|Subchapter 4531 - Highest Previous Rate
Section A - General Schedule Highest Previous Rate
| Delegation of Authority
As stated in MRP Directive 4531.1, Programs (e.g., Agricultural Marketing Service [AMS] Fruit & Vegetable Programs; Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [APHIS] Veterinary Services; Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration [GIPSA] Packers and Stockyards Program), have the authority to establish written policy outlining:
Written policies must be provided to the servicing personnel office (SPO) and the Human Resources Policy Branch (HRPB) for posting on the web.
Managers/supervisors - In instances where the granting of HPR is optional and the Program has delegated the authority to managers and/or supervisors to make the determination, then managers/supervisors are responsible for notifying the SPO, in writing, of their determination. Negative determinations must include a justification.
Servicing Personnel Office - The SPO is responsible for setting pay in cases where HPR has been approved.
| Basis for Highest Previous Rate
An employee’s rate of basic pay will be set at the maximum rate permitted by law or regulation. HPR must be based on:
At least 90 continuous days under one or more appointments means that the employee served continuously under more than one appointment for 90 calendar days or more. Examples include a 120-day temporary appointment, or a permanent career-conditional appointment, even if the employee actually worked only 90 days or less during that appointment.
Example 1: An employee is hired as a clerk at GS-3. Several years ago, the employee received a career-conditional appointment as a GS-5, step 1, but the employee resigned 30 days later. GS-5, step 1, is the employee’s HPR because the appointment was not limited to 90 days or less.
Example 2: An employee is hired as an Agricultural Commodity Grader at GS-5. Several years ago, the employee served as a secretary at GS-7, step 1, under 2 consecutive 45-day temporary appointments. GS-7, step 1, is the HPR because the two appointments were continuous and together lasted for at least 90 calendar days.
If the HPR is a locality rate, the underlying GS rate must be used as the HPR in applying the maximum payable rate rule.
Note: See guidance on determining the maximum payable rate (MPR).
||In addition to the exclusions found in 5 CFR 531.223, HPR may not be based on an intermittent, on-call, or as-needed work schedule or erroneous rates.|
| Simultaneous Actions
When a position or appointment change and entitlement to a higher rate of pay occur at the same time, the higher rate of pay is deemed an employee's existing rate of basic pay.
Any other individual pay actions. These are processed in the order that gives the employee the maximum benefit.
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