This summary of reassignment covers the following topics:
1. Learning About Reassignment
The reassignment regulations give an agency extensive flexibility in reassigning an employee to a different position.
This summary covers the procedures in the reassignment regulations. With this summary, employees, managers, union representatives, and others will have an overview of both the agency's and employees' rights in a reassignment situation.
The appropriate human resource office (HRO) in the agency can provide additional information on specific questions relating to reassignment policies, options, and entitlements.
2. Definition of Reassignment
The regulations published in section 335.102 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (5 CFR 335.102) cover reassignment of competitive service employees, while the regulations published in section 302.102(a) (5 CFR 302.102(a)) cover reassignment of excepted service employees.
Section 5 C.F.R. 210.102(b)(12) of the regulations defines reassignment as:
". . . a change of an employee, while serving continuously within the same agency, from one position to another without promotion or demotion."
3. The Agency's Right to Reassign
An agency may reassign an employee when:
The agency has a legitimate organizational reason for the reassignment; and
The vacant position is at the same grade, or rate of pay (i.e., if the movement is between pay systems such as from a General Schedule position to a Federal Wage System position), as the employee's present position.
The agency's right to direct reassignment includes the right to reassign an employee from a special rate position to a non-special rate position at the same grade, or to a position with less promotion potential than the present position. (Reassignment to a position with more promotion potential than the present position requires competition under the agency's merit staffing plan.) The position to which the agency reassigns an employee may be located in the same or a different geographic area (e.g., reassignment from Houston to Washington, DC).
4. Reassignment Without Regard to RIF Retention Standing
An agency may reassign an employee without regard to the employee's reduction in force retention standing, including an employee's veterans' preference status. A reassignment to a vacant position at the same grade is not a reduction in force action even if the agency abolishes the employee's former position
At its option, an agency may adopt a policy to select employees for reassignment on the basis of considerations such as retention standing, total service with the agency, length of time in a position or in the organization, etc. Again at its option, an agency may canvass its employees to determine whether an individual employee would prefer reassignment to a specific location, a new organization, and/or to a position with different duties and responsibilities.
5. Separation After Declining Geographic Reassignment
The agency must use the 5 CFR part 752 adverse action regulations when separating an employee who declines a directed reassignment to a position in a different geographic area.
An employee who is removed by adverse action for declining geographic relocation is potentially eligible for most of the benefits that are available to a displaced employee separated by reduction in force (e.g., intra- and interagency hiring priority, severance pay, discontinued service retirement, etc.).
An employee who declines reassignment to a position in the same geographic area as the present position (e.g., from an Atlanta position to a different Atlanta position) is not eligible for any career transition assistance or other benefits.
6. Qualifications and Reassignment
The agency's basic right to reassign an employee is based, in part, on the agency's determination that the employee is qualified for the position to which the employee will be reassigned.
An agency may also reassign an employee to a position if the agency modifies or waives qualifications for the vacant position, consistent with OPM's requirements for these actions.
7. Relocation Expense Allowances
An employee is generally eligible for relocation expense allowances for a directed reassignment that requires relocation to a different geographic area
The General Services Administration (GSA) publishes its Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) in 41 CFR subpart F. The complete FTR and other relocation-related information are available on GSA's website at www.gsa.gov.
8. Additional Information from the Agency
The agency's human resources office (HRO) can provide both employees and managers with additional information on OPM's reassignment regulations. The HRO can also provide information on potential benefits, such as eligibility for:
9. Additional Information from OPM
OPM provides additional restructuring information on the OPM website at www.opm.gov.