A-35665, MARCH 6, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 399

A-35665: Mar 6, 1931

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL ARE ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3. 1931: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 6. IS APPLICABLE TO THE EMPLOYEES UNDER ST. THE QUESTION IS WHETHER ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL IS A FIELD SERVICE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THIS EXCEPTION. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT FOR THE PURPOSE OF APPORTIONMENT AND APPLICATION OF CERTAIN OTHER CIVIL-SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL IS A DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE. IS THE ONLY INSTITUTION OF ITS KIND IN THE UNITED STATES UNDER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND ANY FIELD ACTIVITY THEREUNDER IS SUPERVISED AT THE INSTITUTION. IT HAS NO FIELD SERVICE AS THAT TERM IS ORDINARILY DISTINGUISHED FROM DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE. 5 COMP. THE REASON FOR THE EXCEPTION OF THE FIELD EMPLOYEES OF THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT IS EXPLAINED IN HOUSE REPORT 1498.

A-35665, MARCH 6, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 399

SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAYS - ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES UNDER ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL ARE ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, 46 STAT. 1482, PROVIDING FOR SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAYS FOR CERTAIN GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, MARCH 6, 1931:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 6, 1931, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, 46 STAT. 1482, PROVIDING FOR SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAYS FOR CERTAIN GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, IS APPLICABLE TO THE EMPLOYEES UNDER ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL.

THE STATUTE EXPRESSLY EXCLUDES "EMPLOYEES OF THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT IN THE FIELD.' THE QUESTION IS WHETHER ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL IS A FIELD SERVICE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THIS EXCEPTION.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT FOR THE PURPOSE OF APPORTIONMENT AND APPLICATION OF CERTAIN OTHER CIVIL-SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL HAS BEEN CONSIDERED AS A FIELD SERVICE, BUT AS TO PAYMENTS OF COMPENSATION UNDER THE TERMS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL IS A DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE. SEE DECISION OF AUGUST 15, 1928, A-23927, ADDRESSED TO YOU. ALSO, IT HAS BEEN CONSIDERED AS A DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 17, 1910, 36 STAT. 531, CONTROLLING THE PURCHASE OF SUPPLIES. ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL, IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, IS THE ONLY INSTITUTION OF ITS KIND IN THE UNITED STATES UNDER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND ANY FIELD ACTIVITY THEREUNDER IS SUPERVISED AT THE INSTITUTION. IT HAS NO FIELD SERVICE AS THAT TERM IS ORDINARILY DISTINGUISHED FROM DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE. 5 COMP. GEN. 272. FOR THE PURPOSES OF SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAYS DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS, ITS PERSONNEL HAS BEEN CONTROLLED BY THE LAWS AND EXECUTIVE ORDER APPLICABLE TO THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

THE REASON FOR THE EXCEPTION OF THE FIELD EMPLOYEES OF THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT IS EXPLAINED IN HOUSE REPORT 1498, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THE FIELD SERVICE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR WAS EXCLUDED BY THE COMMITTEE ON ACCOUNT OF THE OBJECTIONS MADE BY THE CHIEFS OF BUREAUS OF RECLAMATION, FORESTRY, AND NATIONAL PARKS, AND THE INDIAN BUREAU, THE FIELD SERVICES OF THE THREE LATTER BUREAUS BEING VERY LARGELY COMPOSED OF TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES DURING THE SUMMER VACATION PERIOD. * * *

IT IS EVIDENT THAT ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL WAS NOT CONTEMPLATED OR CONSIDERED AS WITHIN THE EXCEPTION AND, SINCE THERE APPEARS TO BE NO STATUTE OR PRECEDENT REQUIRING THAT IT BE HELD TO BE A FIELD SERVICE FOR ALL PURPOSES, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THE EMPLOYEES UNDER SAID HOSPITAL ARE ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, PROVIDING A SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAY FOR CERTAIN GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.

THE FOLLOWING QUESTION IS NOTED IN THE SUBMISSION FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT TO YOU DATED MARCH 4, 1931, FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTER:

* * * WILL WE BE COMPELLED TO LET ALL EMPLOYEES OFF, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE AMOUNT OF MONEY AVAILABLE, OR IF THE SECRETARY COULD ARRANGE THROUGH THE SUPERINTENDENT ONLY TO PERMIT THOSE TO GO WHO CAN BE SPARED WITHOUT INTERFERING WITH THE PROPER CARRYING ON OF THE WORK.

THE STATUTE CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING PROVISO:

* * * PROVIDED, THAT IN ALL CASES WHERE FOR SPECIAL PUBLIC REASONS, TO BE DETERMINED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT HAVING SUPERVISION OR CONTROL OF SUCH EMPLOYEES, THE SERVICES OF SUCH EMPLOYEES CAN NOT BE SPARED, SUCH EMPLOYEES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO AN EQUAL SHORTENING OF THE WORKDAY ON SOME OTHER DAY: * * *

THEREFORE IF THE SERVICES OF CERTAIN EMPLOYEES CAN NOT BE SPARED ON SATURDAY AFTERNOONS, THOSE REQUIRED TO WORK ON THAT DAY IN EXCESS OF FOUR HOURS MUST BE GRANTED AN EQUAL SHORTENING OF THE WORKDAY ON SOME OTHER DAY.