Q & A Session – FCIP Retroactive Demotion


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 was hired in July 2007 under the FCIP and was injured on the job. After my knee surgery, I was deemed physically disqualified from going back to my former position as an IEA. Ten days before my two-year probationary period ended, the Deputy Field Office Director offered and I accepted a position as an assistant.

In October 2010, the agency gave me a Settlement Agreement, but I had issues with the fact that I would still be on probation. At the end of February 2011, the agency gave me another Settlement Agreement, which my union representative told me would be good for me to sign, so I did. After reviewing the document, I realized it was actually detrimental to me so I rescinded the agreement in March 2011. Consequently, the agency sent me an email stating that, since I did not sign the agreement, they were retroactively demoting me to an assistant as of Feb. 28, 2011.

I worked under the FCIP from July 2007 – March 14, 2011. Are they able to retroactively demote me AFTER the Executive Order stated that, on March 1, 2011, if you had completed at least a year of your probationary period, you would be converted?


I can’t answer this question without seeing the settlement agreement you say you rescinded. Also, you say you were on FCIP for 3 ½ years, but FCIP was a two-year program. I suspect there is more to your story.

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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