A change to lower grade may be --
- Voluntary - Requested by the employee,
- Involuntary - Initiated by agency management, or,
- Caused by failure to complete the supervisory or managerial probationary period.
Pay setting rules vary depending on the reason for the change to lower grade.
A change to lower grade is the noncompetitive movement of an employee to another position for which he/she qualifies at a lower grade than currently being held. This is not considered an adverse action when an employee voluntarily requests it, or it is the result of a Reduction-in-Force.
A change to lower grade candidate is normally considered a noncompetitive candidate, because he/she has already competed for and currently holds a position at a higher grade level than the one being filled, therefore competition is no longer required. However, if the lower graded position has promotion potential above the employee's current grade it must be filled using competitive procedures. This means that all merit promotion program rules apply and competition must occur between all candidates within the area of consideration.