A-39168, OCTOBER 26, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 159

A-39168: Oct 26, 1931

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AS FOLLOWS: THE DEMAND FOR EMERGENCY PRINTING AND BINDING PREPARATORY TO AND DURING SESSIONS OF CONGRESS AND TO COMPLETE THIS WORK SUBSEQUENT THERETO WILL MAKE IT NECESSARY FOR PRACTICALLY ALL DAY AND NIGHT MECHANICAL FORCES IN THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE TO WORK 8 HOURS ON EACH SATURDAY DURING SUCH TIMES. A LARGE GROUP OF WOMEN EMPLOYEES WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE THE OFFICE AT 4 A.M. WHEN THE USUAL MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION ARE PRACTICALLY AT A STAND-STILL. AS JOBS LEFT UNFINISHED BY THE HALF-DAY EMPLOYEES WOULD HAVE TO BE TAKEN OVER BY THE FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES. I REQUEST YOUR ADVICE AS TO WHETHER I HAVE AUTHORITY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE LAW AND THE EMERGENCIES MENTIONED ABOVE TO REQUIRE EMPLOYEES WHENEVER NEEDED FOR CONGRESSIONAL WORK TO CUMULATE THEIR COMPENSATORY TIME FOR SATURDAY SERVICE TO A TOTAL OF NOT TO EXCEED EIGHT HOURS WHICH SHALL BE TAKEN AS ONE DAY OFF THE SUCCEEDING WEEK.

A-39168, OCTOBER 26, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 159

SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAYS - COMPENSATORY TIME COMPENSATORY TIME FOR WORK REQUIRED ON MORE THAN ONE SATURDAY IN EXCESS OF FOUR HOURS IN UNIT OF TIME OF ONE ENTIRE DAY OR MORE CEASES TO BE A HALF OR PART HOLIDAY GRANTED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, 46 STAT. 1482, BUT BECOMES AN ENTIRE HOLIDAY OR ADDITIONAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE NOT AUTHORIZED UNDER THE LAW. THE STATUTE MAY PROPERLY BE APPLIED ONLY BY GRANTING COMPENSATORY TIME FROM DUTY IN UNITS OF LESS THAN ONE REGULAR WORKING DAY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE PUBLIC PRINTER, OCTOBER 26, 1931:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 19, 1931, AS FOLLOWS:

THE DEMAND FOR EMERGENCY PRINTING AND BINDING PREPARATORY TO AND DURING SESSIONS OF CONGRESS AND TO COMPLETE THIS WORK SUBSEQUENT THERETO WILL MAKE IT NECESSARY FOR PRACTICALLY ALL DAY AND NIGHT MECHANICAL FORCES IN THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE TO WORK 8 HOURS ON EACH SATURDAY DURING SUCH TIMES. THESE EMPLOYEES WOULD THUS ACCUMULATE 4 HOURS' TIME ON EACH SATURDAY WHICH WOULD, UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, NECESSITATE THEIR TAKING COMPENSATORY TIME OFF ON A SUBSEQUENT WORKDAY.

TO REQUIRE EMPLOYEES IN OUR MECHANICAL DIVISIONS IN SUCH EMERGENCIES TO TAKE COMPENSATORY TIME IN LESS THAN EIGHT-HOUR UNITS WOULD, IN A LARGE NUMBER OF CASES, EITHER BRING THEM TO WORK OR DISMISS THEM AT UNREASONABLE HOURS. FOR INSTANCE, A LARGE GROUP OF WOMEN EMPLOYEES WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE THE OFFICE AT 4 A.M. WHEN THE USUAL MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION ARE PRACTICALLY AT A STAND-STILL. MANY EMPLOYEES ON OTHER FORCES WOULD BE SIMILARLY INCONVENIENCED.

THE EMERGENCY WORK FOR CONGRESS REQUIRES A STEADY FORCE FOR A PERIOD OF EIGHT HOURS EVERY WORKDAY AND NIGHT OF THE WEEK.

