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dwebber150  
#1 Posted : Thursday, March 14, 2019 6:36:01 PM(UTC)
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I joined my agency 3 years ago in February 2016 as a GS-9 with full performance level of GS-13. I was promoted to GS-11 in February 2017 and GS-12 in February 2018, both promotions happened after having exactly one year of time-in-grade at the previous grade level.

I was due for a promotion in the middle of February 2019. I gave my supervisor a heads up about this upcoming promotion and she informed me that she has submitted my paperwork and approval to our HR liaison, and the HR liaison would submit the paperwork to the HR office on the same day, and that was a week and half before my supposed GS-13 promotion should become effective.

Fast-forward to last week, I checked my pay stub and I was still being paid at GS-12 step 1. I contacted my supervisor immediately, and she was told by the HR liaison that the HR office has implemented a new system and paperwork has to be submitted through the new system, and there's an issue with submitting the paperwork through the new system. I expressed my concern what the effective date for the promotion would be and whether it will be retroactive back to the last pay period. The HR liaison would not give me a concrete answer, and after going back and forth with her for over a week, she finally told my supervisor who in turn conveyed to me that promotion is not an entitlement and because of that, it will be effective the next pay period after the paperwork has been submitted to the HR office and it won't be retroactive with back pay.

I am baffled by such news, the way I see it, there are 4 parties involved in this process, me, my supervisor, our HR liaison, and the HR office. I have met all the requirements for the promotion, such as qualifications and time-in-grade. My supervisor approved and submitted the paperwork ahead of my promotion date so she has done her part. I believe the issue here is between the HR liaison and the HR office due to that new system that's being implemented and that stops the HR liaison from submitting the paperwork. I think the argument can be made that the HR office is at fault for implementing a new system and delayed the paperwork from being submitted. If that is the case, the HR office has a Standard Operating Procedure where it clearly states that the promotion will be processed after paperwork has been submitted and will not be processed retroactively unless it's an administrative error caused by the HR office. I am thinking of using this as the basis of my case. However, if the fault lies with the HR liaison, I find it difficult to swallow that I am being punished for her mistake and she wouldn't even admit that it's her fault. She still hasn't submitted my paperwork to the HR office. If she keeps delaying the paperwork then am I supposed to just keep waiting for the promotion? I have suffered financial loss due to her inability to do her job but she just gets away with it? That's totally unfair.

I am thinking of contacting my agency's Alternative Dispute Resolution team, the EEO, or the Office of Special Council. I am not in the bargaining unit so I am unable to file a grievance. Given the information provided above, does anyone think that I have a solid case that will lead to favorable resolution? Thank you for your time.

Edited by user Thursday, March 14, 2019 6:39:44 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Polar Bear  
#2 Posted : Thursday, March 14, 2019 7:40:21 PM(UTC)
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Well, if it's a ladder job, then no you have not suffered financial loss. It's not an entitlement, and the pay increase is only effective with the first pay period once processed. That's my unbarred legal opinion.

That being said, maybe you can get it retro if you fight it enough. I personally think that might be cutting off the nose to spite the face kind of thing, but that's just me.

As an aside, problems with processing systems are usually not going to be considered user error. Have you considered there really might be a problem and pushing this hard is doing yourself no favors? He/She might not be actively fighting you, but I am sure that person has other duties that probably have competing priorities?
DaVinci95  
#3 Posted : Friday, March 15, 2019 4:12:03 AM(UTC)
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A ladder promotion is not an entitlement. It is not automatic after 52 weeks like a step increase. You do not have a promotion date, you have a promotion eligible date. You have not suffered a financial loss because you had no entitlement. Your promotion is effective after the paperwork has been processed.

Congratulations on your pending promotion! In the long run, this delay will only be a minor annoyance.
frankgonzalez  
#4 Posted : Friday, March 15, 2019 6:59:11 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: dwebber150 Go to Quoted Post
I am thinking of contacting my agency's Alternative Dispute Resolution team, the EEO, or the Office of Special Council. I am not in the bargaining unit so I am unable to file a grievance. Given the information provided above, does anyone think that I have a solid case that will lead to favorable resolution? Thank you for your time.
Plenty of case law from MSPB showing a promotion in a ladder position is not an entitlement.

What would be the basis for your EEO complaint? How is getting a promotion a little later than you wanted discriminatory? They are not required to promote you at all.

