowledge Required by the Position.  In considering the complexity involved in the analysis of the data collected, we conclude the appellant’s decisions and findings, in contrast to Level 4-5, are not characterized by major areas of uncertainty in determining the scope of the work or the most effective approach and methodology, since this work is largely cyclical or repetitive with sufficient precedents upon which subsequent work can be based.

Level 4-4 is credited for 225 points.

Factor Level Points
1.  Knowledge Required by the Position 1-7 1250
2.  Supervisory Controls 2-5 650
3.  Guidelines 3-4 450
4.  Complexity 4-4 225
5.  Scope and Effect 5-4 225
6.  Personal Contacts 6-3 60
7.  Purpose of Contacts 7-3 120
8.  Physical Demands 8-1 5
9.  Work Environment 9-1 5
Total 2,990


A total of 2,990 points falls within the GS-12 range (2,755 to 3,150) on the grade conversion table in the PCS.


The appellant’s position is properly classified as Equal Employment Manager, GS-260-12.





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