A-43840, AUGUST 9, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 221

A-43840: Aug 9, 1932

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ARE SUBJECT TO THE 8 1/3 PERCENT REDUCTION. AS FOLLOWS: FROM PREVIOUS DECISIONS IT IS OUR PRESENT UNDERSTANDING THAT WAGES OF FIRE FIGHTERS TEMPORARILY EMPLOYED IN THE FOREST SERVICE ARE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30. SINCE THIS INTERPRETATION CAME TO OUR ATTENTION DEDUCTIONS OF 8 1/3 PERCENT HAVE BEEN MADE WHERE THE WAGES WERE AT RATES IN EXCESS OF THE EQUIVALENT OF $1. BECAUSE OF THE PECULIAR NATURE OF THIS WORK CONSIDERABLE DOUBT HAS ARISEN AS TO THE BASIS FOR DETERMINING (A) WHETHER THE RATE IS ABOVE $1. 000 PER ANNUM AND (B) THE AMOUNT OF DEDUCTION TO BE MADE FOR IMPOUNDAGE WHEN THE RATE IS ABOVE $1. UNDER THAT EXCEPTION FIRE FIGHTERS ARE FREQUENTLY EMPLOYED FOR LONG HOURS.

A-43840, AUGUST 9, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 221

ECONOMY ACT - PART-TIME EMPLOYEES - FIRE FIGHTERS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 105 (B) (6) OF THE ECONOMY ACT, THE COMPENSATION OF FIRE FIGHTERS UNDER THE FOREST SERVICE, AS WELL AS THE COMPENSATION OF ALL PART-TIME, TEMPORARY, OR SEASONAL POSITIONS TO WHICH THE 5-DAY WEEK OR LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH MAY NOT BE APPLIED, ARE SUBJECT TO THE 8 1/3 PERCENT REDUCTION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, AUGUST 9, 1932:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 5, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

FROM PREVIOUS DECISIONS IT IS OUR PRESENT UNDERSTANDING THAT WAGES OF FIRE FIGHTERS TEMPORARILY EMPLOYED IN THE FOREST SERVICE ARE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, PUBLIC 212. SINCE THIS INTERPRETATION CAME TO OUR ATTENTION DEDUCTIONS OF 8 1/3 PERCENT HAVE BEEN MADE WHERE THE WAGES WERE AT RATES IN EXCESS OF THE EQUIVALENT OF $1,000 A YEAR COMPUTED AS WE UNDERSTAND THE ACT AND YOUR DECISIONS. BECAUSE OF THE PECULIAR NATURE OF THIS WORK CONSIDERABLE DOUBT HAS ARISEN AS TO THE BASIS FOR DETERMINING (A) WHETHER THE RATE IS ABOVE $1,000 PER ANNUM AND (B) THE AMOUNT OF DEDUCTION TO BE MADE FOR IMPOUNDAGE WHEN THE RATE IS ABOVE $1,000. SECTION 3738 R.S. FIXES EIGHT HOURS AS A DAY'S WORK FOR LABORERS, WORKMEN, AND MECHANICS AND THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1892 (27 STAT. 340) PROHIBITS EMPLOYMENT FOR A LONGER PERIOD IN ANY ONE CALENDAR DAY ,EXCEPT IN CASE OF EXTRAORDINARY EMERGENCY.' UNDER THAT EXCEPTION FIRE FIGHTERS ARE FREQUENTLY EMPLOYED FOR LONG HOURS, THE HOURS VARYING FROM AN HOUR TO 16 HOURS OR MORE ON INDIVIDUAL DAYS, DEPENDING ON CONDITIONS, AND THE PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT IS VERY IRREGULAR; CONTINUOUS EMPLOYMENT MAY EXTEND FROM A FRACTION OF A DAY TO EXTREME CASES OF A MONTH AND TOTAL EMPLOYMENT WITHIN A YEAR MAY EXTEND IN EXTREME CASES TO TWO MONTHS IN NORMAL SEASONS.

PERSONS EMPLOYED FOR FIRE FIGHTING ARE USUALLY HIRED AT HOURLY OR DAILY RATES PLUS SUBSISTENCE. UNDER YOUR DECISION A-43198 OF JULY 16, COMPENSATION FOR OVERTIME IS EXCLUDED IN DETERMINING THE EQUIVALENT RATE PER ANNUM; CONSEQUENTLY WE ASSUME THAT IN ARRIVING AT THE PER ANNUM EQUIVALENT FOR FIRE FIGHTERS AN 8-HOUR DAY AND 307-DAY YEAR SHOULD BE USED. ON THAT BASIS IF THE HOURLY RATE PLUS 1/8 OF THE DAILY SUBSISTENCE VALUE EXCEEDS 40 CENTS OR THE DAILY RATE EXCEEDS $3.25, IT IS CONSIDERED THAT THE RATE IS ABOVE THE EQUIVALENT OF A $1,000 ANNUAL RATE AND SUBJECT TO DEDUCTION. IF 40 CENTS OR LESS, NO DEDUCTION IS BEING MADE REGARDLESS OF THE NUMBER OF HOURS THAT THE EMPLOYEE MAY WORK IN ANY ONE DAY OR THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF HOURS FOR THE DAYS THAT HE IS CONTINUOUSLY EMPLOYED.

