A-4245, AUGUST 30, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 242

A-4245: Aug 30, 1924

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ARE NEVERTHELESS ENTITLED TO PAY FOR LEGAL HOLIDAYS UNDER THE ACTS OF JANUARY 6. 1924: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 21. AS FOLLOWS: YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED ON THE QUESTION OF HOLIDAY PAY FOR THE PER- HOUR-RATE EMPLOYEES AT FULL TIME (EIGHT HOURS) IN THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING. HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED TO THE CLERICAL-MECHANICAL SERVICE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923. THESE EMPLOYEES WERE PER DIEM EMPLOYEES AND FOR MANY YEARS HAVE BEEN PAID FOR HOLIDAYS. THE APPROPRIATIONS HAVE BEEN MADE ON THE BASIS OF PAYING THESE PER DIEM (NOW PER HOUR) WORKERS FOR THE HOLIDAYS. WHICH HAD ONCE BEEN DENIED THEM BUT WHICH WAS RESTORED TO THEM MANY YEARS AGO BY THE ACTS REFERRED TO AND WHICH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY DENY THEM.

A-4245, AUGUST 30, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 242

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - HOLIDAYS - BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING ALTHOUGH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, 42 STAT. 1488, PROVIDED FOR THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION ONLY ON THE PER ANNUM AND PER HOUR BASIS, MAKING NO PROVISION FOR A PER DIEM BASIS OF PAYMENT, EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING, FORMERLY PAID ON A PER DIEM BASIS BUT NOW PAID ON A PER HOUR BASIS UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, ARE NEVERTHELESS ENTITLED TO PAY FOR LEGAL HOLIDAYS UNDER THE ACTS OF JANUARY 6, 1885, 23 STAT. 516, FEBRUARY 23, 1887, 24 STAT. 644, AND JUNE 28, 1894, 28 STAT. 96, THERE BEING NO INTENTION BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT TO REPEAL THE CITED ACTS PROVIDING HOLIDAY PAY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, AUGUST 30, 1924:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 21, 1924, AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED ON THE QUESTION OF HOLIDAY PAY FOR THE PER- HOUR-RATE EMPLOYEES AT FULL TIME (EIGHT HOURS) IN THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING.

THE PLATE PRINTERS' ASSISTANTS, COUNTERS, EXAMINERS, FEEDERS, OTHER OPERATIVES, SKILLED LABORERS, AND OTHERS, NUMBERING ABOUT THREE THOUSAND, HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED TO THE CLERICAL-MECHANICAL SERVICE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AT PER HOUR RATES OF COMPENSATION. PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1924, THESE EMPLOYEES WERE PER DIEM EMPLOYEES AND FOR MANY YEARS HAVE BEEN PAID FOR HOLIDAYS, SEE 23 STAT.L., 516, APPROVED JANUARY 6, 1885, AND 24 STAT.L., 644, APPROVED FEBRUARY 23, 1887. DURING ALL THESE YEARS AS WELL AS FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR, THE APPROPRIATIONS HAVE BEEN MADE ON THE BASIS OF PAYING THESE PER DIEM (NOW PER HOUR) WORKERS FOR THE HOLIDAYS, AS WELL AS THE EMPLOYEES PAID AT ANNUAL RATES OF COMPENSATION. IN VIEW OF THE LONG PRACTICE PREVAILIIG IN THE BUREAU OF PAYING FOR HOLIDAYS TO ALL ITS EMPLOYEES, IT WOULD BE A HARDSHIP TO THREE THOUSAND EMPLOYEES TO NOW DENY THEM THIS PAY, WHICH HAD ONCE BEEN DENIED THEM BUT WHICH WAS RESTORED TO THEM MANY YEARS AGO BY THE ACTS REFERRED TO AND WHICH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY DENY THEM.

