A-57591, OCTOBER 17, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 315

A-57591: Oct 17, 1934

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AS FOLLOWS: DURING THE FALL OF 1933 THE DENVER OFFICE OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION OF THIS DEPARTMENT FOUND IT NECESSARY TO HAVE ADDITIONAL OFFICE SPACE AND AS A RESULT MOVED PART OF ITS PERSONNEL INTO THE OLD CUSTOM HOUSE BUILDING. AS THE EXPANSION IN THE OFFICE WAS CAUSED BY THE PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCTION BEING UNDERTAKEN BY THE BUREAU. THE BUILDING MAINTENANCE FORCE WAS PAID FROM FUNDS ALLOTTED BY THE PUBLIC WORKS ADMINISTRATION. ALL EMPLOYES OF THOSE PAID FROM PUBLIC WORKS FUNDS WERE. THAT IS. THE SALARY WAS FIXED AT THE PREVAILING STANDARD RATE FOR THE TYPE OF WORK INVOLVED LESS THE 15 PERCENT LEGISLATIVE REDUCTION THAT WAS THEN IN EFFECT FOR THE REGULAR ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

A-57591, OCTOBER 17, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 315

CLASSIFICATION - EMERGENCY POSITIONS IN REGULAR DEPARTMENTS - ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS ADJUSTMENTS UPWARD IN SALARY RATES OF EMPLOYEES IN A REGULAR EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT PAID FROM EMERGENCY FUNDS, MADE FOR THE PURPOSE OF ADJUSTING EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION TO ONE OF THE RATES FIXED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS AMENDED, OR BY EXECUTIVE ORDER REQUIRING CLASSIFICATION FOR EMERGENCY POSITIONS, WOULD BE PROHIBITED AS AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION IN ANY CASE WHERE THE INCREASE IN THE NET RATE OF COMPENSATION EQUALS OR EXCEEDS THE AMOUNT OF ONE STEP IN THE CORRESPONDING CLASSIFICATION ACT GRADE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, OCTOBER 17, 1934:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 6, 1934, AS FOLLOWS:

DURING THE FALL OF 1933 THE DENVER OFFICE OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION OF THIS DEPARTMENT FOUND IT NECESSARY TO HAVE ADDITIONAL OFFICE SPACE AND AS A RESULT MOVED PART OF ITS PERSONNEL INTO THE OLD CUSTOM HOUSE BUILDING, 1038 16TH STREET, DENVER, COLORADO. THIS NECESSITATED THE EMPLOYMENT OF A MAINTENANCE FORCE FOR THE CARE AND UPKEEP OF THIS BUILDING.

AS THE EXPANSION IN THE OFFICE WAS CAUSED BY THE PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCTION BEING UNDERTAKEN BY THE BUREAU, THE BUILDING MAINTENANCE FORCE WAS PAID FROM FUNDS ALLOTTED BY THE PUBLIC WORKS ADMINISTRATION. ALL EMPLOYES OF THOSE PAID FROM PUBLIC WORKS FUNDS WERE, AT THAT TIME, AT NET RATES, THAT IS, THE SALARY WAS FIXED AT THE PREVAILING STANDARD RATE FOR THE TYPE OF WORK INVOLVED LESS THE 15 PERCENT LEGISLATIVE REDUCTION THAT WAS THEN IN EFFECT FOR THE REGULAR ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

THE MAINTENANCE FORCE EMPLOYED AT THAT TIME AND THEIR SALARIES WERE AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

APPROXIMATE

NAME TITLE SALARY PAID, EQUIVALENT

NET RATE PER GROSS RATE,

ANNUM PER ANNUM GEORGE H. CONDON ---- ENGINE MAN -------- $1,620 $1,860 MARSHALL E. CANNON --- ELEVATOR CONDUCTOR 1,140 1,320 WILLIAM J. ESTERLE - -- FIREMAN-WATCHMAN 1,140 1,320 CHARLIE C. GASAWAY --- --- DO -------- 1,140 1,320 JAMES F. RETALLACK --- ---- DO ----- -- 1,140 1,320 LATIMER G. YINGER ---- ---- DO ------ - 1,140

