A-65184, DECEMBER 12, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 482

A-65184: Dec 12, 1935

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ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL THE RULE DENYING LEAVE WITH PAY TO TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES IS NOT NECESSARILY APPLICABLE TO INTERNES AT ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL WHO ARE EMPLOYED FOR AT LEAST A YEAR. IT IS WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR NOT TO ALLOW ANNUAL LEAVE WITH PAY TO SUCH INTERNES. 1935: THERE WAS RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 31. AS FOLLOWS: ENCLOSED IS A LETTER DATED AUGUST 9 FROM DR. REQUESTING YOUR DECISION WHETHER LEAVE WITH PAY IS ALLOWABLE TO THE GROUP OF INTERNES DESCRIBED IN HIS LETTER. THE CONDITIONS ARE CORRECTLY STATED IN DR. AN ORDER WAS ISSUED BY THE HOSPITAL AUTHORITIES DENYING LEAVE TO THESE INTERNES. OF WHICH THERE ARE TWO CLASSES. THE MEDICAL AND SURGICAL INTERNESHIP IN WHICH THE INTERNE IS APPOINTED FOR A TERM OF TWO YEARS.

A-65184, DECEMBER 12, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 482

LEAVES OF ABSENCE - ANNUAL - INTERNES AT ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL THE RULE DENYING LEAVE WITH PAY TO TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES IS NOT NECESSARILY APPLICABLE TO INTERNES AT ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL WHO ARE EMPLOYED FOR AT LEAST A YEAR, BUT IT IS WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR NOT TO ALLOW ANNUAL LEAVE WITH PAY TO SUCH INTERNES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, DECEMBER 12, 1935:

THERE WAS RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 31, 1935, AS FOLLOWS:

ENCLOSED IS A LETTER DATED AUGUST 9 FROM DR. E. J. ALEXANDER, JUNIOR MEDICAL OFFICER (INTERNE), AT ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL, REQUESTING YOUR DECISION WHETHER LEAVE WITH PAY IS ALLOWABLE TO THE GROUP OF INTERNES DESCRIBED IN HIS LETTER. THE CONDITIONS ARE CORRECTLY STATED IN DR. ALEXANDER'S LETTER. AN ORDER WAS ISSUED BY THE HOSPITAL AUTHORITIES DENYING LEAVE TO THESE INTERNES, OF WHICH THERE ARE TWO CLASSES, NAMELY, THE MEDICAL AND SURGICAL INTERNESHIP IN WHICH THE INTERNE IS APPOINTED FOR A TERM OF TWO YEARS, INCLUDING AN AFFILIATION PERIOD OF SIX WEEKS IN OBSTETRICS AND PEDIATRICS, AND THE PSYCHIATRIC INTERNESHIP IN WHICH THE INTERNE IS APPOINTED FOR A TERM OF ONE YEAR. UPON THE EXPIRATION OF THE INTERNESHIP THE INCUMBENT IS DISCHARGED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

I WILL BE GLAD TO HAVE YOUR RULING ON THE QUESTION WHETHER IT IS PROPER TO ALLOW LEAVE WITH PAY TO INTERNES AT ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL.

THE ENCLOSED LETTER TO WHICH YOU REFER IS AS FOLLOWS:

THE INTERNES OF ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL HAVE BEEN DEPRIVED OF THE ANNUAL LEAVE GRANTED OTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES BECAUSE OF YOUR RULING: "EMPLOYEES SERVING UNDER APPOINTMENTS FIXED FOR A DEFINITE DURATION, AS FOR THIRTY DAYS, SIXTY DAYS, ETC., MAY NOT BE GRANTED SICK OR ANNUAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITH PAY, EVEN THOUGH THE LEAVE MAY HAVE BEEN REGARDED AS EARNED UNDER APPOINTMENTS DESIGNATED AS INDEFINITE OR PERMANENT PRIOR TO JULY 1ST, 1934.'

