A-38647, OCTOBER 5, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 123

A-38647: Oct 5, 1931

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SALARY ADJUSTMENTS BY FIELD EMPLOYEES WHO WERE SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE. ARE OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO SUCH ADJUSTMENTS. WILL BE CONSIDERED ALIKE AS ADJUSTMENTS UNDER THE WELCH ACT. AN EMPLOYEE RECEIVED THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED UNDER THE WELCH ACT. NO FURTHER ADJUSTMENT WILL BE MADE. 1931: THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR SETTLEMENT THE CLAIM OF NOLA M. THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU REPORTED AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS FORWARDED HEREWITH FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT THE CLAIM OF NOLA M. YOU ARE ADVISED THE RECORDS OF THE BUREAU SHOW THAT MRS. THE SALARY RANGE FOR THIS POSITION AS OF THIS DATE WAS $1. SHE WAS PROMOTED FROM $1. CLAIM FOR REFUND OF RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS WAS CERTIFIED TO THE BUREAU OF PENSIONS APRIL 29.

A-38647, OCTOBER 5, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 123

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - WELCH ACT - ADMINISTRATIVE INCREASES AS A BASIS FOR FURTHER SETTLEMENTS BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE OF CLAIMS FOR WELCH ACT, SALARY ADJUSTMENTS BY FIELD EMPLOYEES WHO WERE SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE, AND ARE OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO SUCH ADJUSTMENTS, ALL INCREASES IN COMPENSATION GRANTED EMPLOYEES IN THE FIELD SERVICE AS OF JULY 1, 1928, WHETHER DESIGNATED OF RECORD AS ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS OR AS WELCH ACT ADJUSTMENTS, OR INCREASES DESIGNATED AS ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS MADE EFFECTIVE THEREAFTER AND PRIOR TO EFFECTIVE DATE OF ADJUSTMENTS DESIGNATED ADMINISTRATIVELY AS UNDER THE WELCH ACT, WILL BE CONSIDERED ALIKE AS ADJUSTMENTS UNDER THE WELCH ACT. IF, ON THAT BASIS, AN EMPLOYEE RECEIVED THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED UNDER THE WELCH ACT, NO FURTHER ADJUSTMENT WILL BE MADE.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, OCTOBER 5, 1931:

THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR SETTLEMENT THE CLAIM OF NOLA M. TROUSDALE FOR SALARY ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE WELCH ACT OF MAY 28, 1928, 45 STAT. 776.

UNDER DATE OF MAY 20, 1931, THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU REPORTED AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS FORWARDED HEREWITH FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT THE CLAIM OF NOLA M. TROUSDALE FOR SALARY ADJUSTMENT EFFECTIVE AS OF JULY 1, 1928, UNDER THE WELCH ACT.

YOU ARE ADVISED THE RECORDS OF THE BUREAU SHOW THAT MRS. TROUSDALE HELD THE POSITION OF GRADUATE NURSE (STAFF) AT A SALARY OF $1,680 ON JUNE 30, 1928. THE SALARY RANGE FOR THIS POSITION AS OF THIS DATE WAS $1,680 TO $2,040, REVISED EFFECTIVE AS OF JULY 1, 1928, AS A RESULT OF THE WELCH ACT, $1,800 TO $2,100. SHE WAS PROMOTED FROM $1,680 TO $1,740 JULY 1, 1928, ADMINISTRATIVELY, FROM $1,740 TO $1,800 EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 1928, UNDER PUBLIC ACT 555. MRS. TROUSDALE RESIGNED APRIL 9, 1929, AND DID NOT RECEIVE SALARY ADJUSTMENT EFFECTIVE AS OF JULY 1, 1928, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION DATED MAY 3, 1929. CLAIM FOR REFUND OF RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS WAS CERTIFIED TO THE BUREAU OF PENSIONS APRIL 29, 1929. ON NOVEMBER 18, 1929, SHE WAS REEMPLOYED AT UNITED STATES VETERANS' HOSPITAL, TUCSON, ARIZ.

WITH REFERENCE TO THOSE CASES INVOLVING MERITORIOUS INCREASES ON JULY 1, 1928, OR BETWEEN THAT DATE AND THE DATE THE WELCH ACT ADJUSTMENTS IN THE FIELD WERE ORIGINALLY MADE, THERE IS ENCLOSED HEREWITH COPY OF MEMORANDUM DATED MAY 1, 1931, WHICH REFLECTS THE POLICY OF THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS.

