A-55833, MAY 31, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 401

A-55833: May 31, 1934

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IS THE RATE PAID PER PIECE FOR THE SAME SERVICE AS OF JUNE 1. IT IS REQUESTED THAT A DECISION BE RENDERED COVERING THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS INVOLVING EMPLOYEES ON DUTY AT THE JEFFERSONVILLE AND PHILADELPHIA QUARTERMASTER DEPOTS: A. IS THE PIECEWORK RATE TO BE INCREASED BY ONE-FIFTH. B. WILL THE RATE BE INCREASED BY ONE-FIFTH. THE EMPLOYEE BE COMPELLED TO QUIT WORK AT ANY TIME DURING THE WEEK WHEN HIS EARNINGS HAVE AMOUNTED TO THE TOTAL WEEKLY PAY EARNED DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF JUNE 1932? D. WILL PER ANNUM EMPLOYEES WHOSE PAY IS FIXED AT RATES SPECIFIED IN THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. WHOSE DUTIES ARE VITALLY CONNECTED WITH THE FACTORY. WHICH IS SET BY WAGE BOARDS OR OTHER WAGE-FIXING AUTHORITIES.

A-55833, MAY 31, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 401

COMPENSATION - FORTY-HOUR WEEK - PIECEWORKERS THE BASIS FOR READJUSTING THE "WEEKLY COMPENSATION" OF PIECEWORKERS UNDER THE TERMS OF SECTION 23 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, 48 STAT. 522, ESTABLISHING A 40-HOUR WEEK, IS THE RATE PAID PER PIECE FOR THE SAME SERVICE AS OF JUNE 1, 1932, PLUS 20 PERCENT THEREOF FOR THE NUMBER OF PIECES COMPLETED DURING THE REGULAR TOUR OF DUTY OF NOT TO EXCEED 40 HOURS PER WEEK.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, MAY 31, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 23, 1934, AS FOLLOWS:

IN CONNECTION WITH THE APPLICATION OF SECTION 23, OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, (PUBLIC NO. 141, 73D CONGRESS), TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES EMPLOYED ON A PIECEWORK BASIS, IT IS REQUESTED THAT A DECISION BE RENDERED COVERING THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS INVOLVING EMPLOYEES ON DUTY AT THE JEFFERSONVILLE AND PHILADELPHIA QUARTERMASTER DEPOTS:

A. IS THE PIECEWORK RATE TO BE INCREASED BY ONE-FIFTH, AND NO LIMITATION PLACED ON THE TOTAL WEEKLY EARNINGS?

B. WILL THE RATE BE INCREASED BY ONE-FIFTH, AND THE EMPLOYEE BE COMPELLED TO QUIT WORK AT ANY TIME DURING THE WEEK WHEN HIS EARNINGS HAVE AMOUNTED TO THE TOTAL WEEKLY PAY EARNED DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF JUNE 1932?

C. DOES THIS ACT ABOLISH THE PIECEWORK RATE AND ESTABLISH A WEEKLY RATE BASED ON THE EARNINGS FOR THE FIRST WEEK OF JUNE 1932? UNDER THE PIECEWORK SYSTEM IN EFFECT BEFORE THE ENACTMENT OF THIS LEGISLATION, PIECE WORKERS EARNED DIFFERENT AMOUNTS OF PAY, DEPENDENT UPON THE TIME THEY WORKED AND THEIR PROFICIENCY GAINED THROUGH EXPERIENCE.

D. WILL PER ANNUM EMPLOYEES WHOSE PAY IS FIXED AT RATES SPECIFIED IN THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AND WHOSE DUTIES ARE VITALLY CONNECTED WITH THE FACTORY, WORK A 40-HOUR WEEK WITH NO DECREASE IN SALARY?

SECTION 23 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, 48 STAT. 522, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THE WEEKLY COMPENSATION, MINUS ANY GENERAL PERCENTAGE REDUCTION WHICH MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY ACT OF CONGRESS, FOR THE SEVERAL TRADES AND OCCUPATIONS, WHICH IS SET BY WAGE BOARDS OR OTHER WAGE-FIXING AUTHORITIES, SHALL BE REESTABLISHED AND MAINTAINED AT RATES NOT LOWER THAN NECESSARY TO RESTORE THE FULL WEEKLY EARNINGS OF SUCH EMPLOYEES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FULL- TIME WEEKLY EARNINGS UNDER THE RESPECTIVE WAGE SCHEDULES IN EFFECT ON JUNE 1, 1932: PROVIDED, THAT THE REGULAR HOURS OF LABOR SHALL NOT BE MORE THAN FORTY PER WEEK; AND ALL OVERTIME SHALL BE COMPENSATED FOR AT THE RATE OF NOT LESS THAN TIME AND ONE HALF.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE COMPENSATION OF THE EMPLOYEES IN QUESTION AT THE JEFFERSONVILLE AND PHILADELPHIA QUARTERMASTER DEPOTS HAS HERETOFORE BEEN ADJUSTED BY "WAGE BOARDS OR OTHER WAGE-FIXING AUTHORITIES" AND THAT SAID EMPLOYEES PRIOR TO MARCH 28, 1934, AND ON JUNE 1, 1932, WERE PAID 48 HOURS' COMPENSATION FOR 44 HOURS OF WORK; THAT IS, THEY RECEIVED THE BENEFIT OF THE SATURDAY HALF-HOLIDAY LAW.

