B-242959, Sep 1, 1991

B-242959: Sep 1, 1991

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Proper classification of positions is a matter for decision by the agency. Whose decision is final. 2. Backpay is not available as a remedy for misassignments to higher level duties or improper classifications. 3. Sec. 6322 is limited to time spent on jury duty or as a witness. The granting of administrative leave is within the discretion of the agency and the GAO will not question the denial of such leave in the absence of a clear showing that such determination was arbitrary and capricious. That decision is affirmed. FACTS: This is an appeal from a Claims Group decision concerning two issues raised by Ms. One issue concerns her claim for backpay for periods during which she alleges either she was assigned to duties which were classifiable at a higher grade than the level at which she was paid.

B-242959, Sep 1, 1991

DIGESTS 1. Proper classification of positions is a matter for decision by the agency, with appeal to the Office of Personnel Management, whose decision is final. 2. Backpay is not available as a remedy for misassignments to higher level duties or improper classifications. 3. Court leave under 5 U.S.C. Sec. 6322 is limited to time spent on jury duty or as a witness. The granting of administrative leave is within the discretion of the agency and the GAO will not question the denial of such leave in the absence of a clear showing that such determination was arbitrary and capricious.

Ms. Margaret A. Coyle:

Ms. Coyle:

This responds to your January 10, 1991 appeal of our Claims Group's decision in Z-2861968, which involved various actions of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency regarding the classification of your position and the granting of administrative leave.

Upon review of the record, we find no error of law or fact in the Claims Group's decision. Accordingly, that decision is affirmed.

FACTS:

This is an appeal from a Claims Group decision concerning two issues raised by Ms. Coyle regarding her employment with the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA). One issue concerns her claim for backpay for periods during which she alleges either she was assigned to duties which were classifiable at a higher grade than the level at which she was paid, or she should have been promoted to the higher graded position to which she was detailed or whose duties she was performing. The second issue concerns her claim for recredit of annual leave charged by ACDA for time she spent pursuing her backpay claim through her agency and the federal court in which she filed suit.

LAW:

(1) Proper classification of positions is a matter for decision by the agency, with appeal to the Office of Personnel Management, whose decision is final. 5 C.F.R. Para. 511.612 (1991).

(2) The United States Supreme Court has held that there is no substantive right to backpay for periods of wrongful position classification where the pertinent classification statutes did not expressly provide for it. United States v. Testan, 424 U.S. 392 (1976). Further, no statute or regulation requires the granting of a temporary promotion for an overlong detail, so there is no remedy under the Back Pay Act for misassignments to higher level duties. Wilson v. United States, 229 Ct.Cl. 510 (1981); Regina Taylor, B-192366, Oct. 4, 1978.

(3) Court leave under 5 U.S.C. Sec. 6322 is limited to time spent on jury duty or as a witness. The granting of administrative leave is within the discretion of the agency and the GAO will not question the denial of such leave in the absence of a clear showing that such determination was arbitrary and capricious. 54 Comp.Gen. 706 (1975).

FINDINGS:

Since Ms. Coyle is primarily concerned with the classification of her position, her avenue of redress is more appropriately with the Office of Personnel Management, and the Claims Group properly advised her with respect to pursuing a claim through that Office.

Backpay is not available as a remedy for misassignments to higher level duties or improper classifications, so we have no basis upon which to allow that part of her claim seeking temporary promotion for an overlong detail.

Ms. Coyle has not demonstrated that the agency's denial of administrative leave to cover the time she was pursuing her claim through the administrative and court systems was an abuse of discretion or otherwise in error. She has been given court leave for time properly spent as a witness.

CONCLUSION:

The Claims Group decision is affirmed since it properly advised Ms. Coyle regarding the merits of her claims and the proper places to seek redress of those issues not within our jurisdiction. today's date, affirming the Claims Group's action.