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Determining Employee Rates With Special Rates

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Reassignment - General Rules

Non-special rate to special rate. When an employee is reassigned from a non-special rate position to a special rate position, the employee is entitled to pay at that grade and step on the special rate schedule which corresponds to the grade and step the employee held on the regular schedule.

Special Rate To Non-Special Rate Moves
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Personal convenience.
When an employee occupying a special rate position moves to a non-special rate position (other than an upward mobility, career internship, or apprenticeship position) through agency merit assignment procedures or by voluntary reassignment, transfer or reduction in grade, the employee's move is voluntary: pay is set at the grade and step on the regular schedule which corresponds to the grade and step the employee held on the special rate schedule. The special rate is terminated. The employee's pay may be set by maximum payable rules (5 CFR 531.203(c), however, HPR earned in the special rate position may not be used except under conditions outlined below).

Retaining a special rate as HPR. An official designated by the head of the operating unit may approve use of a special rate as HPR if the employee's services will be better utilized and a greater contribution made to program in the position to which the employee is being reassigned. Documentation of such a determination and the reasons supporting it must be placed in the employee's Official Personnel Folder.

Management directed. If management directs an employee occupying a special rate position to take a lower paying special rate position or a non-special rate position by reassignment or reduction in grade for reasons other than cause, the employee is entitled to pay retention under 5 C.F.R. 536.

Upward mobility agreement. An employee who enters a lower paying special rate position under an upward mobility agreement, a career intern program, or an internal employee development program is entitled to pay retention. In this case and in the case of a management directed reassignment, pay must be determined in accordance with 5 CFR 536.205 (b).

For cause. If management directs an employee's reassignment to a lower paying special rate position or a non-special rate position or downgrades an employee for performance or cause, the employee is not entitled to pay retention or to maximum payable rate based on HPR which is a special rate. At management's discretion, pay may be set by maximum payable rate rules using a rate other than a special rate as HPR.

Promotion

Two-step promotion rule
. Under the two-step promotion rule, a GS employee who is being promoted from one grade on the General Schedule to a higher grade on the General Schedule is entitled to the lowest rate of the higher grade which exceeds his or her "existing rate" by not less than two step increases of the grade from which promoted or transferred. "Existing rate" means the employee's rate on the applicable schedule before the two-step increase is applied.

Special rate to special rate
. For an employee who is being promoted from a special rate position, the existing rate is the special rate. In promoting such an employee: apply the two-step promotion rule to the special rate and slot the result against the steps of the grade to which the individual is being promoted on the schedule applicable to the position to which the individual is being promoted. In the case of an employee who is being promoted from a special rate position to a special rate position, add 2 steps to the existing special rate and --- going directly to the special rate schedule applicable to the position to which the employee is being promoted --- slot the result against the steps of the higher grade on the special rate schedule. Do not refer to any underlying regular rate.

Regular schedule to special rate
. When an employee who is promoted from a position covered by a regular (non-special rate) schedule to a special rate position, add two steps to the employee's existing rate on the regular schedule and ---going directly to the special rate schedule applicable to the position to which the employee is being promoted ---slot the result against the steps for the higher grade.

Special rate to non-special rate
. When an employee in a special rate position is promoted from a special rate position to a non-special rate position, add two steps to the employee's existing special rate and -- going directly to the non-special rate schedule applicable to the position to which the employee is moving --- slot pay if possible. If there is no rate in the non-special rate position to which the employee is moving which exceeds the employee's existing rate of pay (in the special rate position) by at least two step increases, the employee is entitled to the greater of (a) the maximum rate of the higher graded non-special rate position or (b) his or her existing rate (the special rate). In other words, the employee gets pay retention.

Comparison


The rate to which the employee is entitled upon entering a special rate position by reassignment or promotion must be compared with any applicable locality-comparability rate for the same grade and step. The payable rate is that rate for the employee's grade and step which confers the higher benefit.




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