A-59740, JUL. 17, 1967

A-59740: Jul 17, 1967

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

A RETIRED FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE LOS ANGELES POST OFFICE IS ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION UNDER THE BACK PAY ACT OF 1966. BAUMAN WAS GRANTED OPTIONAL RETIREMENT FROM THE POSTAL SERVICE EFFECTIVE MARCH 11. BAUMAN HAD LESS THAN THE REQUIRED 30 YEARS OF CREDITABLE SERVICE ON THE DAY HE WAS SEPARATED. BAUMAN HAD BUT 29 YEARS AND 26 DAYS OF CREDITABLE SERVICE BECAUSE HE HAD BEEN ERRONEOUSLY CREDITED FOR SERVICE DURING THE YEARS 1951 TO 1954 WHEN HE WAS ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY IN EXCESS OF SIX MONTHS IN THREE CALENDAR YEARS. BAUMAN WAS INFORMED OF THE CANCELLATION OF HIS OPTIONAL RETIREMENT AND OF HIS RESTORATION TO THE ROLLS OF THE LOS ANGELES POST OFFICE BY THE POST OFFICE'S LETTER OF MAY 9. BAUMAN WAS RESTORED TO THE ROLLS ON MAY 9.

A-59740, JUL. 17, 1967

COMPENSATION - BACK PAY - RETIREMENT-ERRONEOUS POSTMASTER GENERAL ADVISED THAT WHEN PREMATURE RETIREMENT OF EMPLOYEE RESULTED FROM AN ERRONEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE INTERPRETATION OF SERVICE RECORD EMPLOYEE MAY BE GIVEN BACK PAY.

TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL:

YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 16, 1967, ASKS OUR DECISION WHETHER MR. GERALD B. BAUMAN, A RETIRED FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE LOS ANGELES POST OFFICE IS ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION UNDER THE BACK PAY ACT OF 1966, PUB. L. 89 380, 80 STAT. 94, FOR A PERIOD OF SEPARATION AND LEAVE WITHOUT PAY, MARCH 11 THROUGH JUNE 26, 1966, ARISING FROM HIS PREMATURE OPTIONAL RETIREMENT.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. BAUMAN WAS GRANTED OPTIONAL RETIREMENT FROM THE POSTAL SERVICE EFFECTIVE MARCH 11, 1966. BY LETTER OF MAY 2, 1966, AND SUBSEQUENT CORRESPONDENCE DATED JUNE 10, 1966, THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION ADVISED THE DEPARTMENT THAT MR. BAUMAN HAD LESS THAN THE REQUIRED 30 YEARS OF CREDITABLE SERVICE ON THE DAY HE WAS SEPARATED. THE COMMISSION DETERMINED THAT ON MARCH 11, 1966, MR. BAUMAN HAD BUT 29 YEARS AND 26 DAYS OF CREDITABLE SERVICE BECAUSE HE HAD BEEN ERRONEOUSLY CREDITED FOR SERVICE DURING THE YEARS 1951 TO 1954 WHEN HE WAS ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY IN EXCESS OF SIX MONTHS IN THREE CALENDAR YEARS, INCIDENT TO STUDIES UNDER GI SCHOOLING, FOR AN AGGREGATE OF 11 MONTHS AND 9 DAYS OF NONCREDITABLE SERVICE.

IN ITS LETTER OF MAY 2, 1966, THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDED THAT MR. BAUMAN BE RESTORED TO THE ROLLS OF THE POST OFFICE UNTIL ENTITLEMENT TO THE ANNUITY COULD BE EARNED. MR. BAUMAN WAS INFORMED OF THE CANCELLATION OF HIS OPTIONAL RETIREMENT AND OF HIS RESTORATION TO THE ROLLS OF THE LOS ANGELES POST OFFICE BY THE POST OFFICE'S LETTER OF MAY 9, 1966.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. BAUMAN WAS RESTORED TO THE ROLLS ON MAY 9, 1966, RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE TO MARCH 11, 1966, BUT HE WAS CARRIED IN AN APPROVED LEAVE WITHOUT PAY STATUS PENDING FURTHER CLARIFICATION OF HIS CASE BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION.

BY ITS LETTER OF JUNE 10, 1966, THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION EXPLAINED THE BASIS FOR ITS EARLIER DETERMINATION AND AFFIRMED ITS PRIOR RULING.

