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Lunatic Fringe  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, January 08, 2019 4:26:47 PM(UTC)
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I have been a civil service employee for 4 years and just moved to another agency. Just discovered I am on probation - again. I was on probation for my first job for 1 or 2 years and now I am on it again. I asked my HR department and they said that's just the way I was coded so they could bring me on board and not to worry about it. It just doesn't make sense. Could this be right? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Exit7A  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, January 09, 2019 4:51:10 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Lunatic Fringe Go to Quoted Post
I have been a civil service employee for 4 years and just moved to another agency. Just discovered I am on probation - again. I was on probation for my first job for 1 or 2 years and now I am on it again. I asked my HR department and they said that's just the way I was coded so they could bring me on board and not to worry about it. It just doesn't make sense. Could this be right? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


Yes. New agency.
That's all I got to say about that.
GWPDA  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, January 09, 2019 7:43:28 PM(UTC)
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Isn't the exception that if you've remained in the same series?
TheRealOrange  
#4 Posted : Thursday, January 10, 2019 4:46:42 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Lunatic Fringe Go to Quoted Post
I have been a civil service employee for 4 years and just moved to another agency. Just discovered I am on probation - again. I was on probation for my first job for 1 or 2 years and now I am on it again. I asked my HR department and they said that's just the way I was coded so they could bring me on board and not to worry about it. It just doesn't make sense. Could this be right? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

As Exit7A noted, the fact that you changed agencies probably is the cause. The federal regulation reads:

§ 315.802 Length of probationary period; crediting service.

(a) The probationary period required by § 315.801 is 1 year and may not be extended.

(b) Prior Federal civilian service (including nonappropriated fund service) counts toward completion of probation when the prior service:

(1) Is in the same agency, e.g., Department of the Army;

(2) Is in the same line of work (determined by the employee's actual duties and responsibilities); and

(3) Contains or is followed by no more than a single break in service that does not exceed 30 calendar days.

Moving to a different agency means that the prior service does not count toward the probationary period. Even if you had stayed in the same agency, being in the same job series may meet the "in the same line of work" criterion, but they will look at the actual duties, not just the job series. Note also that the DoD probationary period is now two years, not one.
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Lunatic Fringe on 1/11/2019(UTC)
nightchop  
#5 Posted : Thursday, January 10, 2019 9:49:44 AM(UTC)

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Unless you get promoted to management, you only have to serve one probationary period. There was a court ruling (in real court) on it. People have provided a reference to the case in the past. I don't know it off the top of my head. This is a huge misconception that gets repeated over and over again. If Your agency codes you as probationary and you are not, and if they terminate you on the "second probation", you then have to convince the MSPB that you weren't probationary. The agency gets rid of you with little headache while you have to endure who knows how many appeals (because the MSPB will take the agency's miscoded SF-50 as law). I would get this corrected immediately if I were you.
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Lunatic Fringe on 1/11/2019(UTC)
TheRealOrange  
#6 Posted : Thursday, January 10, 2019 10:22:41 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: nightchop Go to Quoted Post
Unless you get promoted to management, you only have to serve one probationary period. There was a court ruling (in real court) on it. People have provided a reference to the case in the past. I don't know it off the top of my head. This is a huge misconception that gets repeated over and over again. If Your agency codes you as probationary and you are not, and if they terminate you on the "second probation", you then have to convince the MSPB that you weren't probationary. The agency gets rid of you with little headache while you have to endure who knows how many appeals (because the MSPB will take the agency's miscoded SF-50 as law). I would get this corrected immediately if I were you.

I would like to see the court ruling you're referring to if you can cite it. All of the court and MSPB cases I've read recently, including a Federal Appeals Court ruling in 2017, indicate that prior service occurring with a break in service of less than 30 days must be in the same agency and in the same line of work in order to be tacked on (counted) toward the required probationary period. Of course, that applies only to those employees hired into the competitive service. If Lunatic Fringe is a preference eligible employee in the excepted service, then different rules apply and prior service in different executive agencies can be combined to meet the prior service requirements (it will still need to be "in the same line of work"). I still believe the "same agency" rule applies in situations involving employees in the competitive service. The federal regulation is very clear in that situation, and court cases through at least 2017 were upholding that regulation.
nightchop  
#7 Posted : Thursday, January 10, 2019 11:27:35 AM(UTC)

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If we were in different times I'd find it for you, but this administration's MO seems to be to make decisions that it knows isn't lawful in an effort to get people to file suits so they can have the issue litigated. Then the law gets changed in their favor. I don't want to voluntarily help anyone from this administration screw over federal employees. There are many lurkers here, and I don't want to give them any ideas. Just know that there is a decision on the books adressing this very issue in the employee's favor. To my knowledge, that decision has not been overturned. Yet.