WHEN THE RATE AS ABOVE DETERMINED IS IN EXCESS OF 40 CENTS AN HOUR, OR $3.25 PER DAY, OUR COMPUTATIONS FOR THE PAY ROLL UNDER EXISTING INSTRUCTIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

1. MULTIPLY THE CASH RATE PER HOUR BY THE NUMBER OF HOURS OF THE DAILY RATE BY THE NUMBER OF DAYS.

2. IN THE "ALLOWANCES" COLUMNS ENTER THE ACTUAL VALUE OF SUBSISTENCE. FOR EXAMPLE: FOR 3 DAYS' EMPLOYMENT (9 MEALS) WITH A SUBSISTENCE VALUE OF 80 CENTS A DAY, THE ALLOWANCE VALUE IS $2.40.

3. ADD NO. 1 TO NO. 2 AND DEDUCT 8 1/3 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL FOR IMPOUNDAGE; NO REDUCTION BELOW THE $1,000 EQUIVALENT.

UNDER THE PLAN OUTLINED ABOVE IF AN EMPLOYEE WORKS 21 HOURS IN TWO DAYS AT 35 CENTS AN HOUR WITH SUBSISTENCE VALUED AT 80 CENTS A DAY, HIS TOTAL HOURLY RATE WOULD BE CONSIDERED AT 45 CENTS AN HOUR FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING THE ANNUAL EQUIVALENT. PAY-ROLL COMPUTATION WOULD BE 21 TIMES 35 ($7.35) PLUS $1.60 SUBSISTENCE, TOTAL $8.95, MINUS 75 CENTS IMPOUNDAGE, NET $8.20. AT $4.00 A DAY THE COMPUTATION FOR THE TWO DAYS WOULD BE $8.00 PLUS $1.60 MINUS 80 CENTS, NET $8.80. IF THE CASH HOURLY RATE IS 25 CENTS THE RATE FOR PURPOSES OF THE $1,000 EQUIVALENT WOULD BE 35 CENTS AND, REGARDLESS OF THE NUMBER OF HOURS ACTUALLY EMPLOYED PER DAY, IS NOT SUBJECT TO REDUCTION.

I SHALL BE GLAD TO BE INFORMED AT THE EARLIEST DATE POSSIBLE WHETHER OUR PRESENT BASIS IS CORRECT AND IF NOT, PLEASE ADVISE FULLY THE BASIS THAT SHOULD BE USED. EXCEPT IN THE MOST URGENT CASES, SINCE THIS UNCERTAINTY HAS DEVELOPED, WAGES ARE NOT BEING PAID AND AN IMMEDIATE DECISION WOULD REDUCE THE HARDSHIPS OCCASIONED BY DELAYED PAYMENTS.

IN THE DECISION OF JULY 14, 1932, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, A 43185, 12 COMP. GEN. 30, IT WAS HELD:

* * * IF IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY IMPRACTICAL TO APPLY THE 5-DAY WEEK OR LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH TO ANY PERSONS REGULARLY WORKING ONLY PART TIME, WHO COME WITHIN THE TERMS "OFFICER" AND "EMPLOYEE" AS DEFINED IN SECTION 104 OF THE STATUTE, THEIR COMPENSATION RATE AS OF JUNE 30, 1932, IS SUBJECT TO 8 1/3 PERCENT REDUCTION. SEE SECTION 105 (D) (6). TO RATES OF COMPENSATION OF PART-TIME, TEMPORARY, OR SEASONAL POSITIONS TO WHICH THE 5 -DAY WEEK OR LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH MAY NOT BE APPLIED. ACCORDINGLY, THE PRINCIPLE IS APPLICABLE TO THE WAGES OF FIRE FIGHTERS TEMPORARILY EMPLOYED UNDER THE FOREST SERVICE. IT MAY BE STATED AS A GENERAL RULE THAT ALL CLASSES OF EMPLOYEES WHO WERE NOT ENTITLED TO ANNUAL LEAVE PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1932, SHOULD BE REGARDED AS COMING WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 105 (D) (6).

THE RULES FOR COMPUTING COMPENSATION DEDUCTIONS AND THE IMPOUNDING OF THE AMOUNT THEREOF STATED IN YOUR LETTER ARE CORRECT.