Q & A Session – Probationary Periods


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.


For the last 7 years, I was in the competitive service. I am also a veteran. Approximately a year ago, I transferred from a GS-1801 Competitive Service to a GS-1811 Excepted Service. Although I have changed job classification from general inspection to criminal investigation, I am still doing law enforcement work. Essentially, it is the same line of work; I just do more paperwork now. My new agency told me that I’m on a two year probationary period. Can they hold me to that probationary period? 


If you are doing the same or similar work, you cannot be required to serve a new trial period. I think the likelihood is that the new 1811 job would not be considered the same or similar. You will only find out if you fail your two year period and raise the issue at the MSPB. 

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

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  1. If this person applied and was hired under VRA eligibility, they would be required to complete a new, two year trial period and would be placed in the Excepted Service. Reference: OPM Vet Guide.

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