1,320 TOM MCMILLON --------- LABORER -------- 1,020 1,200 WALTER E. WOOD ------- ---- DO -------- 1,020 1,200 H. TABBS ------------- ---- DO ------

1,020 1,200

THE SALARIES OF THE LABORERS WERE ADJUSTED, EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1, 1933, TO 50 CENTS PER HOUR, LIMITED TO 40 HOURS PER WEEK, TO AGREE WITH WAGE SCHEDULES OF THE PUBLIC WORKS ADMINISTRATION. MR. TABBS WAS DISCONTINUED, EFFECTIVE MARCH 31, 1934, AND VINCENT ROSENMAYR EMPLOYED IN HIS PLACE, EFFECTIVE APRIL 5, 1934, WITH PAY AT THE RATE OF 50 CENTS PER HOUR AND LIMITED TO WORKING 40 HOURS PER WEEK.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6166 DATED JUNE 10, 1933, THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THE OLD CUSTOM HOUSE BUILDING IN DENVER, COLORADO, WAS TAKEN OVER, EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 1, 1934, BY THE OFFICE OF NATIONAL PARKS, BUILDINGS, AND RESERVATIONS (NOW THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE).

WHEN THESE EMPLOYEES WERE PLACED ON THE ROLLS OF THE OFFICE OF NATIONAL PARKS, BUILDINGS, AND RESERVATIONS THEY WERE, OF COURSE, PAID FROM REGULARLY APPROPRIATED FUNDS AND DEDUCTIONS OF 15 PERCENT FOR THE MONTHS OF FEBRUARY AND MARCH, 10 PERCENT FOR APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE AND 5 PERCENT FROM JULY 1, 1934, TO DATE WERE MADE FROM THEIR SALARIES AS FIXED BY THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION. THESE DEDUCTIONS WERE MADE, NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THEIR SALARIES ORIGINALLY HAD BEEN FIXED AT NET RATES AS INDICATED ABOVE. THIS RESULTED IN THE EMPLOYEES CONCERNED RECEIVING A REDUCTION OF APPROXIMATELY 30 PERCENT FOR FEBRUARY AND MARCH. PAY ROLLS HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED TO YOUR OFFICE COVERING THE REFUNDING OF THE 5 PERCENT EXCESS DEDUCTION FOR FEBRUARY AND MARCH, SO THAT THE NET REDUCTION IS APPROXIMATELY 25 PERCENT FROM FEBRUARY 1 TO JUNE 30, 1934, AND 20 PERCENT SINCE JULY 1, 1934.

THE EMPLOYEES CONCERNED HAVE COMPLAINED OF THE EXCESSIVE REDUCTION IN THEIR SALARIES AND YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT IT WOULD BE PROPER, AT THIS TIME, FOR THE DEPARTMENT TO FIX THE GROSSPER ANNUM SALARIES OF THESE EMPLOYEES, EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 1, 1934, AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

GEORGE H. CONDON --------------------------------------- $1,860

MARSHALL E. CANNON ------------------------------------- 1,320

WILBUR J. ESTERLE -------------------------------------- 1,320

CHARLIE C. GASAWAY ------------------------------------- 1,320

JAMES F. RETALLOCK ------------------------------------- 1,320

LATIMER G. YINGER -------------------------------------- 1,320

TOM MCMILLON ------------------------------------------- 1,200

WALTER E. WOOD ----------------------------------------- 1,200

(*) VINCENT ROSENMAYR -------------------------------------- 1,200

(*) TO BE EFFECTIVE APRIL 5, 1934, THE DATE HE ENTERED ON DUTY.

THESE SALARIES ARE WITHIN CLASSIFICATION GRADES DEEMED APPLICABLE AND WOULD BE SUBJECT TO THE LEGISLATIVE REDUCTIONS.

