A-43351, JULY 18, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 74

A-43351: Jul 18, 1932

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IT IS PROVIDED THAT MARRIED PERSONS LIVING WITH HUSBANDS AND WIVES EMPLOYED IN THE CLASS TO BE REDUCED SHALL BE DISMISSED BEFORE ANY OTHER PERSONS EMPLOYED IN SUCH CLASS ARE DISMISSED. IF SUCH HUSBAND OR WIFE ARE ALSO IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IT IS NECESSARY. AT THE SAME TIME THERE ARE EMPLOYED TWO MESSENGERS WHO DRAW A COMPENSATION OF $1. THE WIVES OF BOTH OF THESE LATTER NAMED MESSENGERS ARE EMPLOYED IN THE JANITOR SERVICE BY THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC PARKS. IT IS NECESSARY TO DISCHARGE THE MESSENGERS WHOSE WIVES ARE EMPLOYED BEFORE DISCHARGE OR FURLOUGH CAN BE MADE OF MESSENGERS WHOSE WIVES ARE NOT SO EMPLOYED. WILL APPRECIATE IT GREATLY IF I GET A REPLY AT AN EARLY DATE SO THAT THE PAY ROLL FOR THE PRESENT MONTH CAN BE ESTABLISHED.

A-43351, JULY 18, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 74

ECONOMY ACT - REDUCTION OF FORCE - MARRIED WOMEN THE "CLASS TO BE REDUCED" PURSUANT TO SECTION 213 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 406, HAS REFERENCE TO ALL EMPLOYEES PERFORMING WORK OF THE SAME GENERAL CHARACTER IN THE PARTICULAR SERVICE, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THEY MAY BE CLASSIFIED FOR COMPENSATION PURPOSES IN DIFFERENT GRADES. ADMINISTRATIVE FURLOUGHS OF EMPLOYEES WHEN NECESSARY TO KEEP WITHIN THE APPROPRIATION DO NOT CONSTITUTE A REDUCTION IN PERSONNEL WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 213 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 406.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO HON. WILLIAM J. GRAHAM, UNITED STATES COURT OF CUSTOMS AND PATENT APPEALS, JULY 18, 1932:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 11, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

UNDER SECTION 213 OF THE LEGISLATIVE BILL OF JUNE 30, 1932, IT IS PROVIDED THAT MARRIED PERSONS LIVING WITH HUSBANDS AND WIVES EMPLOYED IN THE CLASS TO BE REDUCED SHALL BE DISMISSED BEFORE ANY OTHER PERSONS EMPLOYED IN SUCH CLASS ARE DISMISSED, IF SUCH HUSBAND OR WIFE ARE ALSO IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

IT IS NECESSARY, ON ACCOUNT OF FAILURE OF APPROPRIATIONS, TO DISMISS TWO MESSENGERS, EMPLOYEES OF THE COURT OF CUSTOMS AND PATENT APPEALS, EACH DRAWING AN ANNUAL SALARY OF $1,260. AT THE SAME TIME THERE ARE EMPLOYED TWO MESSENGERS WHO DRAW A COMPENSATION OF $1,440 EACH. THE WIVES OF BOTH OF THESE LATTER NAMED MESSENGERS ARE EMPLOYED IN THE JANITOR SERVICE BY THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC PARKS.

IN MAKING THE DISCHARGES OR FURLOUGHS OF MESSENGERS, AS ABOVE NOTED, IT IS NECESSARY TO DISCHARGE THE MESSENGERS WHOSE WIVES ARE EMPLOYED BEFORE DISCHARGE OR FURLOUGH CAN BE MADE OF MESSENGERS WHOSE WIVES ARE NOT SO EMPLOYED.

I APPRECIATE THE MASS OF WORK WHICH MUST BE ACCUMULATED IN YOUR OFFICE ON ACCOUNT OF THE PASSAGE OF THIS ACT, BUT WILL APPRECIATE IT GREATLY IF I GET A REPLY AT AN EARLY DATE SO THAT THE PAY ROLL FOR THE PRESENT MONTH CAN BE ESTABLISHED.

SECTION 213 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, PUBLIC 212, 47 STAT. 406, PROVIDES:

IN ANY REDUCTION OF PERSONNEL IN ANY BRANCH OR SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MARRIED PERSONS (LIVING WITH HUSBAND OR WIFE) EMPLOYED IN THE CLASS TO BE REDUCED SHALL BE DISMISSED BEFORE ANY OTHER PERSONS EMPLOYED IN SUCH CLASS ARE DISMISSED, IF SUCH HUSBAND OR WIFE IS ALSO IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IN THE APPOINTMENT OF PERSONS TO THE CLASSIFIED CIVIL SERVICE, PREFERENCE SHALL BE GIVEN TO PERSONS OTHER THAN MARRIED PERSONS LIVING WITH HUSBAND OR WIFE, SUCH HUSBAND OR WIFE BEING IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

THE ANSWER TO YOUR SUBMISSION DEPENDS LARGELY UPON THE DEFINITION THE USE OF THE WORD "CLASS" IN THE PROVISION ABOVE QUOTED. IN THE CLASSIFICATION ACT THIS OFFICE HAS HELD THAT THE WORD ,CLASS" IS SYNONYMOUS WITH "GRADE," 4 COMP. GEN. 333; 8 ID. 204. HOWEVER, SUCH A RESTRICTED DEFINITION DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN INTENDED BY THE USE OF THE WORD "CLASS" IN THE PROVISION ABOVE QUOTED. IT WOULD APPEAR RATHER THAT THE WORD "CLASS" IN THE SAID ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, HAS REFERENCE TO ALL EMPLOYEES PERFORMING WORK OF THE SAME GENERAL KIND IN THE PARTICULAR SERVICE, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THEY MAY BE CLASSIFIED FOR COMPENSATION PURPOSES IN DIFFERENT GRADES. ACCORDINGLY, IF IT IS NECESSARY TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF MESSENGERS IN A PARTICULAR BRANCH OF THE SERVICE, SECTION 213 REQUIRES THAT THE MESSENGERS WHOSE WIVES ARE AT THAT TIME EMPLOYED IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BE DISCHARGED BEFORE MESSENGERS WHO DO NOT HAVE WIVES SO EMPLOYED.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE MATTER OF FURLOUGHING INSTEAD OF DISCHARGING, ATTENTION IS INVITED TO SECTION 216 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, WHICH DIRECTS THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS TO FURLOUGH EMPLOYEES WHEN NECESSARY TO KEEP WITHIN THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1933. THE FURLOUGH OF EMPLOYEES WOULD NOT CONSTITUTE A REDUCTION IN PERSONNEL WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 213 OF THE ACT.