THE LOS ANGELES POST OFFICE BY ITS LETTER OF JUNE 20, 1966, INFORMED MR. BAUMAN THAT HE MUST RETURN TO WORK TO OBTAIN THE NECESSARY SERVICE FOR VOLUNTARY RETIREMENT. AFTER FILING A PROTEST AND A CLAIM FOR BACK PAY MR. BAUMAN REPORTED FOR DUTY ON JUNE 27, 1966. HE RETIRED AUGUST 26, 1966, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 89 504.

THE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER READS AS FOLLOWS:

"OUR QUESTION IS WHETHER MR. BAUMAN IS ENTITLED TO FULL PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR THE PERIOD MARCH 11, 1966 TO MAY 9, 1966, THE DAY HE WAS NOTIFIED OF THE CANCELLATION OF HIS OPTIONAL RETIREMENT; OR, IS HE ENTITLED TO FULL PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR THE PERIOD MARCH 11, 1966 THROUGH JUNE 26, 966? WE WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF YOU WOULD GIVE US YOUR DECISION AS TO THE CORRECT PERIOD OF TIME FOR WHICH MR. BAUMAN IS ENTITLED TO FULL PAY AND ALLOWANCES;, SECTION 3 OF PUB. L. 89-380 PROVIDES:

"EACH CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF AN AGENCY WHO, ON THE BASIS OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION OR A TIMELY APPEAL, IS FOUND, ON OR AFTER THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THIS ACT, BY APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY UNDER APPLICABLE LAW OR REGULATION TO HAVE UNDERGONE AN UNJUSTIFIED OR UNWARRANTED PERSONNEL ACTION TAKEN PRIOR TO, ON, OR AFTER THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THIS ACT, WHICH HAS RESULTED IN THE WITHDRAWAL OR REDUCTION OF ALL OR ANY PART OF THE PAY, ALLOWANCES, OR DIFFERENTIALS OF SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE-

"/1) SHALL BE ENTITLED, UPON CORRECTION OF SUCH PERSONNEL ACTION, TO RECEIVE FOR THE PERIOD FOR WHICH SUCH PERSONNEL ACTION WAS IN EFFECT AN AMOUNT COMMENSURATE WITH THE AMOUNT OF ALL OR ANY PART OF THE PAY, ALLOWANCES, OR DIFFERENTIALS, AS APPLICABLE, WHICH SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE NORMALLY WOULD HAVE EARNED DURING SUCH PERIOD IF SUCH PERSONNEL ACTION HAD NOT OCCURRED, LESS ANY AMOUNT EARNED BY HIM THROUGH OTHER EMPLOYMENT DURING SUCH PERIOD; AND

"/2) FOR ALL PURPOSES, SHALL BE HELD AND CONSIDERED TO HAVE RENDERED SERVICE FOR SUCH AGENCY DURING SUCH PERIOD, EXCEPT THAT SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE SHALL NOT BE CREDITED, BY REASON OF THE ENACTMENT OF THIS ACT, LEAVE IN AN AMOUNT WHICH WOULD CAUSE ANY AMOUNT OF LEAVE TO HIS CREDIT TO EXCEED ANY MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF SUCH LEAVE AUTHORIZED FOR SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE BY LAW OR REGULATION;,

FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL SUPPLEMENT 831-1, SUBCHAPTER S1-4, RELATING TO AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES IN REGARD TO RETIREMENT APPEARS TO PLACE UPON AN AGENCY THE DUTY OF MAINTAINING ACCURATE RETIREMENT RECORDS AND OF PROPER COUNSELING OF EMPLOYEES CONCERNING RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE RETIREMENT ACT.

SINCE MR. BAUMAN'S PREMATURE RETIREMENT APPEARS TO HAVE STEMMED FROM AN ERRONEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE INTERPRETATION OF HIS SERVICE RECORDS WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT HE IS ENTITLED TO BACK PAY FOR THE PERIOD MARCH 11, 1966 THROUGH MAY 9, 1966, THE DATE OF HIS RESTORATION TO THE ROLLS. UNLESS IT BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT MR. BAUMAN'S FAILURE TO REPORT FOR DUTY UNTIL JUNE 27, 1966, WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY INDUCED, RATHER THAN AT HIS OWN REQUEST PENDING FURTHER APPEAL, THE BACK PAY PERIOD MAY NOT BE EXTENDED TO COVER THE PERIOD MAY 10 THROUGH JUNE 26, 1966.