I don't dispute that there are many decisions out there ruling against an employee on this. It's one of those "say it enough and it becomes true" things. If people wrongly believe they have to serve a second probation after they've already completed one, they're either not going to challenge an unlawful termination, or they won't appeal the decision once rendered. There are a lot of legally deficient decisions out there that become the final say because people don't know their rights and don't know the law. I understand if you don't believe me. I am just choosing not to day much more on this.
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Lunatic Fringe on 1/11/2019(UTC)
GWPDA  
#8 Posted : Thursday, January 10, 2019 11:30:20 AM(UTC)
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https://www.opm.gov/poli...ation/details-transfers/

"Who is eligible to transfer?
Present Federal employees who are serving in the competitive service under a career or career-conditional appointment have eligibility for transfer to a position in the competitive service.

To transfer, you must meet the qualification requirements for the position. Written tests are not common but if one is required, arrangements will be made for you to take it.

Employees must be found suitable for employment in competitive service positions. If your current appointment is subject to a suitability investigation, that condition continues after you transfer.

Generally with a transfer, a career employee remains a career employee, and a career-conditional employee remains a career-conditional employee.
....
Probationary Period
A new probationary period is not required after transfer. However, you would continue to serve the remainder of any probationary period which you were serving at the time of transfer. In most cases, you must wait at least three months after your latest non-temporary competitive appointment before you may be considered for transfer to a position in a different line of work, at a higher grade, or to a different geographical area. OPM may waive the restriction against movement to a different geographical area when it is satisfied that the waiver is consistent with the principles of open competition.

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Lunatic Fringe on 1/11/2019(UTC)
TheRealOrange  
#9 Posted : Thursday, January 10, 2019 11:58:47 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: GWPDA Go to Quoted Post

Probationary Period

A new probationary period is not required after transfer. However, you would continue to serve the remainder of any probationary period which you were serving at the time of transfer. In most cases, you must wait at least three months after your latest non-temporary competitive appointment before you may be considered for transfer to a position in a different line of work, at a higher grade, or to a different geographical area. OPM may waive the restriction against movement to a different geographical area when it is satisfied that the waiver is consistent with the principles of open competition.

Yep. Transfers are permitted in another regulatory subsection:

§ 315.501 Transfer.

Subject to part 335 of this chapter, an agency may appoint by transfer to a competitive service position, without a break in service of a single workday, a current career or career-conditional employee of another agency.

If the OP "moved to another agency" via a transfer, then he should not have to serve a second probationary period. To take advantage of that provision, he would first need to know whether his action was classified as a "transfer."
HR Bubba  
#10 Posted : Friday, January 11, 2019 10:43:33 AM(UTC)

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When looking into probationary periods it is important to not only look at § 315.802, but to also look at § 315.801. .801 tells when a probationary period is required; .802 discusses crediting prior service towards completion of a probationary period.

Long story short - If it's a transfer (selection from a Merit Promotion recruitment) then you DO NOT need to complete another probationary period if you previously completed one.

If you were selected from an external recruitment (DEU) then a probationary period is required per .801; you would then go to .802 to see if your prior service is creditable towards completion of the probation.
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TheRealOrange on 1/11/2019(UTC), S D Analyst on 1/11/2019(UTC), Lunatic Fringe on 1/11/2019(UTC)
GWPDA  
#11 Posted : Friday, January 11, 2019 11:42:35 AM(UTC)
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And this is why I've finally completed probation despite transferring mid-stream from one DoD agency to another in the same series (and a higher grade). Only found out that I had done by looking at the MyBiz paperwork stuff.
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S D Analyst on 1/11/2019(UTC)
USTrans  
#12 Posted : Saturday, January 12, 2019 3:41:27 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HR Bubba Go to Quoted Post
When looking into probationary periods it is important to not only look at § 315.802, but to also look at § 315.801. .801 tells when a probationary period is required; .802 discusses crediting prior service towards completion of a probationary period.

Long story short - If it's a transfer (selection from a Merit Promotion recruitment) then you DO NOT need to complete another probationary period if you previously completed one.

If you were selected from an external recruitment (DEU) then a probationary period is required per .801; you would then go to .802 to see if your prior service is creditable towards completion of the probation.


That makes sense!

On another note...can one be a permanent and tenured employee and at their agency, then apply for a position at another agency and get selected on an external recruitment and be on probation for the new agency? Basically, be tenured and on probation at the same time.
FrankJr  
#13 Posted : Saturday, January 12, 2019 3:46:07 AM(UTC)
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No offense, but who within the federal government reads and understand the noted regulations? Based on my experience the EEO office is completely unaware of the 20 pages of EEO documentation posted on the EEOC web site and neither management nor the union representative have read the union contract. The number of revised SF50s exceed the number of SF50s due to the incompetence of human resources. And I would worry about yet another probation as the answer to all questions during the probation period was a reminder from all parties of the status of the probation period and the ease of termination during the probation period.
USTrans  
#14 Posted : Saturday, January 12, 2019 5:24:07 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: USTrans Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: HR Bubba Go to Quoted Post
When looking into probationary periods it is important to not only look at § 315.802, but to also look at § 315.801. .801 tells when a probationary period is required; .802 discusses crediting prior service towards completion of a probationary period.

