A-36874, JUNE 5, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 538

A-36874: Jun 5, 1931

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MAY RELATE BACK NO FURTHER THAN THE LAST DAY OF THE MONTH PRECEDING THE MONTH IN WHICH NOTICE OF THE REALLOCATION WAS RECEIVED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE. IN ORDER TO GRANT THE EMPLOYEE THE BENEFITS OF THE WELCH AND BROOKHART SALARY ACTS IN THE GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITION IS REALLOCATED. WAS RECEIVING A SALARY OF $2. NOW DESIGNATED AS SENIOR CLERK WAS ALLOCATED TO GRADE CAF-4. HIS SALARY WAS FIXED AT $2. HIS SALARY WAS RAISED TO $2. NOTICE WAS RECEIVED OF THE ACTION OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD IN REALLOCATING THE POSITION TO GRADE CAF-5. DEIBEL'S SALARY WAS RAISED TO $2. WHICH HE IS NOW RECEIVING. HIS SALARY WOULD HAVE BEEN FIXED ON JULY 1. WOULD HAVE BEEN INCREASED TO $2.

A-36874, JUNE 5, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 538

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - SALARY ADJUSTMENTS BASED ON REALLOCATIONS PRESENT ADJUSTMENTS IN SALARY RATES RESULTING FROM REALLOCATION OF THE SAME POSITION HELD JUNE 30, 1924, MAY RELATE BACK NO FURTHER THAN THE LAST DAY OF THE MONTH PRECEDING THE MONTH IN WHICH NOTICE OF THE REALLOCATION WAS RECEIVED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, AND MAY NOT BE BASED ON THE SALARY STATUS OF THE EMPLOYEE AS OF JUNE 30, 1924, IN ORDER TO GRANT THE EMPLOYEE THE BENEFITS OF THE WELCH AND BROOKHART SALARY ACTS IN THE GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITION IS REALLOCATED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, JUNE 5, 1931:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 27, 1931, AS FOLLOWS:

EDWARD T. DEIBEL, AN EMPLOYEE OF THIS DEPARTMENT, WAS RECEIVING A SALARY OF $2,240 PER ANNUM, INCLUDING BONUS, ON JUNE 30, 1924. HIS POSITION, NOW DESIGNATED AS SENIOR CLERK WAS ALLOCATED TO GRADE CAF-4, AND ON JULY 1, 1924, HIS SALARY WAS FIXED AT $2,040 PER ANNUM, THE MAXIMUM OF THE GRADE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 6 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. MR. DEIBEL HAS SINCE CONTINUED TO HOLD THE SAME POSITION AND TO PERFORM THE SAME DUTIES. HIS SALARY WAS RAISED TO $2,100 PER ANNUM ON JULY 1, 1928, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE WELCH ACT, AND TO $2,160 PER ANNUM ON JULY 3, 1930, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE BROOKHART ACT. ON AUGUST 30, 1930, NOTICE WAS RECEIVED OF THE ACTION OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD IN REALLOCATING THE POSITION TO GRADE CAF-5, WHEREUPON, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1930, MR. DEIBEL'S SALARY WAS RAISED TO $2,200 PER ANNUM, WHICH HE IS NOW RECEIVING.

HAD MR. DEIBEL'S POSITION BEEN PROPERLY ALLOCATED IN THE FIRST INSTANCE, HIS SALARY WOULD HAVE BEEN FIXED ON JULY 1, 1924, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 6 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AT $2,300 PER ANNUM, AND WOULD HAVE BEEN INCREASED TO $2,400 PER ANNUM ON JULY 1, 1928, AND TO $2,500 PER ANNUM ON JULY 3, 1930. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE WELCH ACT AND BROOKHART ACT, RESPECTIVELY. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT BY REASON OF THE ERROR IN ORIGINALLY ALLOCATING THE POSITION IN QUESTION TO GRADE CAF-4 INSTEAD OF TO GRADE CAF-5, FOR WHICH ERROR MR. DEIBLE WAS IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE, HE HAS SUFFERED A MATERIAL LOSS IN COMPENSATION, AND IS NOW EVEN PERFORMING HIS DUTIES FOR $300 PER ANNUM LESS THAN HE WOULD BE RECEIVING HAD NOT THE ERROR IN ORIGINAL ALLOCATION BEEN COMMITTED.

THE DEPARTMENT DESIRES TO CORRECT, IN SO FAR AS MAY NOW BE POSSIBLE, THE INJUSTICE WHICH HAS BEEN DONE THIS EMPLOYEE. YOUR DECISION IS THEREFORE REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER AN ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUSTMENT MAY NOW BE MADE FIXING MR. DEIBEL'S SALARY AT THE RATE OF $2,500 PER ANNUM, WHICH IS THE SIXTH STEP IN THE GRADE, AND IF SO, WHETHER SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE CORRECTION MAY BE MADE EFFECTIVE AS OF AUGUST 1, 1930, AND IF NOT, WHEN?

