Q & A Session – Retaining Former GS Pay Grade if Rehired


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 terminated from federal employment a few years ago but am currently working for a company under government contract. My current position is about to be reclassified into a government position under the GS schedule. If I am hired for the reclassified position, will I be able to retain my former GS grade and/or step?


No. If a former government employee is rehired by the government, he or she would need to be hired at the GS grade and step for the newly classified position.


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

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1 Comment

  1. I don’t think this answer is correct, and maybe because there is not enough information included in the question.

    If you previously held a permanent position in the Federal government and you are reinstated to the same grade, management has the OPTION of giving you your previous rate. If you previously held a GS-12 step 6 position and are reinstated, management can set you salary anywhere between step 1 and step 6. They are not required to give you your highest previous rate, but they do have the option. You would not be able to go higher than step 6.

    If you previously held a temporary position and your appointment expired, none of this applies and you can only be hired at step 1, but you would not have appointment eligibility at this point. You would have to be hired through DE/OPM authority if this is the case – and you do have ability to negotiate pay.

    If you previously held the GS-12 and the new position is a GS-09 they also have the option of giving you highest previous rate – but could not pay you over step 10. If your previous salary falls in between step 8 and 9 of the lower grade level then management could offer you up to the step 9.

    Either way, there are about 5 or 6 other scenarios that could come into play based on the information we have so it’s hard to give you a full, complete answer. Either way, when the job is offered to you just ASK if anything can be done to negotiate your pay. As an HR Specialist, if someone asks me that question I let them know ALL their options – management does not necessary have to follow them, but options are at least options…

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