THE ACT OF JANUARY 6, 1885, 23 STAT. 516, PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

THAT THE EMPLOYEES OF THE NAVY YARD, GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, BUREAU OF PRINTING AND ENGRAVING, AND ALL OTHER PER DIEM EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT ON DUTY AT WASHINGTON, OR ELSEWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES, SHALL BE ALLOWED THE FOLLOWING HOLIDAYS, TO WIT: THE FIRST DAY OF JANUARY, THE TWENTY-SECOND DAY OF FEBRUARY, THE FOURTH DAY OF JULY, THE TWENTY-FIFTH DAY OF DECEMBER, AND SUCH DAYS AS MAY BE DESIGNATED BY THE PRESIDENT AS DAYS FOR NATIONAL THANKSGIVING, AND SHALL RECEIVE THE SAME PAY AS ON OTHER DAYS.

THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 23, 1887, 24 STAT. 644, PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

THAT ALL PER DIEM EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT, ON DUTY AT WASHINGTON OR ELSEWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES, SHALL BE ALLOWED THE DAY OF EACH YEAR, WHICH IS CELEBRATED AS "MEMORIAL" OR "DECORATION DAY" AND THE FOURTH OF JULY OF EACH YEAR, AS HOLIDAYS, AND SHALL RECEIVE THE SAME PAY AS ON OTHER DAYS.

THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1894, 28 STAT. 96, PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, THAT THE FIRST MONDAY OF SEPTEMBER IN EACH YEAR, BEING THE DAY CELEBRATED AND KNOWN AS LABOR'S HOLIDAY, IS HEREBY MADE A LEGAL PUBLIC HOLIDAY, TO ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES, IN THE SAME MANNER AS CHRISTMAS, THE FIRST DAY OF JANUARY, THE TWENTY-SECOND DAY OF FEBRUARY, THE THIRTIETH DAY OF MAY, AND THE FOURTH DAY OF JULY ARE NOW MADE BY LAW PUBLIC HOLIDAYS.

A "PER DIEM EMPLOYEE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THESE STATUTES HAS BEEN DEFINED AS ONE WHO IS EMPLOYED BY THE DAY AND PAID A CERTAIN SUM FOR A DAY'S WAGES. 8 COMP. DEC. 236.

THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 PROVIDES FOR ONLY TWO BASES FOR COMPUTING COMPENSATION, VIZ, PER ANNUM AND PER HOUR. DECISION OF JUNE 16, 1924, 3 COMP. GEN. 964.

THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT THUS SUGGEST THE QUESTION WHETHER THE ACTS OF JANUARY 6, 1885, FEBRUARY 23, 1887, AND JUNE 28, 1894, SUPRA, SO FAR AS THEY RELATE TO EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING WHOSE POSITIONS COME UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, WERE BY SAID ENACTMENT REPEALED OR RENDERED INOPERATIVE. THE THREE LAWS ABOVE MENTIONED WERE ENACTED SOLELY TO ALLOW THE EMPLOYEES HERE INVOLVED, WITH OTHERS, HOLIDAYS WITH PAY ON THE DAYS IN SUCH LAWS ENUMERATED. THE PRIME PURPOSE OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT WAS TO CLASSIFY AND READJUST THE COMPENSATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AND SAID ENACTMENT REFLECTS NO INTENT OR PURPOSE TO REPEAL OR MODIFY THE ENACTMENTS CITED ABOVE SO AS TO DEPRIVE THE EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF THE PRIVILEGES SPECIFICALLY ALLOWED BY SUCH PRIOR ENACTMENTS. WHILE THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED ARE NOW PAID ON A "PER HOUR" RATHER THAN A "PER DIEM" BASIS, IT DOES NOT NECESSARILY FOLLOW THAT THE HOLIDAY ACTS WERE REPEALED OR THAT THEY MAY NOT NOW BE JUSTLY EXECUTED. WITH RESPECT THERETO THE PROCEDURE HERETOFORE FOLLOWED AS TO THIS CLASS OF EMPLOYEES MAY CONTINUE TO BE FOLLOWED, AND THE NORMAL DAY THE EMPLOYEE IS REQUIRED TO RENDER SERVICE FOR WHICH PAY PER HOUR IS PAID SHALL BE THE RATE OF THE PAY WHERE A HOLIDAY IS INVOLVED. DOUBTFUL CASES SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION AND DIRECTION.