Q & A Session – Locality Pay Determination


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I have worked at my current duty station for six years. A few years ago, I moved but my duties and workplace remained in the same locality pay area. Some local travel is required, but this is primarily within the same locality pay area as my workplace.

Recently I was promoted, but because I moved to a home in a lower locality pay area years go, I was told I would lose money after my promotion because they were reducing my locality pay. I thought locality pay was determined by the location of my duty station, not my home address. Is this correct?


According to 5 CFR § 531.604, your locality pay is determined by the location of your official worksite as opposed to your home address. Your official worksite is the location of your position of record where you regularly perform your duties according to 5 CFR § 531.605. This location should be listed on your SF-50 or an equivalent form. Since your official worksite appears to remain unchanged, and you appear to regularly perform your duties there, I believe you should receive that area’s higher locality pay.


Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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