THE VOUCHER NUMBERS OF PAY ROLLS ON WHICH SALARY PAYMENTS IN THESE CASES WERE MADE ARE AS FOLLOWS:

PAID BY HARRY CADEN, SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION: APPROPRIATION, 4-03/5640.9; VOUCHER NO. 4903; PERIOD, JAN. 16-31, 1934.

PAID BY M. N. SHAFFER, SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT, ESTES PARK, COLO. (SYMBOL 69-130):

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * (TABLE OMITTED) * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

YOUR EARLY DECISION IN THIS MATTER WILL BE APPRECIATED.

IN DECISION OF JUNE 7, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 412, 414, IT WAS STATED AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THE QUESTION SEEMS TO RELATE TO EMPLOYEES WITH RESPECT TO WHOM IT IS SAID THEIR SALARIES WERE ORIGINALLY FIXED APPROXIMATELY 15 PERCENT OF WHAT IT WAS THOUGHT THEY SHOULD BE, AND THAT IN ADJUSTING THE SALARIES OF THESE EMPLOYEES UNDER THE EXECUTIVE ORDER OF NOVEMBER 18, 1933, THEY WERE SIMPLY FIXED AT 15 PERCENT LESS THAN WHAT THEY HAD BEEN THERETOFORE. THESE ARE THE FACTS, THE REDUCED SALARY RATE ADMINISTRATIVELY FIXED MUST BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN THE LEGAL SALARY RATE FOR THE POSITION. * * *

LIKEWISE, THE SALARY RATES OF THE EMPLOYEES HERE INVOLVED AS REDUCED UPON TRANSFER TO THE REGULAR ROLL MUST BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN THE LEGAL SALARY RATES FOR THEIR POSITIONS.

IN DECISION OF APRIL 21, 1934, A-51739, IT WAS STATED AS FOLLOWS:

IN DECISION OF MARCH 17, 1934, A-52724, IT WAS HELD BY THIS OFFICE, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

"IN FIXING CLASSIFICATION SALARY RATES OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES IN THE SERVICE PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6440 OF NOVEMBER 18, 1933, AND EXECUTIVE ORDERS SUPPLEMENTAL THERETO, THERE MUST NOT RESULT A PROMOTION WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1515. WHERE, HOWEVER, UNDER THE ADJUSTMENT THE NET SALARY RATE TO BE PAID AFTER WITHHOLDING THE APPLICABLE PERCENTAGE REDUCTION DOES NOT EXCEED THE NET SALARY PREVIOUSLY PAID FOR PERFORMANCE OF SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME DUTIES BY AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO OR IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT OF ONE SALARY STEP IN THE CORRESPONDING SALARY GRADE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, THE ADJUSTMENT WOULD NOT CONSTITUTE AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933.'

SEE ALSO A-54227, MARCH 12, 1934.

WHILE THE DECISION OF MARCH 17, 1934, RELATED TO EMPLOYEES OF EMERGENCY ORGANIZATIONS, THE SAME PRINCIPLE WOULD BE APPLICABLE IN THE ADJUSTMENT OF SALARIES OF EMPLOYEES IN A REGULAR EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT. ACCORDINGLY, WHERE THE INCREASES REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER WERE MADE FOR THE PURPOSE OF ADJUSTING EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION TO ONE OF THE RATES FIXED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS AMENDED, AND DID NOT EQUAL OR EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF ONE SALARY STEP IN THE GRADE IN WHICH CLASSIFIED, CREDIT WILL NOW BE ALLOWED IN THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS THEREFOR.

AS THE ADJUSTMENTS PROPOSED WOULD IN EACH INSTANCE INVOLVE AN INCREASE IN THE NET RATE OF COMPENSATION OF MORE THAN ONE STEP IN THE CORRESPONDING CLASSIFICATION ACT GRADE, THE QUESTION PRESENTED MUST BE, AND IS, ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.