THERE IS NO PURPOSE OR INTENT SHOWN TO EXCLUDE FROM THE BENEFITS OF THE STATUTORY PROVISION, SECTION 23, EMPLOYEES OTHERWISE WITHIN ITS TERMS, WHOSE COMPENSATION IS COMPUTED ON A PIECEWORK BASIS. THE BASIS FOR READJUSTING THE "WEEKLY COMPENSATION" FROM A 44- OR 48-HOUR WEEK AS OF JUNE 1, 1932, TO A 40-HOUR WEEK CURRENTLY, IS THE RATE PER HOUR, PER DAY, OR PER PIECE, PAID FOR THE SAME SERVICE AS OF JUNE 1, 1932, AND SUCH ADJUSTMENT IS REQUIRED BOTH FOR FULL-TIME AND PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT. SEE DECISION OF APRIL 12, 1934, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, A-54807, 13 COMP. GEN. 277, WHEREIN, AFTER QUOTING FROM THE DECISION OF APRIL 6, 1934, TO THE PUBLIC PRINTER, A-54736, 13 COMP. GEN. 265, IT WAS HELD:

* * * EMPLOYEES ON PART TIME PAID BY THE HOUR, DAY, OR PIECE, SUBJECT TO THE 40-HOUR-WEEK PROVISION, ARE ENTITLED FOR THE TIME ACTUALLY EMPLOYED, TO A RATE OF COMPENSATION PER HOUR, PER DIEM, OR PER PIECE,EQUAL TO THE RATE PAID ON JUNE 1, 1932, FOR THE SAME DUTIES, PLUS 20 PERCENT, IF A FULL -TIME WEEK ON JUNE 1, 1932, CONSISTED OF 48 HOURS, WHICH IS EQUIVALENT TO 48 TIMES THE HOURLY RATE FOR 48 HOURS PER WEEK AS OF JUNE 1, 1932, DIVIDED BY 40, THE RULE STATED IN THE QUOTED DECISION. * * *

QUESTION A IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, AND QUESTIONS B AND C IN THE NEGATIVE, WITH THE UNDERSTANDING, OF COURSE, THAT THE REGULAR TOUR OF DUTY OF A FULL-TIME PIECEWORKER IS NOT TO EXCEED 40 HOURS PER WEEK. IN OTHER WORDS, THE COMPENSATION OF SUCH EMPLOYEES IS PAYABLE AT THE RATE PAID PER PIECE AS OF JUNE 1, 1932, PLUS 20 PERCENT THEREOF, FOR THE NUMBER OF PIECES COMPLETED DURING THE REGULAR TOUR OF DUTY OF NOT TO EXCEED 40 HOURS PER WEEK.

QUESTION D MAY BE ANSWERED BY QUOTING THE FOLLOWING FROM DECISION OF APRIL 12, 1934, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, A-54807, 13 COMP. GEN. 277:

HOWEVER, DEDUCTION IS NOT REQUIRED FROM PER ANNUM EMPLOYEES FOR DAYS ON WHICH NO SERVICES ARE RENDERED DUE TO THE CLOSING OF THE OFFICE, PLANT, OR ESTABLISHMENT FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REASONS. HENCE, IF IT BE DETERMINED ADMINISTRATIVELY TO CLOSE THE NAVY YARDS ON SATURDAY TO COMPLY WITH SAID SECTION 23 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, NO DEDUCTION NEED BE MADE FROM THE PER ANNUM COMPENSATION OF THOSE ADMINISTRATIVE EMPLOYEES AT THE YEARS IN GROUP 4-B, OR OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE EMPLOYEES NOT SUBJECT TO THE 40-HOUR -WEEK PROVISION, FOR THE SATURDAYS ON WHICH THEY ARE PRECLUDED FROM WORKING SOLELY BECAUSE OF THE CLOSING OF THE YARDS. * * * ..END :