A-43628, AUGUST 3, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 172

A-43628: Aug 3, 1932

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ECONOMY ACT - FURLOUGH DEDUCTIONS FROM COMPENSATION IT WAS THE INTENT AND MEANING OF THE DECISION OF JULY 8. THAT THE LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH DEDUCTIONS OF AT LEAST ONE AND ONE-FOURTH DAYS' PAY FOR EACH ONE-HALF MONTH PAY PERIOD SHOULD NOT BE DISCONTINUED UNTIL A FULL CALENDAR MONTH'S PAY SHALL HAVE BEEN DEDUCTED. FROM AN ACCOUNTING STANDPOINT AND IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE MATTER OF THE REQUIRED IMPOUNDING THAT AT LEAST THE MINIMUM DEDUCTION BE MADE ON EACH PAYMENT TO AN EMPLOYEE UNTIL THE DEDUCTIONS HAVE AGGREGATED ONE MONTH'S PAY. AS FOLLOWS: I HAVE THE HONOR TO REQUEST YOUR DECISION ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTION WITH REFERENCE TO DEDUCTIONS FROM THE COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES UNDER SECTION 101 OF PUBLIC 212.

A-43628, AUGUST 3, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 172

ECONOMY ACT - FURLOUGH DEDUCTIONS FROM COMPENSATION IT WAS THE INTENT AND MEANING OF THE DECISION OF JULY 8, 1932, A 43276, 12 COMP. GEN. 16, THAT THE LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH DEDUCTIONS OF AT LEAST ONE AND ONE-FOURTH DAYS' PAY FOR EACH ONE-HALF MONTH PAY PERIOD SHOULD NOT BE DISCONTINUED UNTIL A FULL CALENDAR MONTH'S PAY SHALL HAVE BEEN DEDUCTED. IT HAS BEEN FOUND NECESSARY, FROM AN ACCOUNTING STANDPOINT AND IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE MATTER OF THE REQUIRED IMPOUNDING THAT AT LEAST THE MINIMUM DEDUCTION BE MADE ON EACH PAYMENT TO AN EMPLOYEE UNTIL THE DEDUCTIONS HAVE AGGREGATED ONE MONTH'S PAY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, AUGUST 3, 1932:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 25, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

I HAVE THE HONOR TO REQUEST YOUR DECISION ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTION WITH REFERENCE TO DEDUCTIONS FROM THE COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES UNDER SECTION 101 OF PUBLIC 212, 72D CONGRESS:

IN A CASE IN WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS PERMITTED TO TAKE A FURLOUGH IN EXCESS OF THE NUMBER OF ACCRUED DAYS FOR WHICH DEDUCTIONS HAVE CURRENTLY BEEN MADE FROM HIS COMPENSATION, AND COMPENSATION IS DEDUCTED AT THE RATE OF 1 1/4 DAYS' PAY FOR EACH DAY HE IS ON LEAVE IN EXCESS OF THE ACCRUED FURLOUGH DAYS, MAY HIS SALARY BE RESTORED TO THE REGULAR RATE UNTIL SUCH TIME HAS ELAPSED AS TO MAKE IT IMPERATIVE TO FURTHER DEDUCT FROM HIS SALARY IN ORDER TO INSURE THE NECESSARY SAVINGS FOR THE YEAR AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 101? FOR EXAMPLE: IF AN EMPLOYEE, WHO HAS TAKEN NO LEAVE SINCE JULY 1, 1932, IS PERMITTED TO TAKE SEVEN DAYS FURLOUGH TIME DURING THE FIRST HALF OF SEPTEMBER, AND THERE IS DEDUCTED FROM HIS COMPENSATION 2 1/2 DAYS' PAY IN ADDITION TO THE USUAL DEDUCTION OF 1 1/4 DAYS' PAY FOR THAT PAY PERIOD, WOULD IT BE PROPER TO MAKE NO FURTHER DEDUCTIONS FROM HIS SALARY ON ACCOUNT OF THE FURLOUGH DURING THE TWO SUCCEEDING PAY PERIODS IN THE EVENT NO ADDITIONAL FURLOUGH TIME IS ACTUALLY TAKEN? OR, SHOULD IT HAPPEN THAT 12 DAYS OF FURLOUGH TIME WERE TAKEN DURING JULY, AND 15 DAYS' PAY DEDUCTED FROM JULY SALARY PAYMENT, IS IT PROPER TO PAY THE EMPLOYEE HIS REGULAR SALARY RATE WITHOUT FURTHER DEDUCTIONS UNTIL THE PAY PERIOD FOR THE FIRST HALF OF JANUARY, 1933?

