Request for Within-Grade Salary Increase and Credit for Annual Leave

B-194241: Oct 9, 1979

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An employee of the Social Security Administration (SSA) claimed a within-grade salary increase and credit for annual leave on his service computation date. The claimant alleged he was entitled to backpay because he was not given the benefit of the highest previous rate rule when temporary GS-14 Black Lung Hearing Examiners, who were given permanent GS-13 administrative law judge (ALJ) positions, continued in the Black Lung Program. GAO held that employess who received permanent GS-13 positions but continued to hear cases in the program as temporary GS-14 ALJ's were in fact reassigned and, therefore, entitled to credit for all the time spent in grade GS-14 toward an in-grade raise. Based on this the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) advised that the claimant was entitled to a within-grade increase and action would be taken to make the necessary corrections in his record to show that fact. However, the employee cannot receive credit for accrued annual leave on his service computation date upon separation and reappointment by a different agency since the period in question covered is not counted as civilian federal service. Although the claimant alleged he had reemployment rights upon separation from the agency due to a reduction in force, he was not entitled to service credit or pay adjustment based on violations of reemployment rights. Civil Service Regulations provide that an employee may appeal alleged violations of reemployment rights to the Civil Service Commission. There was no evidence of determination by the Commission upon which to base entitlement to service credit or pay adjustment.