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Office of the General Counsel

OPM Ref. # 1997-00124

The Honorable Richard HastingsUnited States House of Representatives
25 N. Wenatchee Avenue, Suite 202Wenatchee, Washington 98801

Attn: [XXX]

Dear Mr. Hastings:

This responds to your January 7, 1997 letter and enclosures regarding [XXX] claim for back pay for reclassification of her position. From the documents enclosed with your letter, it appears that [XXX] and three other persons employed by the [agency] were downgraded in 1990 as a result of a position reclassification and restored to their former grades in 1995. At issue is whether she and the others are entitled to back pay. [XXX] March 19, 1996 letter to your office, which you enclosed, suggests that the agencys failure to properly advise her and the others of their appeal rights resulted in their failure to obtain back pay.

Although it is not clear from her letter, [XXX] may be referring to the time limits in the Office of Personnel Managements regulations for classification appeals, copy enclosed. Specifically, these regulations provide that an employee must appeal an adverse classification decision resulting in a loss of grade within 15 days after the calendar date of the reclassification action in order for the decision to made retroactive. 5 C.F.R. 511.703(b). However, these same regulations provide that OPM may allow retroactivity at its discretion upon a showing that the employee was not notified of the applicable time limit and was not otherwise aware of it. Section 511.703(d).

I am also enclosing a copy of an OPM Fact Sheet, which may answer many of [XXX] questions regarding the process for appealing a classification decision, including information about the time deadlines involved. I emphasize that we have not reviewed [claimant's] claim on the merits, that is, whether she is entitled to retroactive pay. This information is provided only to assist your constituent in filing her appeal.

Very truly yours,

Paul Britner

Senior Attorney


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