IN THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION IT WILL BE ADMINISTRATIVELY IMPERATIVE TO REQUIRE EMPLOYEES TO TAKE THEIR PAYLESS LEAVE UNDER MUCH THE SAME CIRCUMSTANCES AS THE ANNUAL LEAVE HERETOFORE TAKEN AND TO SO ARRANGE IT THAT TOO GREAT A NUMBER WILL NOT BE AWAY AT ONE TIME. THIS MEANS THAT IT WILL BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DESIRABLE, IF NOT NECESSARY, TO HAVE MANY AVAIL THEMSELVES OF LEAVE BEFORE CONGRESS CONVENES. IT WOULD UNQUESTIONABLY BE A HARDSHIP ON ANY EMPLOYEE TAKING PAYLESS LEAVE, UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, IF IN ADDITION HE MUST FACE FURTHER DEDUCTIONS FOR LEAVE HE WOULD NOT BE PERMITTED TO TAKE PERHAPS FOR SEVERAL MONTHS.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE STATUTE CONTEMPLATES THE SAVING OF ONLY 24 WORKING DAYS' SALARY FROM EACH EMPLOYEE DURING THE FISCAL YEAR IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE PROPOSITION WHICH IS PRESENTED HEREIN IS THE ONLY FAIR WAY FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE EMPLOYEE. IT OBVIOUSLY INSURES THE SAVING REQUIRED BY THE ENACTMENT AS WELL. TO DO OTHERWISE WOULD IN SOME INSTANCES REQUIRE AN EMPLOYEE WHO CONTINUES IN THE EMPLOY OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR LESS THAN THE ENTIRE FISCAL YEAR TO SUFFER DEDUCTIONS AT A RATE IN EXCESS OF 24 DAYS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR WHICH DOES NOT SEEM TO BE CONTEMPLATED BY THE LEGISLATION. IN OTHER CASES IT WOULD ACCELERATE THE DEDUCTIONS TO A DEGREE NOT REQUIRED BY THE LEGISLATION AS CONSTRUED IN YOUR DECISION OF JULY 8, 1932 (A-43276).

IN DECISION OF JULY 28, 1932, TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, A 43554, 12 COMP. GEN. 132, A QUESTION WAS STATED AND ANSWERED AS FOLLOWS:

"1. A FURLOUGH OF 15 DAYS HAS BEEN TAKEN IN THE MONTH OF JULY AND A DEDUCTION OF 18 3/4 DAYS' PAY MADE AT THE END OF THE MONTH. NO FURLOUGH IS TAKEN IN AUGUST. IS IT THE MEANING OF YOUR DECISION THAT A DEDUCTION OF 2 1/2 DAYS' PAY SHOULD STILL BE MADE IN AUGUST, OR SHOULD THE AUTOMATIC MONTHLY DEDUCTIONS CEASE UNTIL, AT THE RATE OF TWO DAYS PER MONTH, THE LAPSED TIME EQUALS THE FURLOUGH TAKEN? * * *"

1. IT WAS THE INTENT AND MEANING OF THE DECISION REFERRED TO (DECISION OF JULY 8, 1932, A-43276) THAT THE LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH DEDUCTIONS OF AT LEAST 1 1/4 DAYS' PAY FOR EACH HALF-MONTH PAY PERIOD SHOULD NOT CEASE OR BE DISCONTINUED UNTIL A FULL CALENDAR MONTH'S PAY SHALL HAVE BEEN SO DEDUCTED. * * *

THIS WOULD APPEAR TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION.

REFERRING TO THE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH OF YOUR SUBMISSION, THERE IS NOTHING IN THE ENACTMENT WHICH CAN BE CONSTRUED AS GIVING TO EMPLOYEES THE RIGHT TO HAVE THE REQUIRED LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH DEDUCTIONS SPREAD OVER THE ENTIRE FISCAL YEAR. EXCEPT FOR THE PROVISION TO THE EFFECT THAT NO EMPLOYEE SHALL, WITHOUT HIS CONSENT, BE FURLOUGHED UNDER THIS SUBSECTION FOR MORE THAN FIVE DAYS IN ANY ONE CALENDAR MONTH, ANY EMPLOYEE COULD BE REQUIRED TO TAKE THE ENTIRE FURLOUGH, WITH THE CORRESPONDING LOSS OF PAY, IN JULY OR ANY OTHER MONTH OF THE YEAR, AND EVEN UNDER THE PROVISION ABOVE REFERRED TO THE LAW RECOGNIZES THE RIGHT OF THE GOVERNMENT TO MAKE THE ENTIRE FURLOUGH DEDUCTION WITHIN THE FIRST FIVE MONTHS OF THE FISCAL YEAR. IT HAS BEEN FOUND NECESSARY FROM AN ACCOUNTING STANDPOINT, AND IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE MATTER OF THE REQUIRED IMPOUNDING, THAT AT LEAST THE MINIMUM DEDUCTION BE MADE ON EACH PAYMENT TO AN EMPLOYEE UNTIL THE DEDUCTIONS HAVE AGGREGATED ONE MONTH'S PAY.

WITH RESPECT TO ANY OVER-DEDUCTIONS IN THE CASE OF EMPLOYEES WHO MAY NOT CONTINUE IN SERVICE DURING THE ENTIRE FISCAL YEAR, ATTENTION IS INVITED TO DECISION OF JULY 28, 1932, A-43554, TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE.