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Office of the General Counsel

Matter of: [xxx]
Date: December 9, 1999
File Number: S003508

OPM Contact: Jo-Ann Chabot

A former federal employee filed a claim for severance pay. The claim is denied because the claimant does not fulfill the eligibility requirements to receive severance pay.

The claimant worked in private industry before her initial appointment in the federal civil service. On October 28, 1985, the claimant was appointed to a civilian position with the [agency]. She held a series of temporary appointments from October 28, 1985 to March 5, 1995, when her temporary appointment was converted to a term appointment not-to-exceed March 4, 1999. On October 12, 1996, the claimant transferred from the [xxx] to the [xxx]. She transferred under her term appointment and was continuously employed under that appointment until she was separated because her appointment expired on March 4, 1999. All of these appointments were time-limited appointments.

Sections 550.701 through 550.714 of Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, govern severance pay. According to section 550.704, an employee must serve under a qualifying appointment to be eligible for severance pay. Section 550.703 defines "qualifying appointment" by describing seven categories of appointments. The first five categories concern permanent appointments and the sixth category concerns certain time-limited appointments in the Foreign Service. Although the last category in the definition concerns time-limited appointments, it is limited to appointments that become effective within three calendar days after an employee separates from a qualifying appointment. All of the claimant's appointments were time-limited appointments and none of them became effective within three days after she separated from a qualifying appointment. None of the appointments that she held from October 28, 1985 to March 4, 1999 were qualifying appointments. Therefore, the claimant is not eligible to receive severance pay because she did not hold a qualifying appointment at the time of her separation. Her claim is denied.

This settlement is final. No further administrative review is available within the Office of Personnel Management. Nothing in this settlement limits the claimant's right to bring an action in an appropriate United States Court.

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