Making the grade, and an appeal

A Reader Writes:

I'm in the new GS-2210 field (information technology). Over the years, my supervisors have not been computer people — some barely even computer literate — so they've had very little understanding of my job or its duties. They have pretty much left me to write my position description, with no guidance on what to say in the description.

I recently came across the Office of Personnel Management Web site that lists the position classification standards used when personnel assigns points to positions, basically grading a position to what grade level it is (or should be). Consequently, I rewrote my position description to use the key words and phrases that are looked at during the grading. Without exaggerating or lying, I now have a fairly accurate position description that gives me a whole lot more points than my previous one did.

My question is this: If it gets approved, and I do not get any grade increase because of it — since technically I'm working way above my grade just due to the point system — do I have any appeal rights with the Merit Systems Protection Board, or do I just have the right to say "That's above my grade level, have somebody else do it"?

Milt Replies:

Your agency should classify the job. If you are not satisfied, you can appeal to OPM. Of course, doing so won't make you any friends at your agency, so think that over. Why not talk to your boss and see if he supports a higher grade level.

A Reader Writes:

What is the procedure when filing a complaint against the Air Force for discrimination? Is the best method by dealing with the Equal Employment Office, the Merit Systems Protection Board, submitting civil suit, etc.?

Milt Replies:

You have to file a complaint within your agency and exhaust all avenues of appeal. Only then can you go to an outside agency like the EEOC or the MSPB (depending on the specifics of your case).

You can file a civil suit if you lose an EEOC or MSPB case.

Zall is a retired federal employee who since 1987 has written the Bureaucratus column for Federal Computer Week. He can be reached at milt.zall@verizon.net.

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