Looking for help now?
Contact your local Health Safety & Work Life Regional Practice or CG SUPRT 24/7/365.

Classification Appeals

Civilian positions, through the classification process, are assigned a specific pay plan, title, series and grade. If an employee disagrees with the classification of their position, the employee may choose to file an appeal of the following elements: pay plan, grade, occupational series, and/or title of his or her current position (depending on the situation).

  • An employee cannot appeal the:
    • content or accuracy of his or her position description,
    • accuracy of a classification standard,
    • agency’s proposed classification decision,
    • classification of a position to which he or she is not officially assigned,
    • comparison to the classification of other positions, or
    • classification of positions to which he or she is detailed or temporarily promoted.
  • Management is responsible for assigning the duties and responsibilities contained in the position description and verifying that the duties are accurate. If an employee feels the position description is significantly inaccurate he or she should try to resolve the problem with the supervisor. If an employee is unable is resolve an issue regarding the content of his or her position description the appropriate avenue to address the content of the position description is either the administrative or the negotiated grievance procedure. Normally a classification appeal will not be accepted by either the agency (Coast Guard) or the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) until the position description content issues have been addressed and both management and the employee certify the description accurately describes the major duties, responsibilities, requirements and supervisory relationships of the position.
  • A GS employee may file an appeal either to the agency (Coast Guard), or directly to OPM but not to both at the same time. The advantage to filing first with the Coast Guard is that if the appeal is denied, the employee may then choose to appeal to OPM. A FWS employee must first appeal to the agency.
  • Appeal decisions by OPM, favorable or unfavorable, are binding on the Coast Guard and the employee; there is no further appeal beyond OPM.
  • The outcome of a classification appeal decision can result in the following circumstances:
    • no change to the agency assigned pay plan, title, series, or grade level of a position.
    • an upgrade higher than the agency assigned grade.
    • a downgrade lower than the agency assigned grade.
    • a new series different than the agency assigned.
    • a new pay plan different than the agency assigned.