A-39522, DECEMBER 1, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 211

A-39522: Dec 1, 1931

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WHO ARE REGULARLY EMPLOYED THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. EXCEPTIONS WERE TAKEN TO PAYMENTS OF COMPENSATION FOR JANUARY. THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED ARE SHOWN ON THE PAY ROLLS AS HOLDING THE TITLES OF "UNDERCLERK. " AND ALL OF THE POSITIONS HAVE BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY PLACED OR ALLOCATED IN GRADE CAF-1. THE HOURLY RATE OF COMPENSATION IS UNIFORMLY SHOWN AS 50 CENTS PER HOUR. FROM THE TOTAL PAYMENT OF WHICH RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS HAVE BEEN MADE IN CERTAIN CASES AND NOT IN OTHERS. FROM THE INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER AT THE REQUEST OF THIS OFFICE IT IS SHOWN THAT THE HOURS OF SERVICE OF THESE EMPLOYEES VARY EACH DAY AND THAT IN SOME INSTANCES THE EMPLOYEES HAVE PERFORMED SERVICE ON CERTAIN DAYS IN EXCESS OF SEVEN HOURS.

A-39522, DECEMBER 1, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 211

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - FIELD SERVICE - PART-TIME EMPLOYEES PART-TIME EMPLOYEES OCCUPYING POSITIONS IN THE FIELD SERVICE SUBJECT TO THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION, WHO ARE REGULARLY EMPLOYED THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, MAY NOT BE PAID AT AN HOURLY RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR AN INDEFINITE NUMBER OF HOURS, BUT THE PART-TIME COMPENSATION SHOULD BE FIXED AT A RATE HAVING THE SAME RELATION TO THE RATE FIXED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT FOR FULL TIME IN A SIMILAR POSITION, WHICH THE TIME SERVED BY THE PART -TIME EMPLOYEE BEARS TO THE TIME SERVED BY THE FULL-TIME EMPLOYEE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, DECEMBER 1, 1931:

IN THE AUDIT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF J. I. BUCKNER, FISCAL AGENT, FOREST SERVICE, FOR THE MARCH QUARTER, 1931, EXCEPTIONS WERE TAKEN TO PAYMENTS OF COMPENSATION FOR JANUARY, 1931, ON AN HOURLY BASIS VOUCHERS 7823, 7970, 8143, AND 8152), TO VARIOUS PART-TIME EMPLOYEES IN THE FIELD SERVICE OF THE FOREST SERVICE, WHOSE POSITIONS HAD BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY PLACED OR ALLOCATED IN A FIELD GRADE OR SALARY RANGE CORRESPONDING TO A GRADE PRESCRIBED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT FOR SIMILAR POSITIONS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 1005. THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED ARE SHOWN ON THE PAY ROLLS AS HOLDING THE TITLES OF "UNDERCLERK," "UNDERCLERK-STENOGRAPHER" OR "JUNIOR CLERK STENOGRAPHER," AND ALL OF THE POSITIONS HAVE BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY PLACED OR ALLOCATED IN GRADE CAF-1. THE HOURLY RATE OF COMPENSATION IS UNIFORMLY SHOWN AS 50 CENTS PER HOUR, FROM THE TOTAL PAYMENT OF WHICH RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS HAVE BEEN MADE IN CERTAIN CASES AND NOT IN OTHERS.

FROM THE INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER AT THE REQUEST OF THIS OFFICE IT IS SHOWN THAT THE HOURS OF SERVICE OF THESE EMPLOYEES VARY EACH DAY AND THAT IN SOME INSTANCES THE EMPLOYEES HAVE PERFORMED SERVICE ON CERTAIN DAYS IN EXCESS OF SEVEN HOURS, THE REGULAR WORK DAY FIXED ADMINISTRATIVELY, FOR WHICH PAYMENT HAS BEEN MADE ON AN HOURLY BASIS, THEREBY EXCEEDING THE RATE FOR THE DAY IN EXCESS OF THE PER DIEM EQUIVALENT OF THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE FIXED FOR THE GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITION HAS BEEN ALLOCATED. IN OTHER WORDS, OVERTIME COMPENSATION HAS BEEN PAID ON CERTAIN DAYS.

