Entitlement to Reimbursement for Lost Job Opportunities

B-196595(THK): Dec 7, 1979

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A civilian employee of the Air Force requested information on her entitlement to reimbursement for lost job opportunities and chances for advancement she would have received had she not been subjected to an unjustified or unwarranted personnel action resulting in her involuntary separation from an Air Force position. The employing office erroneously considered that she had not completed her probationary period even though, as determined some years later, she had actually done so. Concerning lost opportunities for advancement, GAO has held that normally employees have no vested right to promotions at any particular time, except as provided by agency regulations or a collective bargaining agreement with an employees' union. Accordingly, an investigation of how many times the employee was not considered for promotion because of any untruthful statements in her records, as well as her priority to another position, would not be appropriate. The appropriate statute limits compensation in such cases to the amount of pay and allowances the employee would have received but for the improper personnel action. The employee was informed that she was entitled to file a claim with GAO for any amount she believed she may have been due.