A-43521, JULY 28, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 130

A-43521: Jul 28, 1932

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WERE NOT ENTITLED TO THE SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAY WITH PAY WOULD BE TEN ELEVENTHS OF FIVE AND ONE-HALF DAYS' PAY AS OF JUNE 30. NOTWITHSTANDING THE EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL ON THE ISTHMUS WERE EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 3. THE ENTIRE WORKING TIME ON SATURDAY IS TO BE COUNTED AS ONE-HALF DAY. FURLOUGH TIME ON SATURDAY IN PERIODS LESS THAN THE ENTIRE WORK DAY IS TO BE COUNTED AS THE TIME ACTUALLY ABSENT. THE SAME RULE IS APPLICABLE TO PER ANNUM EMPLOYEES WHOSE WORK DAY IS SEVEN HOURS. AS FOLLOWS: YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO THE DEDUCTIONS THAT SHOULD BE MADE ON EACH MONTHLY PAY ROLL FOR EACH WORKING DAY AN EMPLOYEE IS OFF IN APPLYING THE PROVISIONS OF THE SO-CALLED ECONOMY ACT TO THE EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL ON THE ISTHMUS OF PANAMA EMPLOYED BOTH ON AN HOURLY AND MONTHLY BASIS AND WORKING TWENTY-SIX DAYS EACH MONTH AND WITHOUT SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAY.

A-43521, JULY 28, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 130

ECONOMY ACT - COUNTING OF SATURDAY IN FURLOUGH TIME UNDER SECTION 101 (A) OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 399, THE ADJUSTMENT OF COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES WHO, PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1932, WERE NOT ENTITLED TO THE SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAY WITH PAY WOULD BE TEN ELEVENTHS OF FIVE AND ONE-HALF DAYS' PAY AS OF JUNE 30, 1932, AND NOT TEN-ELEVENTHS OF SIX DAYS' PAY. NOTWITHSTANDING THE EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL ON THE ISTHMUS WERE EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, 46 STAT. 1482, FROM THE BENEFITS OF THE SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAY WITH PAY WHEN IN A DUTY STATUS, FOR THE PURPOSE OF COUNTING FURLOUGH TIME UNDER SECTION 101 (B) OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 399, THE ENTIRE WORKING TIME ON SATURDAY IS TO BE COUNTED AS ONE-HALF DAY, BUT FURLOUGH TIME ON SATURDAY IN PERIODS LESS THAN THE ENTIRE WORK DAY IS TO BE COUNTED AS THE TIME ACTUALLY ABSENT. THE SAME RULE IS APPLICABLE TO PER ANNUM EMPLOYEES WHOSE WORK DAY IS SEVEN HOURS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE GOVERNOR OF THE PANAMA CANAL, JULY 28, 1932:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 20, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO THE DEDUCTIONS THAT SHOULD BE MADE ON EACH MONTHLY PAY ROLL FOR EACH WORKING DAY AN EMPLOYEE IS OFF IN APPLYING THE PROVISIONS OF THE SO-CALLED ECONOMY ACT TO THE EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL ON THE ISTHMUS OF PANAMA EMPLOYED BOTH ON AN HOURLY AND MONTHLY BASIS AND WORKING TWENTY-SIX DAYS EACH MONTH AND WITHOUT SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAY.

THE QUESTION INVOLVED IS SUBMITTED BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE PANAMA CANAL BY A RADIOGRAM, DATED JULY 20, 1932, READING AS FOLLOWS:

"APPLICATION OF COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION A-43276 OF JULY 8TH REQUIRING DEDUCTION OF ONE AND ONE-FOURTH DAYS' PAY FOR EACH WORKING DAY OFF WOULD RESULT IN AN INJUSTICE TO EMPLOYEES HERE. SATURDAY IS NOT A HALF HOLIDAY; THEREFORE WE HAVE 26 WORKING DAYS IN A MONTH INSTEAD OF ONLY 24. TO ILLUSTRATE: AN EMPLOYEE ABSENT ON FURLOUGH JULY 1 TO 29 WHO WORKS ON THE 30TH AND 31ST RECEIVES NO PAY FOR HIS SERVICES IF ONE AND ONE- FOURTH DAYS' PAY IS WITHHELD FROM EACH OF THE 24 WORKING DAYS ABSENT. PLEASE REQUEST AN EQUITABLE RULING.'

SECTION 101 (B) OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, PUBLIC, NO. 212, 47 STAT. 399, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

EACH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE RECEIVING COMPENSATION ON AN ANNUAL BASIS AT THE RATE OF MORE THAN $1,000 PER ANNUM SHALL BE FURLOUGHED WITHOUT COMPENSATION FOR ONE CALENDAR MONTH, OR FOR SUCH PERIODS AS SHALL IN THE AGGREGATE BE EQUIVALENT TO ONE CALENDAR MONTH, FOR WHICH LATTER PURPOSE TWENTY-FOUR WORKING DAYS (COUNTING SATURDAY AS ONE-HALF DAY) SHALL BE CONSIDERED AS THE EQUIVALENT OF ONE CALENDAR MONTH: * * *.

