Q & A Session – Challenging the Denial of a Career Ladder Promotion


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 am currently in a ladder position GS-12/13 and was given two different objectives over a two-year period. I met both objectives but was never promoted. Now I am being told that my position is going to be changed to just a GS-12. I have turned down other opportunities thinking I had the possibility to be a GS-13. Is there any regulation or protection offered to employees promised a promotion?


Unfortunately, promotion in a career ladder is at the discretion of management. That discretion, however, cannot be exercised illegally. In other words, if you can prove illegal discrimination or whistleblower reprisal, you can challenge the denial of a career ladder promotion.

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

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