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rap16992  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, January 7, 2020 11:04:12 AM(UTC)

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Howdy! Recently executed return rights from OCONUS and have questions concerning the pay setting/step increases not experienced while serving OCONUS. I was under the impression that my pay would be set, upon my return, based on the step increases that I would have earned as if I never went OCONUS. Right before I left for OCONUS I was increased to 5, was OCONUS for nearly 6 years....meaning I would have increased again to a 7 had I never gone OCONUS. My pay had been set as a step 7 currently, however I have been informed that I probably should have remained a step 5 upon my return. I really seek expert guidance as there's a considerable amount of over-payment involved possibly and I want to know the true answer and possible recourses available to me, if any. Hope to hear from any/all experts out there! Regards, RAP
frankgonzalez  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, January 7, 2020 11:27:17 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: rap16992 Go to Quoted Post
Howdy! Recently executed return rights from OCONUS and have questions concerning the pay setting/step increases not experienced while serving OCONUS. I was under the impression that my pay would be set, upon my return, based on the step increases that I would have earned as if I never went OCONUS. Right before I left for OCONUS I was increased to 5, was OCONUS for nearly 6 years....meaning I would have increased again to a 7 had I never gone OCONUS. My pay had been set as a step 7 currently, however I have been informed that I probably should have remained a step 5 upon my return. I really seek expert guidance as there's a considerable amount of over-payment involved possibly and I want to know the true answer and possible recourses available to me, if any. Hope to hear from any/all experts out there! Regards, RAP
Were you OCONUS at the same grade or was it a promotion?

You should be set at the grade and step you would have been had you never left the position. That said...I'm not certain return rights last forever...I thought after 5 years they expired (hopefully one the HR types will chime on this!), so there may be an issue there.

Of course, if return rights were not in play, and you were at a higher grade, then they could use Highest previous rate to set your pay..which could put you higher in steps (step 10) than simply processing it as if you never left.

So...what was your grade when you left (you say you were a step 5), and what was your grade/step while OCONUS just before you returned to the CONUS?

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
rap16992  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, January 7, 2020 11:36:52 AM(UTC)

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Thanks for the quick turn-around. I was CONUS 13-5 when I left to a OCONUS 12-00. I did have return rights and was approved for an extension for half year due to schooling issues for my kids, by both losing and gaining Commands, so I do not think this plays a part, hopefully not. As I understand it, RR is only 5 years, unless you obtain approval from both Commands of which I did.
frankgonzalez  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, January 7, 2020 11:54:24 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: rap16992 Go to Quoted Post
Thanks for the quick turn-around. I was CONUS 13-5 when I left to a OCONUS 12-00. I did have return rights and was approved for an extension for half year due to schooling issues for my kids, by both losing and gaining Commands, so I do not think this plays a part, hopefully not. As I understand it, RR is only 5 years, unless you obtain approval from both Commands of which I did.
This appears to address your issues to some extent (and speaks to the extension requirements!): https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/...s/140025/140025v1230.pdf, specifically
Quote:
7. In accordance with section 1586 of Reference (h), when an employee exercises return rights:
a. The employee shall be placed in the position that he or she held immediately before the
assignment to duty outside the United States, if such position exists.
b. If the position described in paragraph 7.a. of this enclosure does not exist, or with the
employee’s consent, the employee shall be placed in another existing or new continuous
position:
(1) For which he or she is qualified,
(2) In the same DoD Component, and
(3) In the same geographic area as, with
(4) The rights and benefits equal to the rights and benefits of, and
(5) In a grade equal to the grade of the position which he or she held immediately before
the assignment to duty outside the United States.


While 7a doesn't reference the step increases, etc, the fact is 7b4 does refer to the rights, and benefits of the previous position, which would include step increases, etc.

I'd ask your HR types why they think your pay was set wrong, and what their reference is for that belief. Once you have that, you have a better shot at addressing the issue.

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
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rap16992 on 1/8/2020(UTC)
DaVinci95  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, January 7, 2020 3:57:45 PM(UTC)
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10 USC 1586 https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/1586
(d)Each employee who is placed in a position under paragraph (1), (2), (3), (4), or (6) of subsection (c) shall be paid at a rate of basic pay which is not less than the rate of basic pay to which he would have been entitled if he had not been assigned to duty outside the United States.
thanks 1 user thanked DaVinci95 for this useful post.
rap16992 on 1/8/2020(UTC)
FS0201  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, January 7, 2020 7:15:10 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: rap16992 Go to Quoted Post
My pay had been set as a step 7 currently, however I have been informed that I probably should have remained a step 5 upon my return.


You were incorrectly informed... the reference above is correct. Pay is to be set at the point at which you otherwise would have been at if you hadn’t gone OCONUS.
The excuse of, "I read it on FederalSoup..." won't work. Please do your due diligence.
thanks 1 user thanked FS0201 for this useful post.
rap16992 on 1/8/2020(UTC)
rap16992  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, January 8, 2020 9:24:43 AM(UTC)

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Thanks to all for your input....tremendous help as I was able to locate the answer I need to go back to my HR rep with as identified above, 10 U.S. Code § 1586, para. (c)(1) & (d). They were not sure and wanted my SF50 to look into it further. As always, I wanted my ducks in order to beat them to the punch more or less.

I do have another question that I would appreciate feedback on....this is what started this whole session in the first place.

Understanding that I get my step increases upon returning, which I am currently and correctly at 13-07, when is the effective date of that grade/rate? Is the effective date based on the SF50 I received after returning which shows the date of my return to original position of July 2018.....or would it be retroactive to the date I would have increased to step 07 back in December 2016 had I not gone overseas. As you may surmise, I am attempting to see if I am due another step increase to 08 now, vice 2021.

Look forward to your excellent input!!!

Regards, RAP

Edited by user Wednesday, January 8, 2020 9:46:10 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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