This allegation is baseless. Plaintiffs were removed from the whole Civil Service process, and thus their grades were completely reduced. The Back Pay Act, and the stipulations entered into by Defendants, each provide authorization for the relief recommended by the Special Master.
B. The Classification Act
The Classification Act, 5 U.S.C. § 5101, was enacted "to provide a plan for classifications whereby . . . the principle of equal pay for substantially equal work would be followed." Id., at 399, 96 S. Ct. at 954. Defendants allege that the relief recommended for Plaintiffs Newmaster and Smith would violate the Classification Act because those Plaintiffs would receive monetary damages in excess of the salary commensurate with the recommended grade. No violation of the Act would result from this Court's affirmance of the Special Master's recommendations, however.
Plaintiffs, by being placed in overcomplement status, were removed from their classification and denied the potential for promotion. This potential for promotion includes the job training inherent in the performance of their Civil Service jobs. Compensation for the deprivation of promotion potential is part of the settlement agreement entered into by Defendants. It is clear that Plaintiffs, who would be qualified to perform certain jobs had they not been put in overcomplemency, are not now qualified to perform those jobs. The damages suffered by Plaintiffs due to the loss of promotion potential is quantifiable, and has been so quantified by the Special Master in the instant case. This compensation merely corrects the injuries suffered by Plaintiffs; as such, it puts them on no better footing than any other Civil Service employee. The Classification Act does not preclude the relief recommended in the instant case.
C. The Statute of Limitations
Defendants' Statute of Limitations claim is insubstantial. They assert that the Special Master found that the primary harm suffered by Plaintiff Collins resulted from overcomplemency occurring prior to March of 1968, and thus Ms. Collins is not entitled to relief. In his report, however, the Special Master specifically mentioned that Ms. Collins could only be compensated for injury occurring within the limitations period. He granted relief only for the damages resulting from the overcomplemency suffered by Collins subsequent to March 1968. Ms. Collins is entitled to the relief recommended by Mr. Weil.
D. Attorney's Fees
Plaintiffs predicate their claim for attorney's fees on the Back Pay Act. See page -- , supra. The government contends that the Back Pay Act waives sovereign immunity regarding attorney's fees only with respect to appeals heard before the Merit Systems Protection Board and its agents, and certain unfair labor practice cases and grievances decided and processed pursuant to Chapter 71, Title V, of the United States Code. They cite Payne v. Panama Canal Co., 607 F.2d 155 (5th Cir. 1979) as authority for this proposition. Defendants are correct that Payne supports their analysis. Unfortunately, neither the Court in Payne, nor Defendants in this case, give a fair reading to the Back Pay Act.
Plaintiffs are employees of the State Department, an agency within the meaning of the Back Pay Act. This Court, an appropriate authority within the meaning of that Act, has found that Plaintiffs were affected by unjustified personnel actions that resulted in the reduction of pay. Plaintiffs are therefore entitled to
reasonable attorney's fees related to the personnel action which, with respect to any decision relating to an unfair labor practice or a grievance processed under a procedure negotiated in accordance with Chapter 71 of this title . . ., shall be awarded in accordance with the standards established under section 7701(g) of this title.