THE QUESTION PRESENTED ARISES BY REASON OF THE FACT THAT THE SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAY LAW OF MARCH 3, 1931, 46 STAT. 1482, EXPRESSLY EXCLUDES FROM ITS OPERATION "EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL ON THE ISTHMUS.'

SECTION 101 (A) OF THE ECONOMY ACT PROVIDING FOR A 5-DAY WEEK, APPLICABLE PRIMARILY TO PER DIEM EMPLOYEES, TAKES INTO CONSIDERATION THE SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAY LAW BY PROVIDING THAT PAY FOR FIVE DAYS SHALL BE TEN- ELEVENTHS OF THAT PREVIOUSLY PAID FOR A "WEEK'S WORK OF FIVE AND ONE-HALF YS.' UNDER THIS SECTION THE ADJUSTMENT OF COMPENSATION ON A 5-DAY WEEK BASIS WOULD BE DIFFERENT FOR EMPLOYEES WHO, PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1932, WERE NOT ENTITLED TO THE SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAY WITH PAY. THAT IS TO SAY, THEIR COMPENSATION ON A 5-DAY WEEK BASIS WOULD NOT BE TEN-ELEVENTHS OF 6 DAYS' PAY PREVIOUSLY PAID FOR A WEEK'S WORK OF 5 1/2 DAYS, BUT TEN-ELEVENTHS OF 5 1/2 DAYS' PAY AS OF JUNE 30, 1932.

HOWEVER, UNDER SECTION 101 (B) OF THE ECONOMY ACT, PRIMARILY APPLICABLE TO PER ANNUM EMPLOYEES, NO DIFFERENT RULE IS AUTHORIZED FOR COMPUTING FURLOUGH TIME FOR SATURDAY IN THE CASE OF EMPLOYEES WHO, PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1932, WERE NOT ENTITLED TO THE SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAY WITH PAY. AS TO ALL CLASSES OF EMPLOYEES COMING WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 101 (B), THE STATUTE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES THAT, FOR THE PURPOSE OF COUNTING FURLOUGH TIME IN PERIODS OF LESS THAN ONE CALENDAR MONTH, 24 WORKING DAYS SHALL BE THE EQUIVALENT AND SATURDAY SHALL BE COUNTED AS ONE-HALF DAY.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT NOTWITHSTANDING PANAMA CANAL EMPLOYEES ON THE ISTHMUS ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAY WITH PAY WHEN IN A DUTY STATUS, FOR THE PURPOSE OF COUNTING FURLOUGH TIME UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 101 (B) OF THE ECONOMY ACT, SATURDAY IS TO BE COUNTED AS ONE-HALF DAY.

IT MAY BE OBSERVED THAT THIS IS THE SAME SITUATION, EXCEPT AS TO THE LENGTH OF TIME INVOLVED, AS EXISTS WITH RELATION TO ALL PER ANNUM EMPLOYEES WHOSE WORK DAY IS SEVEN HOURS AND WHO ARE ENTITLED TO THE SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAY WITH PAY. WHILE ON DUTY THEY ARE REQUIRED TO WORK FOUR HOURS ON SATURDAY, BUT IN COMPUTING FURLOUGH TIME THEY ARE CHARGED ONLY WITH ONE-HALF DAY, OR THREE AND ONE-HALF HOURS, UNDER THE TERMS OF SECTION 101 (B) OF THE ECONOMY ACT.

IT IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD, OF COURSE, THAT THE PRINCIPLE HEREIN STATED IS FOR APPLICATION ONLY WHEN THE EMPLOYEE IS ABSENT DURING THE ENTIRE WORKING HOURS ON SATURDAY. FURLOUGH TIME ON SATURDAY IN PERIODS LESS THAN THE ENTIRE WORK DAY IS TO BE COUNTED AS THE TIME ACTUALLY ABSENT FROM DUTY.

SINCE THE LAW SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES THAT 24 WORKING DAYS' ABSENCE SHALL BE REGARDED AS THE EQUIVALENT OF A CALENDAR MONTH, DEDUCTION AT THE RATE OF ONE AND ONE-FOURTH DAYS' PAY MUST BE MADE FOR EACH WORKING DAY'S ABSENCE, COUNTING SATURDAY AS ONE-HALF DAY. SINCE AN EMPLOYEE IS TO BE CHARGED WITH ONLY ONE-HALF DAY'S ABSENCE ON SATURDAY, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO INJUSTICE IN DEDUCTING ONE AND ONE-FOURTH DAYS' PAY FOR EACH DAY'S ABSENCE, AND PARTICULARLY SINCE THE TOTAL LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH DEDUCTIONS FOR THE YEAR WILL AMOUNT TO ONLY ONE CALENDAR MONTH'S PAY IN ANY EVENT.