A-15382, AUGUST 24, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 156

A-15382: Aug 24, 1926

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LEAVE OF ABSENCE - POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES WHERE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE POSTAL SERVICE IS CONTINUED ON THE ROLLS AS AN EMPLOYEE ABSENT ON ACCOUNT OF SICKNESS OR INJURY DURING THE ENTIRE PERIOD HE IS IN RECEIPT OF DISABILITY COMPENSATION AND HE LATER RESUMES HIS DUTIES. 1926: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 12. AS FOLLOWS: FOR THE INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE OF THIS DEPARTMENT YOUR OPINION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT AN EMPLOYEE OF THE POST OFFICE SERVICE. WHILE RECEIVING COMPENSATION FROM THE UNITED STATES EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION FOR DISABILITY RECEIVED IN THE LINE OF DUTY IS ENTITLED TO RECEIVE THE BENEFITS OF SICK LEAVE WITH PAY AND ANNUAL LEAVE WITH PAY ACCRUING DURING THE PERIOD SUCH EMPLOYEE RECEIVES COMPENSATION.

A-15382, AUGUST 24, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 156

LEAVE OF ABSENCE - POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES WHERE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE POSTAL SERVICE IS CONTINUED ON THE ROLLS AS AN EMPLOYEE ABSENT ON ACCOUNT OF SICKNESS OR INJURY DURING THE ENTIRE PERIOD HE IS IN RECEIPT OF DISABILITY COMPENSATION AND HE LATER RESUMES HIS DUTIES, THE PERIOD OF SUCH ABSENCE MAY BE COUNTED AS SERVICE IN DETERMINING THE ANNUAL AND/OR SICK LEAVE WHICH THEREAFTER MAY BE GRANTED TO HIM UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1064.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, AUGUST 24, 1926:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 12, 1926, AS FOLLOWS:

FOR THE INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE OF THIS DEPARTMENT YOUR OPINION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT AN EMPLOYEE OF THE POST OFFICE SERVICE, WHILE RECEIVING COMPENSATION FROM THE UNITED STATES EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION FOR DISABILITY RECEIVED IN THE LINE OF DUTY IS ENTITLED TO RECEIVE THE BENEFITS OF SICK LEAVE WITH PAY AND ANNUAL LEAVE WITH PAY ACCRUING DURING THE PERIOD SUCH EMPLOYEE RECEIVES COMPENSATION, OR WHETHER HE MAY RECEIVE SUCH BENEFITS ACCRUING DURING HIS INCAPACITY, AFTER COMPENSATION SHALL HAVE CEASED AND HE HAS RETURNED TO DUTY.

SECTION 11 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1064, PROVIDES:

EMPLOYEES IN THE POSTAL SERVICE SHALL BE GRANTED FIFTEEN DAYS' LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITH PAY EXCLUSIVE OF SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS, EACH FISCAL YEAR, AND SICK LEAVE WITH PAY AT THE RATE OF TEN DAYS A YEAR, EXCLUSIVE OF SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS, TO BE CUMULATIVE, BUT NO SICK LEAVE WITH PAY IN EXCESS OF THIRTY DAYS SHALL BE GRANTED DURING ANY ONE FISCAL YEAR. SICK LEAVE SHALL BE GRANTED ONLY UPON SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF ILLNESS IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS TO BE PRESCRIBED BY THE POSTMASTER GENERAL.

COMPENSATION FOR EMPLOYEES SUFFERING INJURIES WHILE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES IS PROVIDED FOR IN THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 7, 1916, 39 STAT. 742. SECTIONS 7 AND 8 OF SAID ACT PROVIDE:

SEC. 7. THAT AS LONG AS THE EMPLOYEE IS IN RECEIPT OF COMPENSATION UNDER THIS ACT, OR, IF HE HAS BEEN PAID A LUMP SUM IN COMMUTATION OF INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS, UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF THE PERIOD DURING WHICH SUCH INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS WOULD HAVE CONTINUED, HE SHALL NOT RECEIVE FROM THE UNITED STATES ANY SALARY, PAY, OR REMUNERATION WHATSOEVER EXCEPT IN RETURN FOR SERVICES ACTUALLY PERFORMED, AND EXCEPT PENSIONS FOR SERVICE IN THE ARMY OR NAVY OF THE UNITED STATES.

SEC. 8. THAT IF AT THE TIME THE DISABILITY BEGINS THE EMPLOYEE HAS ANNUAL OR SICK LEAVE TO HIS CREDIT HE MAY, SUBJECT TO THE APPROVAL OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT, USE SUCH LEAVE UNTIL IT IS EXHAUSTED, IN WHICH CASE HIS COMPENSATION SHALL BEGIN ON THE FOURTH DAY OF DISABILITY AFTER THE ANNUAL OR SICK LEAVE HAS CEASED.

IT IS CLEAR, THEREFORE, THAT AN EMPLOYEE IN THE POSTAL SERVICE MAY NOT BE PAID FOR LEAVE OF ABSENCE WHILE RECEIVING DISABILITY COMPENSATION UNDER THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 7, 1916.

IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT AN ABSENCE ON ACCOUNT OF AN INJURY SUCH AS WOULD ENTITLE THE EMPLOYEE TO THE BENEFITS OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 7, 1916, DOES NOT IPSO FACTO BREAK THE CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR LEAVE PURPOSES OF AN EMPLOYEE WHO THEREAFTER RETURNS TO DUTY. 26 COMP. DEC. 763. WHERE AN EMPLOYEE IS SICK OR DISABLED FOR A LONG-CONTINUED PERIOD, THE QUESTION WHETHER HE SHOULD BE CONTINUED ON THE ROLLS AS IN SERVICE OR BE DROPPED AS AN EMPLOYEE IS ONE PRIMARILY OF ADMINISTRATION. 27 COMP. DEC. 100. SEE ALSO 5 COMP. GEN. 404.

IF AN EMPLOYEE IN THE POSTAL SERVICE IS CONTINUED ON THE ROLLS AS AN EMPLOYEE ABSENT ON ACCOUNT OF SICKNESS OR INJURY DURING THE ENTIRE PERIOD HE IS IN RECEIPT OF DISABILITY COMPENSATION AND RESUMES HIS DUTIES AS SUCH EMPLOYEE IMMEDIATELY UPON TERMINATION OF SUCH PERIOD, THE PERIOD OF SUCH ABSENCE MAY BE COUNTED AS SERVICE IN DETERMINING THE ANNUAL AND/OR SICK LEAVE WHICH THEREAFTER MAY BE GRANTED TO HIM UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, SUPRA. ..END :