THE ONLY OTHER WAY TO SECURE AN ADEQUATE FORCE FOR SIX DAYS OF THE WEEK WOULD BE TO ROTATE THE COMPENSATORY TIME FOR WORKING EIGHT HOURS EACH SATURDAY BY ALLOWING AN EQUAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES TO TAKE THEIR HALF DAYS ON SUCCEEDING WORKDAYS OF THE FOLLOWING WEEK. SUCH PROCEDURE WOULD SERIOUSLY INTERFERE WITH THE ORDERLY AND PROPER HANDLING OF EMERGENCY WORK FOR CONGRESS, AS JOBS LEFT UNFINISHED BY THE HALF-DAY EMPLOYEES WOULD HAVE TO BE TAKEN OVER BY THE FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES, THUS HANDICAPPING THEM IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR OTHER DUTIES. BETTER SERVICE COULD BE RENDERED TO CONGRESS BY COMBINING THE SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAYS INTO ONE REST PERIOD OF EIGHT HOURS, EACH, THUS PROVIDING A SUITABLE FORCE FOR 8 HOURS' WORK EACH SATURDAY AND AVOIDING THE SERIOUS INTERRUPTION OF THE FORCE ON OTHER WORK DAYS IN ROTATING THE FOUR HOURS' COMPENSATORY TIME GRANTED BY THE SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAY LAW.

IN VIEW OF THIS SITUATION, I REQUEST YOUR ADVICE AS TO WHETHER I HAVE AUTHORITY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE LAW AND THE EMERGENCIES MENTIONED ABOVE TO REQUIRE EMPLOYEES WHENEVER NEEDED FOR CONGRESSIONAL WORK TO CUMULATE THEIR COMPENSATORY TIME FOR SATURDAY SERVICE TO A TOTAL OF NOT TO EXCEED EIGHT HOURS WHICH SHALL BE TAKEN AS ONE DAY OFF THE SUCCEEDING WEEK.

YOUR EARLY DECISION IN THIS MATTER IS EARNESTLY REQUESTED.

IN DECISION TO YOU DATED MARCH 7, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 400, IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

WHERE THE COMBINED OVERTIME WORK REQUIRED TO BE PERFORMED ON MORE THAN ONE SATURDAY IN EXCESS OF FOUR HOURS IS LESS THAN A REGULAR WORKDAY, THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, 46 STAT. 1482, WOULD NOT PRECLUDE GRANTING ALL OF SUCH COMPENSATORY TIME BY THE SHORTENING OF SOME ONE REGULAR WORKDAY, BUT ORDINARILY THAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE, THE LAW CONTEMPLATING A SHORTENING OF ONE OTHER WORKDAY FOR EACH SATURDAY FOR WHICH AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE REQUIRED TO WORK MORE THAN FOUR HOURS, AND, IN SO FAR AS THE EXIGENCIES OF THE SERVICE WILL PERMIT, SUCH COMPENSATORY SHORTENING SHOULD BE ON A DAY DURING THE WEEK IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE SATURDAY ON WHICH MORE THAN FOUR HOURS' WORK WAS REQUIRED.

IN DECISION OF APRIL 30, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 497, 499, AFTER QUOTING THE SAID SYLLABUS, IT WAS SPECIFICALLY HELD AS FOLLOWS:

IN OTHER WORDS, COMPENSATORY TIME MAY BE GRANTED ONLY BY THE SHORTENING OF ANOTHER WORKDAY. THEREFORE, COMPENSATORY TIME FOR TWO OR MORE SATURDAYS ON WHICH EXTRA WORK IS REQUIRED, AGGREGATING IN TIME ONE FULL DAY OF EIGHT HOURS, MAY NOT BE GRANTED ON ONE DAY BY EXCUSING THE EMPLOYEES FOR THE ENTIRE DAY.

THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, GRANTS A HALF OR PART HOLIDAY, ONLY, NOT AN ENTIRE HOLIDAY OR EXTRA LEAVE OF ABSENCE. THE PRIMARY PURPOSE WAS TO SHORTEN ONE WORKDAY EACH WEEK, NOT TO PERMIT THE GRANTING OF ENTIRE DAYS TO ABSENCE FROM DUTY WITH PAY, AND EFFECT MUST BE GIVEN TO SAID PURPOSE EVEN THOUGH, DUE TO THE EXIGENCIES OF A PARTICULAR SERVICE, ADMINISTRATIVE DIFFICULTIES MAY BE ENCOUNTERED IN THE OPERATION OF THE STATUTE.

COMPENSATORY TIME FOR WORK REQUIRED ON MORE THAN ONE SATURDAY IN EXCESS OF FOUR HOURS IN UNITS OF TIME OF ONE ENTIRE DAY OR MORE CEASES TO BE A HALF OR PART HOLIDAY, BUT BECOMES AN ENTIRE HOLIDAY OR ADDITIONAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE NOT AUTHORIZED UNDER THE LAW. THE STATUTE MAY PROPERLY BE APPLIED ONLY BY GRANTING COMPENSATORY TIME OFF FROM DUTY IN UNITS OF LESS THAN ONE REGULAR WORKING DAY.