Q: Another coworker and I competed for a the same supervisor position, and my coworker got it. After a few months, I was transferred to another caseload and was put under that same coworker with whom I’d competed for the supervisor role. Is that legal?
A: Management has the right to assign work to employee. Nothing in the law prohibits management from assigning an employee to work underneath a supervisory position that an employee previously competed for, or from working underneath a supervisor who was previously a peer of that employee. Thus, while it may be an uncomfortably adjustment being assigned to work underneath your colleague who was selected over you for a supervisory position, there is nothing legally prohibiting your employer from doing so.
This response was written by Christopher J. Keeven, supervisory attorney, Shaw Bransford & Roth, P.C.
For thirty years, Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C. has provided superior representation on a wide range of federal employment law issues, from representing federal employees nationwide in administrative investigations, disciplinary and performance actions, and Bivens lawsuits, to handling security clearance adjudications and employment discrimination cases.