Q & A Session – Circumventing a RIF


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 am a Department of the Army civilian. My command is experiencing some minor turbulence due to future Table of Distributions and Allowances (TDA) authorizations not matching current structure. I was told that I will be removed from my position and realigned to another position with different duties. This move is “necessary” because my supervisor’s position will no longer exist on the next TDA document.

I feel that my command is circumventing Reduction in Force (RIF) by doing this. Is this permissible?


One person’s circumventing a RIF is another person’s avoiding the necessity of a RIF. Agencies are free to reorganize to avoid a RIF and may even use a reorganization as a means to do a RIF.

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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