Long story short - If it's a transfer (selection from a Merit Promotion recruitment) then you DO NOT need to complete another probationary period if you previously completed one.

If you were selected from an external recruitment (DEU) then a probationary period is required per .801; you would then go to .802 to see if your prior service is creditable towards completion of the probation.


That makes sense!

On another note...can one be a permanent and tenured employee and at their agency, then apply for a position at another agency and get selected on an external recruitment and be on probation for the new agency? Basically, be tenured and on probation at the same time.


I just re-read the thread and my question was already answered. I really appreciate everyone for chiming in on this thread...you help a lot of people. I am sure it will continue...
J913  
#15 Posted : Saturday, January 12, 2019 6:18:58 AM(UTC)
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I’m facing a similar situation, my SF 50 says I have to serve another 2 yr probation after transferring from one DoD agency to another in the competitive service. I was hired from a hiring event so I’m not sure if it was under merit promotion or DEU since the job wasn’t posted on USAJOBS.
GWPDA  
#16 Posted : Saturday, January 12, 2019 10:22:03 AM(UTC)
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"I’m facing a similar situation, my SF 50 says I have to serve another 2 yr probation after transferring from one DoD agency to another in the competitive service. I was hired from a hiring event so I’m not sure if it was under merit promotion or DEU since the job wasn’t posted on USAJOBS."

On the SF50 you used to apply for the hiring event job were you shown as career or career competitive? In other words, did you tell the new job that you were already working at DoD and were you career or career competitive? If you did, then on your now current SF50 you should see if you are shown as being career or career competitive and as well your SCD - service computation date. All of these will tell you if you were hired internally or externally. If you were hired as an internal candidate, were within the same agency (DoD) and with luck within the same series, then you will might maybe able to go to HR and dispute the additional probation under the terms of .802 You transferred under a merit announcement.
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J913 on 1/12/2019(UTC)
J913  
#17 Posted : Saturday, January 12, 2019 5:00:23 PM(UTC)
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The SF50 I used with my application showed my career tenure as permanent and my service comp date as 11/2004.
HR Bubba  
#18 Posted : Monday, January 14, 2019 11:44:18 AM(UTC)

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Your career tenure & SCD will not definitively tell you how you were brought into the fed.. In block # 24 (tenure) there are 4 choices 1 - permanent (career tenure), 2 - conditional (career conditional tenure), 3 - indefinite (e.g., term employee) and 0 - none (temporary employee). These codes do not tell you anything about how the position was recruited/filled and the SCD definitely does not have any bearing on this. While an educated guess MIGHT tell you that 3 means a term appointment and this is usually done through a DE announcement, but not always. My point is that you cannot be sure using these data fields. A better indicator would be to use block #5a (Nature of action) & 5c (legal authority code). The legal authority would be the most telling, but you would need to refer to the Guide to Processing Personnel Actions (GPPA) to decipher what these codes translate to.

For example: 5a = 101 (means Career Conditional (CC) appointment) and 5c = BWA (means selected from a Delegated Examining certificate)

Another: 5a = 101 (CC appointment) and 5c = N3M (means selected from a Merit Promotion certificate).

Another: 5a = 108 (term appointment) and 5c = BWA (means selected from a Delegated Examining certificate).

Edited by user Monday, January 14, 2019 11:48:28 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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S D Analyst on 1/22/2019(UTC)
J913  
#19 Posted : Tuesday, January 15, 2019 3:35:07 AM(UTC)
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I was hired under Direct Hire Authority.
TheRealOrange  
#20 Posted : Tuesday, January 15, 2019 4:57:31 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: J913 Go to Quoted Post
I was hired under Direct Hire Authority.

According to OPM, Executive agencies with delegated examining authority may use a Government-wide Direct-Hire Authority (DHA). Also, when using the DHA, the individual selected is "appointed to the competitive service ... by special appointing authority ... [and] serves a 1-year probationary period unless specifically exempt from probation by the authority itself." The DHA regulations do not address probation. Therefore, according to OPM, a 1-year probation period applies "unless the person has prior Federal service that counts toward completion of probation." That would be covered by § 315.802, Length of probationary period; crediting service. That provision has been mentioned previously:

(b) Prior Federal civilian service (including nonappropriated fund service) counts toward completion of probation when the prior service:

(1) Is in the same agency, e.g., Department of the Army;

(2) Is in the same line of work (determined by the employee's actual duties and responsibilities); and

(3) Contains or is followed by no more than a single break in service that does not exceed 30 calendar days.

OPM's DHA Fact Sheet can be found at https://www.opm.gov/poli...uthority/#url=Fact-Sheet .
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