Q & A Session – Oversea Return Rights


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 received a promotion to a GS-13 Supervisor when the incumbent was hired overseas approximately four years ago. I was not notified nor asked to sign anything acknowledging that the person had return rights to my position at the time I accepted the promotion.

This person’s overseas position was abolished so they exercised their return rights. Personnel is returning this person to my current position and establishing an overhire/excess position for me with a GS-13 non-supervisory. They have reassured me that I will remain in the overhire/excess position until a suitable position is found for me.

Is what they are doing legal?


You are not being demoted. You are being removed from supervision for a business reason. Management has the right to reassign you to different jobs at your grade level. I see little you can do.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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