IN REPLY TO THE NOTICES OF EXCEPTION, THE DISBURSING OFFICER SUBMITTED A STATEMENT BY THE ACTION REGIONAL FORESTER, AS FOLLOWS:

WHILE THE APPOINTMENTS OF THESE PERSONS WERE NOT STATED AT A PER ANNUM RATE, THE PER-HOUR EQUIVALENT OF THE $1,260 ANNUAL RATE WAS USED; THAT IS, $1,260 DIVIDED BY 360 TO ARRIVE AT A PER DIEM RATE AND THIS DIVIDED BY 7, THE NUMBER OF WORKING HOURS IN THE REGULAR DAY. THE REASON FOR USING THE HOURLY EQUIVALENT INSTEAD OF THE PER ANNUM RATE IN THESE APPOINTMENTS IS THAT THE WORK IS NOT CONTINUOUS AND VERY OFTEN IS FOR PERIODS OF LESS THAN A DAY, SUCH AS 3, 6, OR 5 HOURS. THE PER HOUR EQUIVALENT OF THE PER ANNUM RATE SEEMS TO BE MORE SATISFACTORY WHERE THE EMPLOYMENT IS FOR VARYING PERIODS FROM DAY TO DAY. SEVERAL DECISIONS HAVE RECOGNIZED THE FIXING OF PER DIEM EQUIVALENTS (3 C.G. 877; 4 C.G. 755; AND 5 C.G. 231) AND DECISION 8 C.G. 379 PROVIDED FOR ARRIVING AT PER HOUR EQUIVALENTS UNDER ANOTHER ACT BY DIVIDING THE PER DIEM RATE BY THE NUMBER OF WORKING HOURS IN THE DAY. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE PER HOUR RATES ARE PERMISSIBLE WHEN BASED ON PER ANNUM CLASSIFICATION RATES.

THE PRINCIPLE OF FIXING THE PART TIME RATE IN THE PROPORTION THAT THE PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT BEARS TO FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT AS ESTABLISHED IN 5 C.G. 303 IS DIFFICULT OF APPLICATION IN THESE CASES BECAUSE THE PROPORTION OF TIME EMPLOYED IS NOT UNIFORM. THAT IS, IT MAY VARY ANYWHERE FROM A FEW HOURS TO A FULL DAY. IF IT IS HELD THAT THE PER HOUR RATES CAN NOT CONTINUE, I SHOULD BE GLAD TO BE INFORMED WHETHER PAYMENTS ON THAT BASIS MAY BE CONTINUED UNDER EXISTING APPOINTMENTS.

THE SCHEDULE OF SALARY RATES APPEARING IN THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS AMENDED, PRESCRIBE ONLY ANNUAL RATE FOR ALL POSITIONS WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THOSE OF THE CLERICAL-MECHANICAL SERVICE AND PART-TIME CHARWOMEN IN THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE. THESE SCHEDULES OF ANNUAL SALARY RATES ARE APPLICABLE TO ALL REGULAR EMPLOYEES WHETHER ON A FULL-TIME OR PART-TIME BASIS. REFERRING TO THE CITATIONS GIVEN BY THE ACTING REGIONAL FORESTER, ON THE BASIS OF WHICH THE HOURLY RATES WERE FIXED ADMINISTRATIVELY FOR THESE PART -TIME POSITIONS, THE FOLLOWING IS QUOTED FROM DECISION OF NOVEMBER 13, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 216, 219.

PER DIEM RATES WERE AUTHORIZED IN THE CASE OF CONSULTING ENGINEERS, FIELD EXPERTS, TEMPORARY OR SEASONAL EMPLOYEES, AND OTHER EMPLOYEES WORKING FOR SHORT PERIODS WHO WERE NOT A PART OF THE REGULAR FORCE OF EMPLOYEES. COMP. GEN. 877; 4 ID. 755; 5 ID. 73; ID. 136; ID. 231; ID. 303; 8 ID. 379. HOWEVER, THESE DECISIONS REQUIRED THAT THE PER DIEM RATE BE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF A PER ANNUM RATE WITH 360 DAYS TO THE YEAR AND IT WAS NOT RECOGNIZED THAT THE REGULAR FORCE OF EMPLOYEES MIGHT BE PAID ON A PER DIEM BASIS.

