A-48318, APRIL 12, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 593

A-48318: Apr 12, 1933

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APPLICABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS ABSENT ON LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH 24 WORKING DAYS PRIOR TO APRIL 1. IS THE SAME AS THAT APPLICABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE FROM WHOSE COMPENSATION ONLY 22 1/2 DAYS' PAY WAS DEDUCTED ON ACCOUNT OF LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH PRIOR TO SAID DATE. 1933: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 4. AS FOLLOWS: BRIEFLY THE QUESTION IS WHETHER AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE FROM WHOSE COMPENSATION THE FULL 8 1/3 PERCENT OF 12 MONTHS' SALARY HAS BEEN DEDUCTED PRIOR TO APRIL 1. IS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE 15 PERCENT REDUCTION MADE UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 20. THE QUESTION PRESENTED WAS COVERED BY DECISIONS OF MARCH 23. THE APPLICATION OF THE RULES ANNOUNCED IN SAID DECISIONS WILL NOT RESULT. OR IN ANY INJUSTICES AS BETWEEN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WHO WERE ABSENT.

A-48318, APRIL 12, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 593

ECONOMY ACT AMENDED - LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH - FINAL ADJUSTMENT AS OF MARCH 31, 1933 THE REDUCTION OF 15 PERCENT REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933 (48 STAT. 13), AND THE EXECUTIVE ORDER OF MARCH 28, 1933, APPLICABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS ABSENT ON LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH 24 WORKING DAYS PRIOR TO APRIL 1, 1933, IS THE SAME AS THAT APPLICABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE FROM WHOSE COMPENSATION ONLY 22 1/2 DAYS' PAY WAS DEDUCTED ON ACCOUNT OF LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH PRIOR TO SAID DATE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, APRIL 12, 1933:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 4, 1933, REQUESTING DECISION OF A QUESTION RAISED BY AN ATTORNEY OF THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION IN HIS LETTER OF MARCH 31 TO YOU, AS FOLLOWS:

BRIEFLY THE QUESTION IS WHETHER AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE FROM WHOSE COMPENSATION THE FULL 8 1/3 PERCENT OF 12 MONTHS' SALARY HAS BEEN DEDUCTED PRIOR TO APRIL 1, 1933, MUST SUFFER AN ADDITIONAL REDUCTION OF 15 PERCENTUM FOR APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE, 1933, MAKING A TOTAL DEDUCTION OF 23 1/3 PERCENT FOR THOSE THREE MONTHS, OR WHETHER THE DEDUCTION MADE FOR SAID THREE MONTHS PRIOR TO APRIL 1, 1933, IS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE 15 PERCENT REDUCTION MADE UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933, WHICH WOULD MEAN THAT FOR THE SAID THREE MONTHS OF APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE, 1933, HE WOULD SUFFER AN ACTUAL REDUCTION OF 6 2/3 PERCENT IN HIS PAY.

THE QUESTION PRESENTED WAS COVERED BY DECISIONS OF MARCH 23, 1933, A- 47718, 12 COMP. GEN. 555, AND MARCH 25, 1933, A-48034, 12 COMP. GEN. 557, AND THE APPLICATION OF THE RULES ANNOUNCED IN SAID DECISIONS WILL NOT RESULT, FOR PERIODS ON AND AFTER APRIL 1, 1933, IN ANY PYRAMIDING OF SALARY REDUCTION OF ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE, OR IN ANY INJUSTICES AS BETWEEN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WHO WERE ABSENT, AND THOSE WHO WERE NOT ABSENT FOR THE FULL PERIOD OF LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH REQUIRED BY SECTION 101 (B) OF THE ECONOMY ACT. THE FIRST-MENTIONED DECISION PROVIDED FOR FINAL ADJUSTMENT AS OF MARCH 31, 1933, WITH ALL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES FROM WHOM THERE HAD BEEN A DEDUCTION IN EXCESS OF THAT REQUIRED BY THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932; THAT IS TO SAY, FROM WHOSE COMPENSATION THERE HAD BEEN DEDUCTED FOR LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF THE NUMBER OF DAYS' LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH ACTUALLY TAKEN AND IN EXCESS OF THE NORMAL DEDUCTIONS OF 22 1/2 DAYS' COMPENSATION REQUIRED IN ALL CASES UP TO AND INCLUDING MARCH 31, 1933. MANIFESTLY THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR ANY REFUND OR ADJUSTMENT WITH RESPECT TO EMPLOYEES FROM WHOSE COMPENSATION THE DEDUCTIONS MADE ON ACCOUNT OF ABSENCE ON LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH DID NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT REQUIRED UNDER SECTION 101 (B) OF THE ECONOMY ACT TO BE SO DEDUCTED.

