Claim for Retroactive Temporary Promotion and Backpay

B-195373,B-200743: May 12, 1981

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A decision was requested concerning the claims of two employees for retroactive temporary promotions and backpay. The employees claimed that they were detailed to perform the duties of a higher grade position for more than 120 days. The Director of the Denver Mint where the claimants were employed denied both claims on the basis that they involved questions of job classification rather than improper detail. The Director indicated that, during the period claimed by the two employees, a career ladder program was in effect whereby employees ultimately progressed to the full performance level. Based on the rationale behind the agency denial, the Claims Group denied the claims. When a union requested reconsideration, the GAO Office of the General Counsel wrote a memorandum to the GAO Claims Group asserting that there was sufficient evidence to conclude that the employees were detailed to higher grade positions entitling them to a retroactive temporary promotion and backpay. This decision was based on: (1) a 1977 memorandum signed by a foreman and an assistant superintendent stating that each claimant was detailed to perform the duties of the higher grade position, and (2) a letter recommending temporary promotion from the superintendent of the Mint. The letter rebutted the argument that the duties the claimants performed were part of a career ladder program. Although the agency objected to the GAO conclusions and presented several arguments to support its position, GAO found that the employees met their burden of proof through the supervisors statements. Thus, both employees are entitled to retroactive temporary promotion and backpay.

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