Q & A Session – Pay Grade Differences


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.


What is used to determine pay grades in the GS system, when throughout the system I have been told that similar job descriptions at various locations in the same area and throughout the United States have different GS levels for the same job?


OPM has a very detailed and obtuse classification guide. The guide is based on broader standards set by Congress about what level of activity should be expected at each grade level. The reality is that only a classification specialist can understand the classification guidelines and many of them disagree. Also, there is no appeal of a classification decision beyond OPM.

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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