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
FrankJr  
#5 Posted : Friday, March 15, 2019 2:30:17 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: dwebber150 Go to Quoted Post
I joined my agency 3 years ago in February 2016 as a GS-9 with full performance level of GS-13. I was promoted to GS-11 in February 2017 and GS-12 in February 2018, both promotions happened after having exactly one year of time-in-grade at the previous grade level.

I was due for a promotion in the middle of February 2019. I gave my supervisor a heads up about this upcoming promotion and she informed me that she has submitted my paperwork and approval to our HR liaison, and the HR liaison would submit the paperwork to the HR office on the same day, and that was a week and half before my supposed GS-13 promotion should become effective.

Fast-forward to last week, I checked my pay stub and I was still being paid at GS-12 step 1. I contacted my supervisor immediately, and she was told by the HR liaison that the HR office has implemented a new system and paperwork has to be submitted through the new system, and there's an issue with submitting the paperwork through the new system. I expressed my concern what the effective date for the promotion would be and whether it will be retroactive back to the last pay period. The HR liaison would not give me a concrete answer, and after going back and forth with her for over a week, she finally told my supervisor who in turn conveyed to me that promotion is not an entitlement and because of that, it will be effective the next pay period after the paperwork has been submitted to the HR office and it won't be retroactive with back pay.

I am baffled by such news, the way I see it, there are 4 parties involved in this process, me, my supervisor, our HR liaison, and the HR office. I have met all the requirements for the promotion, such as qualifications and time-in-grade. My supervisor approved and submitted the paperwork ahead of my promotion date so she has done her part. I believe the issue here is between the HR liaison and the HR office due to that new system that's being implemented and that stops the HR liaison from submitting the paperwork. I think the argument can be made that the HR office is at fault for implementing a new system and delayed the paperwork from being submitted. If that is the case, the HR office has a Standard Operating Procedure where it clearly states that the promotion will be processed after paperwork has been submitted and will not be processed retroactively unless it's an administrative error caused by the HR office. I am thinking of using this as the basis of my case. However, if the fault lies with the HR liaison, I find it difficult to swallow that I am being punished for her mistake and she wouldn't even admit that it's her fault. She still hasn't submitted my paperwork to the HR office. If she keeps delaying the paperwork then am I supposed to just keep waiting for the promotion? I have suffered financial loss due to her inability to do her job but she just gets away with it? That's totally unfair.

I am thinking of contacting my agency's Alternative Dispute Resolution team, the EEO, or the Office of Special Council. I am not in the bargaining unit so I am unable to file a grievance. Given the information provided above, does anyone think that I have a solid case that will lead to favorable resolution? Thank you for your time.


I stopped reading at the word "unfair". Life isn't fair. Educate yourself on the role of EEO and the Office of the Special Council. Incompetence is not illegal. No you have no case and continuing to pursue the issue may result in a lack of a promotion altogether.
nightchop  
#6 Posted : Friday, March 15, 2019 3:12:04 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: frankgonzalez Go to Quoted Post
Plenty of case law from MSPB showing a promotion in a ladder position is not an entitlement.



While that may be true, every case is fact specific. My former agency also tried to spout that "career ladder promotions are not guaranteed" crap while simultaneously doing everything possible to cover their behinds in anticipation of a lawsuit that wouldn't end in their favor if they weren't engaging in subterfuge.

That being said, based on the OP, it doesn't sound like there's anything worth grieving here. There's no reason the agency can't make the promotion retroactive, especially if they've acknowledged a technical error. To not give you a retroactive promotion would simply be a power play. I'd be looking to leave as soon as I made 52 weeks TIG. Life is too short to put up with games.
DroneBee  
#7 Posted : Saturday, March 23, 2019 7:46:51 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: dwebber150 Go to Quoted Post
I am thinking of contacting my agency's Alternative Dispute Resolution team, the EEO, or the Office of Special Council. I am not in the bargaining unit so I am unable to file a grievance. Given the information provided above, does anyone think that I have a solid case that will lead to favorable resolution? Thank you for your time.

Never, never, never put in an EEO/ADR/OSC complaint. You will be targeted and life will be hell. Be happy with your promotions, apply for other jobs, and should you get a higher grade offer from somewhere else but want to stay where you are, use this as leverage with your agency - but, personally, I would take the new job.

God Bless.
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