A-20439, NOVEMBER 8, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 320

A-20439: Nov 8, 1927

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

POSTAL SERVICE - COMPENSATORY TIME OR OVERTIME FOR CHRISTMAS DAY IT IS WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT TO FIX A MINIMUM SERVICE REQUIREMENT OF LESS THAN 8 HOURS FOR POSTAL EMPLOYEES ON CHRISTMAS DAY AND TO GRANT COMPENSATORY TIME OF ONE DAY WITHIN THE NEXT 30 DAYS IF SUCH MINIMUM SERVICE REQUIREMENT IS PERFORMED ON CHRISTMAS DAY. AS FOLLOWS: WE ARE WORKING THE EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT THIS YEAR ON CHRISTMAS BECAUSE IT COMES ON MONDAY. I WOULD LIKE YOUR OPINION AS TO WHETHER IT IS PROPER AND LEGAL. SEES FIT TO LET THEM GO BEFORE EIGHT HOURS IS CONSUMED. THE PROPOSED BULLETIN IS AS FOLLOWS: POSTAL EMPLOYEES WHO COME TO THEIR WORK ON CHRISTMAS MORNING EARLIER THAN USUAL AND MAKE AN EXTRAORDINARY EFFORT TO GET THEIR WORK DONE BY NOON SHALL BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING DONE ALL THAT IS REQUIRED OF THEM ON THAT DAY BY THE DEPARTMENT.

A-20439, NOVEMBER 8, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 320

POSTAL SERVICE - COMPENSATORY TIME OR OVERTIME FOR CHRISTMAS DAY IT IS WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT TO FIX A MINIMUM SERVICE REQUIREMENT OF LESS THAN 8 HOURS FOR POSTAL EMPLOYEES ON CHRISTMAS DAY AND TO GRANT COMPENSATORY TIME OF ONE DAY WITHIN THE NEXT 30 DAYS IF SUCH MINIMUM SERVICE REQUIREMENT IS PERFORMED ON CHRISTMAS DAY, OR TO GIVE THE EMPLOYEE OVERTIME PAY FOR THE ACTUAL NUMBER OF HOURS WORKED ON CHRISTMAS DAY WHETHER MORE OR LESS THAN THE MINIMUM SERVICE REQUIREMENT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, NOVEMBER 8, 1927:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 29, 1927, AS FOLLOWS:

WE ARE WORKING THE EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT THIS YEAR ON CHRISTMAS BECAUSE IT COMES ON MONDAY, AND TWO VACANT POSTAL DAYS FALLING TOGETHER, SUCH AS SUNDAY AND A HOLIDAY, SEEM TO BE INCONSISTENT WITH GOOD SERVICE.

I THINK IT FAIR TO ISSUE A BULLETIN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ENCLOSED, AND I WOULD LIKE YOUR OPINION AS TO WHETHER IT IS PROPER AND LEGAL. THE LAW REQUIRES, AS YOU KNOW, NOT EXCEEDING EIGHT HOURS, FOR A DAY'S WORK, AND IF THE DEPARTMENT UNDER EXTRAORDINARY CONDITIONS CALLS MEN TO WORK EARLY, AND SEES FIT TO LET THEM GO BEFORE EIGHT HOURS IS CONSUMED, IT WOULD SEEM FAIR THAT WE SHOULD GIVE THEM A WHOLE COMPENSATORY DAY OR PAY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW RATHER THAN TO FIGURE UP THE EXACT HOURS. DOES NOT THIS SEEM TO BE A FAIR AND PROPER THING TO DO AND ALSO CONSISTENT WITH THE LAW?

THE PROPOSED BULLETIN IS AS FOLLOWS:

POSTAL EMPLOYEES WHO COME TO THEIR WORK ON CHRISTMAS MORNING EARLIER THAN USUAL AND MAKE AN EXTRAORDINARY EFFORT TO GET THEIR WORK DONE BY NOON SHALL BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING DONE ALL THAT IS REQUIRED OF THEM ON THAT DAY BY THE DEPARTMENT, AND WILL BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING DONE A DAY'S WORK AND WILL CONSEQUENTLY BE GIVEN A DAY OF COMPENSATORY TIME WITHIN THE THIRTY DAYS AS PROVIDED BY LAW, OR BE GIVEN PAY THEREFOR, IN THE OPTION OF THE DEPARTMENT, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW.

SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1059, PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

* * * PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT HEREAFTER SPECIAL CLERKS, CLERKS, AND LABORERS, IN THE FIRST AND SECOND CLASS POST OFFICES AND CARRIERS IN THE CITY DELIVERY SERVICE SHALL BE REQUIRED TO WORK NOT MORE THAN EIGHT HOURS A DAY: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE EIGHT HOURS OF SERVICE SHALL NOT EXTEND OVER A LONGER PERIOD THAN TEN CONSECUTIVE HOURS, AND THE SCHEDULES OF DUTY OF THE EMPLOYEES SHALL BE REGULATED ACCORDINGLY: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT IN CASES OF EMERGENCY, OR IF THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE REQUIRE, AND IT IS NOT PRACTICABLE TO EMPLOY SUBSTITUTES, SPECIAL CLERKS, CLERKS, AND LABORERS, IN FIRST AND SECOND CLASS POST OFFICES AND CARRIERS IN THE CITY DELIVERY SERVICE CAN BE REQUIRED TO WORK IN EXCESS OF EIGHT HOURS PER DAY, AND FOR SUCH OVERTIME SERVICE THEY SHALL BE PAID ON THE BASIS OF THE ANNUAL PAY RECEIVED BY SUCH EMPLOYEES: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT IN COMPUTING THE COMPENSATION FOR SUCH OVERTIME THE ANNUAL SALARY OR COMPENSATION FOR SUCH EMPLOYEES SHALL BE DIVIDED BY THREE HUNDRED AND SIX, THE NUMBER OF WORKING DAYS IN THE YEAR LESS ALL SUNDAYS AND LEGAL HOLIDAYS ENUMERATED IN THE ACT OF JULY 28, 1916: THE QUOTIENT THUS OBTAINED WILL BE THE DAILY COMPENSATION WHICH DIVIDED BY EIGHT WILL GIVE THE HOURLY COMPENSATION FOR SUCH OVERTIME SERVICE: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT WHEN THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE REQUIRE THE EMPLOYMENT ON SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS OF FOREMEN, SPECIAL CLERKS, CLERKS, CARRIERS, WATCHMEN, MESSENGERS, OR LABORERS, AT FIRST AND SECOND CLASS POST OFFICES, THEY SHALL BE ALLOWED COMPENSATORY TIME ON ONE DAY WITHIN SIX DAYS NEXT SUCCEEDING THE SUNDAY, EXCEPT THE LAST THREE SUNDAYS IN THE CALENDAR YEAR, AND ON ONE DAY WITHIN THIRTY DAYS NEXT SUCCEEDING THE HOLIDAY AND THE LAST THREE SUNDAYS IN THE YEAR ON WHICH SERVICE IS PERFORMED: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MAY, IF THE EXIGENCIES OF THE SERVICE REQUIRE IT, AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF OVERTIME FOR SERVICE ON THE LAST THREE SUNDAYS IN THE CALENDAR YEAR OR ON CHRISTMAS DAY IN LIEU OF COMPENSATORY TIME.

SEE ALSO SIMILAR PROVISIONS IN SECTION 5, 43 STAT. 1061, AS TO SPECIAL MECHANICS, GENERAL MECHANICS, MECHANICS' HELPERS, DRIVER MECHANICS, AND GARAGEMEN-DRIVERS, IN THE MOTOR VEHICLE SERVICE, AND IN SECTION 7, 43 STAT. 1063, AND SECTION 11, 43 STAT. 1065, AS TO LABORERS AND CLERKS IN THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE.

THE CONTROLLING STATUTE FIXES ONLY A MAXIMUM NUMBER OF HOURS' WORK PER DAY FOR POSTAL EMPLOYEES, VIZ, NOT EXCEEDING 8 HOURS WITHIN 10 CONSECUTIVE HOURS. HENCE, IT IS WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY TO FIX A MINIMUM SERVICE REQUIREMENT OF LESS THAN 8 HOURS ON CHRISTMAS DAY. 19 COMP. DEC. 575; 1 COMP. GEN. 496.

THE LAW AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT FOR TIME WORKED ON CHRISTMAS DAY EITHER IN THE FORM OF COMPENSATORY TIME OR OVERTIME PAY. COMPENSATORY TIME IS GENERALLY COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE DAY, BUT OVERTIME PAY IS GENERALLY COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE HOUR. THUS WHERE AN EMPLOYEE PERFORMS ALL THE SERVICE REQUIRED OF HIM ON CHRISTMAS DAY HE MAY BE ALLOWED ONE DAY COMPENSATORY TIME WITHIN THE NEXT 30 DAYS, BUT IF REIMBURSEMENT IS MADE IN THE FORM OF OVERTIME PAY, THE EMPLOYEE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO PAY FOR ONLY THE ACTUAL NUMBER OF HOURS WORKED ON CHRISTMAS DAY, WHETHER MORE OR LESS THAN THE MINIMUM SERVICE REQUIREMENT FIXED ADMINISTRATIVELY FOR THAT DAY. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT IN LIEU OF THE PHRASE IN THE PROPOSED BULLETIN "OR BE GIVEN PAY THEREFOR" THAT THERE BE SUBSTITUTED "OR BE GIVEN PAY FOR THE ACTUAL NUMBER OF HOURS WORKED ON CHRISTMAS DAY.'