THIS CASE APPEARS SIMILAR TO THAT OF MISS LORRAINE E. SWAN, WHOSE SALARY, INCLUDING BONUS, ON JUNE 30, 1924, WAS $1,840 PER ANNUM. HER POSITION WAS ALLOCATED ON JULY 1, 1924, TO GRADE CAF-2 AND HER SALARY WAS FIXED AT $1,680 PER ANNUM. SHE CONTENDED THAT HER POSITION HAD BEEN IMPROPERLY ALLOCATED. AN APPEAL WAS MADE TO THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD FOR A CORRECTION OF THE ORIGINAL ALLOCATION, AND ON JANUARY 27, 1925, NOTICE WAS RECEIVED FROM THE BOARD THAT HER POSITION HAD BEEN REALLOCATED TO GRADE CAF-3. HER SALARY WAS FINALLY FIXED AT $1,860 PER ANNUM, THE THEN SEVENTH STEP IN THE GRADE, EFFECTIVE ON JANUARY 16, 1925, AND YOUR OFFICE WAS ADVISED OF THE ADJUSTMENT ON OCTOBER 16, 1925.

THE PAY STATUS AS OF JUNE 30, 1924, WAS FOR CONSIDERATION GENERALLY ONLY IN MAKING INITIAL SALARY ADJUSTMENTS AS OF JULY 1, 1924, UNDER THE SIX RULES OF SECTION 6 OF THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION ACT. THERE IS NOTHING EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED IN THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION ACT, IN ANY OF ITS AMENDMENTS, IN ANY ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACT, OR IN ANY OTHER STATUTE RECOGNIZING THE PAY STATUS ON JUNE 30, 1924, AS THE BASIS FOR SALARY ADJUSTMENTS UNDER REALLOCATIONS THEREAFTER, SO AS TO GRANT EMPLOYEES THE BENEFITS OF STATUTES ENACTED BETWEEN JUNE 30, 1924, AND THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE REALLOCATION.

DURING THE FIRST FISCAL YEAR THE CLASSIFICATION ACT WAS IN OPERATION THIS OFFICE FORESAW THE CONFUSION THAT MIGHT ARISE BY ATTEMPTING TO RELATE BACK TO JUNE 30, 1924, SALARY ADJUSTMENTS UNDER SUBSEQUENT REALLOCATIONS OF POSITIONS HELD ON THAT DATE, AND IN DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 280, 281, STATED THE FOLLOWING RULE:

* * * HEREAFTER ALLOCATIONS MAY BE GIVEN EFFECT TO ONLY FOR THE PAY PERIOD CURRENT UPON THE DATE OF RECEIPT BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE ALLOCATION, WHETHER IT BE AN ORIGINAL ALLOCATION OR AN ALLOCATION RESULTING FROM AN APPEAL.

SEE ALSO 4 COMP. GEN. 721. IN DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 23, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 202, THE FIRST OF THE MONTH WAS HELD TO BE THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD.

THE RULE ABOVE STATED HAS SINCE BEEN IN FORCE, AND, IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY LAW TO THE CONTRARY, MAY BE CONSIDERED PERMANENTLY ESTABLISHED. NEARLY SEVEN YEARS HAVE ELAPSED SINCE THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION ACT BECAME EFFECTIVE, JULY 1, 1924, WHICH IS TOO LONG A PERIOD TO JUSTIFY OR PERMIT PRESENT ADJUSTMENTS IN SALARY RATES RESULTING FROM REALLOCATIONS OF POSITIONS TO RELATE BACK TO THE SALARY STATUS OF THE EMPLOYEE AS OF JUNE 30, 1924.

THE BENEFITS OF THE WELCH ACT DEPENDED UPON THE GRADE AND SALARY RATE HELD JUNE 30, 1928, AND JULY 1, 1928, AND THE BENEFITS OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT DEPENDED UPON THE GRADE AND SALARY RATE HELD JUNE 30 AND JULY 1, 1928, AND JULY 2 AND 3, 1930. ALL OF THESE DATES WERE SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 30, 1924, AND PRIOR TO AUGUST 1, 1930, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE REALLOCATION OF THE POSITION HELD BY MR. DEIBEL. SINCE SALARY ADJUSTMENTS UNDER REALLOCATIONS MAY NOT NOW RELATE BACK FURTHER THAN THE LAST DAY OF THE MONTH PRECEDING THE MONTH IN WHICH NOTICE OF THE REALLOCATION WAS RECEIVED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, IN THIS CASE JULY 31, 1930, THE WELCH AND BROOKHART SALARY ACTS WERE NOT FOR CONSIDERATION IN MAKING ADJUSTMENTS IN THE SALARY RATE OF THIS EMPLOYEE UNDER THE REALLOCATION EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1930.

THE RATE OF $2,200 PER ANNUM WAS THE PROPER INITIAL ADJUSTMENT IN GRADE CAF-5 UNDER THE REALLOCATION IN QUESTION, AND ANY INCREASE IN COMPENSATION ABOVE THAT RATE IN THE SAME GRADE WOULD BE AUTHORIZED ONLY AS AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION, PROSPECTIVELY EFFECTIVE, WITHIN AVAILABLE APPROPRIATIONS, BASED ON THE EFFICIENCY OF THE INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEE, AND WHICH WOULD NOT CAUSE THE PROPER AVERAGE OF THE GRADE TO BE EXCEEDED.