THE CITED MEMORANDUM OF MAY 1, 1931, IS AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR MEMORANDUM OF APRIL 11, 1931, RELATIVE TO SALARY ADJUSTMENTS AS OF JULY 1, 1928. YOUR REQUEST ADVICE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT AN EMPLOYEE MAY RETAIN THE BENEFIT OF A MERITORIOUS INCREASE WHICH WAS GIVEN HIM ON JULY 1, 1928, IN ADDITION TO THE WELCH ACT INCREASE.

IN REPLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT IN ANY CASE WHERE THE TWO INCREASES HAVE BEEN GRANTED, THE EMPLOYEES AFFECTED MAY BE PERMITTED TO RETAIN THE TWO INCREASES. THE OPINION OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL DATED NOVEMBER 11, 1930, HOLDING THAT AN EMPLOYEE IN THE FIELD SERVICE MAY RECEIVE AN INCREASE IN SALARY FOR MERITORIOUS SERVICE, EFFECTIVE AS OF JULY 1,1928, AND RECEIVE ALSO, AS OF THE SAME DATE, AN INCREASE OF SALARY UNDER THE WELCH ACT, IS APPROVED. HOWEVER, IN ANY CASE WHEREIN THE WELCH ACT INCREASE ABSORBED THE MERITORIOUS PROMOTION, AND NO FURTHER ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION AS OF THAT DATE HAS BEEN GRANTED, THERE WILL BE NO FURTHER ADJUSTMENT NOW.

UNDER DATE OF JULY 21, 1931, THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU MADE AN ADDITIONAL REPORT AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 2, 1931, REQUESTING TO BE FURTHER ADVISED WITH REFERENCE TO THE MERITORIOUS PROMOTION FROM $1,680 TO $1,740 ON JULY 1, 1928, IN CONNECTION WITH THE CLAIM OF NOLA M. TROUSDALE FOR SALARY ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE WELCH ACT.

YOU ARE ADVISED THAT HAD MRS. TROUSDALE REMAINED IN THE SERVICE, WELCH ACT ADJUSTMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN EFFECTED AT THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' HOSPITAL, WHIPPLE, ARIZ., FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN $1,740 AND $1,800, EFFECTIVE AS OF JULY 1, 1928. MERITORIOUS PROMOTIONS WERE EFFECTED FOR THE FIELD PERSONNEL ON JULY 1, 1928, OR BETWEEN THAT DATE AND SEPTEMBER 1, 1928. IN OCTOBER, 1928, SALARY ADJUSTMENTS WERE AUTHORIZED EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 1928, UNDER THE WELCH ACT FOR THIS CLASS OF PERSONNEL. SALARY ADJUSTMENTS WERE THEN MADE IN THE FIELD ON THE BASIS OF THE SALARY THE EMPLOYEES WERE RECEIVING AT THAT TIME AND NOT ON THE BASIS OF WHAT THEY WERE ENTITLED TO ON JUNE 30, 1928. THESE PROMOTIONS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY MADE EFFECTIVE AS OF JULY 1, 1928, AND THE DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU IN HIS SERVICE LETTER TO ALL STATIONS DATED JUNE 5, 1929, INSTRUCTED THAT THE EMPLOYEES WERE ENTITLED TO THE DIFFERENCE IN RATES JULY 1, 1928, TO AUGUST 31, 1928, BETWEEN (A) THE SALARY RATE ACTUALLY PAID DURING THE PERIOD JULY 1, 1928, AND THE DATE THE WELCH ACT WAS PLACED IN EFFECT AND (B) THE RATE OF PAY TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS PROMOTED UNDER THE WELCH ACT. ACCORDINGLY, THE FIELD STATION ADDED THE AMOUNT OF ONE STEP DUE UNDER THE WELCH ACT TO THE SALARY RATE THEN IN EFFECT, AFTER THE MERITORIOUS PROMOTION HAD BEEN GRANTED, WITH THE RESULT THAT THE WELCH ACT ABSORBED THE MERITORIOUS PROMOTION IN A NUMBER OF CASES SIMILAR TO THE ONE IN QUESTION.

