Claim for Retroactive Temporary Promotion and Backpay

B-194890: Mar 28, 1980

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A former employee appealed a Claims Division certificate which denied his claim for retroactive temporary promotion and backpay. According to the Claims Division, the employee did not provide sufficient evidence to show that he was, in fact, detailed to a higher-graded position and that he did not merely perform some of the duties of a higher-graded position. The claimant stated that he was hired at the GS-9 grade level, but during the period of his employment he was assigned to perform work at the GS-11 and GS-12 grade levels. To support his claim, the claimant submitted written statements by a former supervisor and three former co-workers describing his duties during the period claimed. The claimant also stated that he would be able to furnish copies of travel vouchers and travel orders which show the dates he was assigned to perfrom work at a higher-graded level and the grade levels at which such work was performed. GAO has held that employees detailed to higher-graded positions for more than 120 days without Civil Service Commission (now Office of Personnel Management) approval are entitled to retroactive temporary promotions with backpay for the period beginning with the 121st day of the detail until the detail is terminated. Regulations define detail as the temporary assignment of an employee to a different position within the same agency for a brief, specified period, with the employee returning to his regular duties at the end of the detail. The detail must be supported by proper documentation which includes (1) copies of Standard Forms 50 or 52 or official memoranda of assignment, (2) a written statement from the supervisor of the employee during the period in question, or (3) a decision under established grievance procedures. In this case, the record did not contain acceptable documentation to prove that the claimant was officially detailed to perform work at the GS-11 and GS-12 levels. Claims presented to GAO for settlement are considered solely on the basis of the written record, and the burden of proof rests upon the claimant to establish the liability of the United States and his right to payment. There was no legal basis upon which the claim could be allowed. Therefore, the Claims Division settlement certificate was sustained.