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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