Q & A Session – Reduction in Pay


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 24 years at a certain base. Twenty-one of those years I worked as an engineer and attained a Senior Engineer position at a GS-13 rate. With the “sundown” of the H3 platform which I worked with, I was given the choice of being an engineer on other programs or a manager with the foreign military sales. I chose the latter.

That position has now been eliminated here, with no other comparable positions within 1.0 competency.

I have been offered the availability to return to the Engineering competency, but with a loss of Senior Engineer. Basically, a drop from a 13 to a 12.

How would “safe pay” be applied to my situation?


If your position is abolished and you are forced to accept a lower grade, you should have both save grade for two years and the save pay indefinitely after that. If your save pay salary is higher than the highest pay of your new grade level, you are only entitled to 50 percent of any annual comparability increases, if and when those annual increases resume.

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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