THE SAME PRINCIPLE WOULD BE APPLICABLE TO PER-HOUR RATES OF COMPENSATION AND TO THE EMPLOYEES HERE INVOLVED, IT BEING UNDERSTOOD THEY ARE A PART OF THE REGULAR FORCE OF THE FOREST SERVICE AND ARE NOT TEMPORARY OR SEASONAL EMPLOYEES OR THOSE WHOSE SERVICES ARE ONLY INTERMITTENT.

FURTHERMORE, THE FIXING OF AN HOURLY RATE OF COMPENSATION AND THE PAYMENT THEREOF FOR ANY NUMBER OF HOURS OF ACTUAL SERVICE ON ANY DAY, EVEN IN EXCESS OF THE NUMBER OF HOURS FIXED AS THE REGULAR WORKING DAY FOR THE EMPLOYEES, IS NOT THE PROPER METHOD FOR FIXING THE COMPENSATION RATE OF PART-TIME EMPLOYEES WHO ARE REGULARLY EMPLOYED THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. THE PAYMENT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION IN SUCH CASES IS CONTRARY TO LAW.

IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 30, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 302, 305, IT WAS STATED:

4. THE BASIS ON WHICH PART-TIME EMPLOYEES SHOULD BE PAID IS THE COMPENSATION FOR FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES IN A POSITION WITH SIMILAR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES; THAT IS, THE PART-TIME POSITION SHOULD BE ALLOCATED TO THE PROPER CLASS AND GRADE AS DETERMINED BY THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION. THE COMPENSATION SHOULD BE FIXED AT A RATE HAVING THE SAME RELATION TO THE RATE FIXED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT FOR FULL TIME IN A SIMILAR POSITION WHICH THE TIME GIVEN TO THE BUREAU SERVICE BEARS TO THE TIME SERVED BY A FULL TIME EMPLOYEE. A PART-TIME EMPLOYEE WHO DOES NOT WORK FOR THE ENTIRE PERIOD FOR WHICH HE CONTRACTED SHOULD ALSO BE PAID PROPORTIONATELY.

THE ACTING REGIONAL FORESTER STATES THAT THIS PRINCIPLE IS DIFFICULT OF APPLICATION IN THE INSTANT CASE BECAUSE THE PROPORTION OF TIME EMPLOYED IS NOT UNIFORM. WHILE THIS IS AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROBLEM, IT WOULD APPEAR TO THIS OFFICE THAT THE CLERICAL WORK NECESSARY IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE FOREST RESERVES MAY BE SO ARRANGED THAT THERE MAY BE READILY DETERMINED THE PROPORTION THAT THE PERIOD OF ACTUAL SERVICE REQUIRED OF PART-TIME EMPLOYEES BEARS TO THE TIME SERVED BY A FULL-TIME EMPLOYEE. IN ANY EVENT, AN HOURLY RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR AN INDEFINITE NUMBER OF HOURS IS NOT AUTHORIZED AND SHOULD BE DISCONTINUED, EVEN UNDER EXISTING APPOINTMENTS.

PENDING A PROPER ADJUSTMENT IN THE COMPENSATION RATES OF THE EMPLOYEES HEREBY AFFECTED, WHICH SHOULD BE MADE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, CREDIT WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS FOR PAYMENTS OF COMPENSATION TO THE PART-TIME EMPLOYEES AT THE HOURLY RATE HERETOFORE ADMINISTRATIVELY FIXED, IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER OBJECTION.

IN THE ABSENCE OF MORE DEFINITE INFORMATION, THERE IS NO DETERMINATION IN THIS DECISION WHETHER ANY OR ALL OF THESE PART-TIME EMPLOYEES ARE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE CIVIL RETIREMENT ACT.