THE ALLEGED INJUSTICE TO EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE TAKEN ALL OF THEIR LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH PRIOR TO APRIL 1, 1933, IS NOT REAL, SUCH EMPLOYEES HAVING HAD THE ADVANTAGE OF THE TIME OFF WHILE OTHER EMPLOYEES HAVE WORKED. TO MAKE ANY SUCH ADJUSTMENT AS IS NOW CONTENDED FOR WOULD BE TANTAMOUNT TO PAYING THE EMPLOYEE FOR A PERIOD BETWEEN JUNE 30, 1932, AND APRIL 1, 1933, DURING WHICH HE WAS ABSENT FROM DUTY AND RENDERING NO SERVICE TO THE GOVERNMENT. CLEARLY, THAT IS NOT AUTHORIZED UNDER THE LAW.

THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933, DISCONTINUED THE LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH AND PROVIDED FOR A PERCENTAGE REDUCTION EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 1933, APPLICABLE ALIKE TO ALL WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE TIME ABSENT ON LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH OR OTHERWISE PRIOR THERETO.

THE ATTORNEY APPEARS TO BASE HIS CONTENTION ON THE FOLLOWING PROVISO TO SECTION 3, TITLE II OF THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933:

* * * PROVIDED, THAT SUCH PERCENTAGE OF REDUCTION (INCLUDING REDUCTIONS MADE UNDER ANY EXISTING LAW, REGULATION, OR EXECUTIVE ORDER, IN THE CASE OF SUBSISTENCE AND RENTAL ALLOWANCES FOR THE SERVICES MENTIONED IN THE PAY ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922) SHALL NOT EXCEED 15 PERCENTUM.

HE SEEMS TO CONTEND THAT THE DEDUCTION MADE ON ACCOUNT OF ABSENCE ON LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH IN EXCESS OF 18 WORKING DAYS PRIOR TO APRIL 1, 1933, IS A REDUCTION "MADE UNDER ANY EXISTING LAW" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT PHRASE AS USED IN SAID PROVISO. IT IS CLEAR, HOWEVER, THAT THE PART WITHIN THE PARENTHESES IN THE PROVISO RELATES ONLY TO REDUCTIONS MADE IN THE SUBSISTENCE AND RENTAL ALLOWANCES OF PERSONNEL OF THE MILITARY, NAVAL, AND RELATED SERVICES WHICH ARE FOR THE FIRST TIME TO BE INCLUDED AS A PART OF "COMPENSATION" AND SUBJECT TO REDUCTION. THERE IS NO PURPOSE WHATEVER IN THE QUOTED PROVISO TO EXEMPT FROM THE FULL 15 PERCENT REDUCTION UNDER THE EXECUTIVE ORDER OF MARCH 28, 1933, THE COMPENSATION OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT WHO WERE ABSENT FROM DUTY ON LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH PRIOR TO APRIL 1, 1933, THE FULL 24 WORKING DAYS GRANTED OR IMPOSED ADMINISTRATIVELY UNDER SECTION 101 (B) OF THE ECONOMY ACT. EXAMINATION OF THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD OF MARCH 15, 1933, TO WHICH REFERENCE IS MADE IN THE SUBMISSION, DISCLOSES NOTHING TO SUPPORT THE CONTENTION NOW MADE.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT THE PERCENTAGE REDUCTION APPLICABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS ABSENT ON LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH 24 WORKING DAYS PRIOR TO APRIL 1, 1933, IS THE SAME AS THAT APPLICABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE FROM WHOSE COMPENSATION ONLY 22 1/2 DAYS' PAY WAS DEDUCTED ON ACCOUNT OF LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH PRIOR TO SAID DATE.