IT IS, THEREFORE, BELIEVED THAT IT WOULD BE AN INJUSTICE TO OTHER EMPLOYEES AT FIELD STATIONS WHO HAVE BEEN IN THE SERVICE CONTINUOUSLY TO ADJUST MRS. TROUSDALE'S SALARY TO $1,860, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1928, TO THE DATE OF RESIGNATION, APRIL 9, 1929.

ADJUSTMENTS UNDER THE WELCH ACT AS OF JULY 1, 1928, SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE SOLELY ON THE GRADE AND SALARY RATE HELD JUNE 30, 1928, EXCLUSIVE OF ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS OR DEMOTIONS EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1928, OR THEREAFTER. (8 COMP. GEN. 260.) HOWEVER, SOME OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES FAILED TO MAKE ADJUSTMENTS UNDER THE WELCH ACT IMMEDIATELY ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1928, BUT MADE THEM AT A LATER DATE, ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS HAVING BEEN GRANTED IN THE MEANTIME. THERE IS PRESENTED THE QUESTION WHETHER THESE ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUSTMENTS, OTHER THAN UNDER THE WELCH ACT, NOW SHOULD BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING WHETHER FURTHER ADJUSTMENTS UNDER THE WELCH ACT ARE AUTHORIZED. IN MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THE CASES THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GRANTED HAD IT BEEN FULLY UNDERSTOOD THAT THE EMPLOYEES WERE ENTITLED TO A CORRESPONDING ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT AS TO THOSE EMPLOYEES WHO REMAINED CONTINUOUSLY IN THE SERVICE THE TOTAL SALARY RATE WAS ADJUSTED ON THAT BASIS. ACCORDINGLY, AS A BASIS FOR FURTHER SETTLEMENTS BY THIS OFFICE OF CLAIMS FOR WELCH ACT SALARY ADJUSTMENTS, BY FIELD EMPLOYEES WHO WERE SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE, AND ARE OTHER WISE ENTITLED TO SUCH ADJUSTMENTS, ALL INCREASES IN COMPENSATION GRANTED EMPLOYEES IN THE FIELD SERVICE AS OF JULY 1, 1928, WHETHER DESIGNATED OF RECORD AS ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS OR AS WELCH ACT ADJUSTMENTS, OR INCREASES DESIGNATED AS ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS MADE EFFECTIVE THEREAFTER AND PRIOR TO EFFECTIVE DATE OF ADJUSTMENTS DESIGNATED ADMINISTRATIVELY AS UNDER THE WELCH ACT, WILL BE CONSIDERED ALIKE AS ADJUSTMENTS UNDER THE WELCH ACT. AND IF, ON THAT BASIS, AN EMPLOYEE RECEIVED THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED UNDER THE WELCH ACT, NO FURTHER ADJUSTMENT WILL BE MADE.

ON JUNE 30, 1928, CLAIMANT WAS RECEIVING $1,680 PER ANNUM, THE MINIMUM RATE OF FIELD SALARY RANGER CORRESPONDING TO DEPARTMENTAL GRADE 5 OF THE SUBPROFESSIONAL SERVICE, TO WIT, OF $1,680 TO $2,040 PER ANNUM. REFERRING TO THE COMPARATIVE SCHEDULE IN DECISION OF JUNE 2, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 760, 764, CLAIMANT SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1928, THE SALARY RATE OF $1,800 PER ANNUM, THE NEW MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF HER GRADE OR FIELD RANGE AS REVISED BY THE WELCH ACT. AS CLAIMANT DID NOT RECEIVE $1,800 PER ANNUM UNTIL SEPTEMBER 1, 1928, SHE IS ENTITLED TO THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN $1,740 AND $1,800 PER ANNUM FOR THE PERIOD JULY 1 TO AUGUST 31, 1928, INCLUSIVE, OR $10 LESS RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS. SETTLEMENT WILL BE MADE BY THIS OFFICE ACCORDINGLY.

HOWEVER, AS CLAIMANT RECEIVED, EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 1928, AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION AS UNDER THE WELCH ACT, WHICH TOGETHER WITH THE INCREASE GRANTED EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1928, EQUAL THE AMOUNT OF TWO STEPS OR SALARY RATES, THE MAXIMUM INCREASE AUTHORIZED UNDER THE WELCH ACT, SHE IS NOT ENTITLED TO ANY FURTHER INCREASE ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 1928.