WITH THE PERMISSION OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE HOSPITAL, WE ARE DIRECTING THIS LETTER TO YOU FOR AN OPINION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THAT RULING APPLIES IN OUR SPECIAL CASE. WE HOPE YOU WILL AGREE WITH US THAT IT SHOULD NOT APPLY, FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

1. WE FEEL REASONABLY CERTAIN THAT THERE DID NOT EXIST AMONG THE INTERNES AT ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL WHATEVER ABUSES OF THE PRIVILEGE OF ANNUAL LEAVE THIS RULING WAS DESIGNED TO CORRECT, AND THAT THEREFORE ITS APPLICATION TO US IS ENTIRELY UNNECESSARY.

2. STRICTLY SPEAKING, THE TERMS OF OUR APPOINTMENTS ARE MORE NEARLY TYPICAL OF PERMANENT CIVIL SERVICE APPOINTMENTS THAN OF TEMPORARY ONES. IT IS TRUE THAT WE USUALLY LEAVE THE POSITIONS AT TWELVE OR TWENTY-FOUR MONTHS--- WHICH, BY THE WAY, IS A MUCH LONGER TIME THAN IS SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED IN YOUR RULING: HOWEVER, IN ACTUAL PRACTICE, WE ENJOY A POSITION WITH RESPONSIBILITIES ONLY VERY SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT FROM THOSE OF THE JUNIOR MEMBERS OF THE PERMANENT STAFF; IN FACT, IT HAS HAPPENED THAT INTERNES HAVE BEEN RETAINED AS JUNIOR MEMBERS OF THE PERMANENT STAFF WITHOUT ADVANCEMENT OF SALARY OR OFFICIAL CHANGE IN CIVIL SERVICE STATUS. ALSO, ALL OF US PASS THE SIX MONTHS' PROBATION PERIOD PRESCRIBED BY CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS WITHOUT GOING THROUGH THE FORMALITY OF REAPPOINTMENT; ON THE CONTRARY, WE ARE EXPECTED TO SERVE THE FULL TWELVE OR TWENTY-FOUR MONTHS. IN ADDITION, WE HAVE THE USUAL DEDUCTION OF 3 1/2 PERCENT FROM OUR SALARY TOWARD A RETIREMENT FUND, AND IN THE EVENT THAT WE STAY IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE, EITHER THROUGH PROMOTION, THROUGH TRANSFER, OR THROUGH MERE AGREEMENT WITH THE HOSPITAL TO STAY IN OUR PRESENT POSITIONS, WE ARE CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEGUN OUR SERVICE WHEN BE BEGAN OUR INTERNESHIP.

3. WHILE THE PERSONS IN THE POSITIONS ARE CONTINUALLY CHANGING, THE POSITIONS THEMSELVES ARE PERMANENTLY OFFERED TO YOUNG MEDICAL GRADUATES. WE CALL YOUR ATTENTION TO THIS BECAUSE WE BELIEVE YOUR RULING WAS MEANT TO APPLY IN PARTICULAR TO THE EMPLOYEES OF THE PRESENT-DAY EMERGENCY ORGANIZATIONS, IN WHICH GROUP OUR POSITIONS CANNOT IN ANY SENSE BE INCLUDED. AS TIME GOES ON, EACH FUTURE GROUP OF INTERNES IS SURE TO FEEL DISAPPOINTMENT AT BEING DENIED THE PRIVILEGE GRANTED TO THE OLDER EMPLOYEES WITH WHOM HE WORKS DAILY. IF THERE IS NOT A TANGIBLE AND EASILY DEMONSTRABLE NEED FOR THIS RULING FOR THIS PARTICULAR GROUP, IT IS HARDLY CONDUCIVE TO EFFICIENCY TO FOSTER THE MILD DISCONTENT IT MUST ENGENDER.

4. WE WOULD LIKE TO REMIND YOU THAT AN INTERNE ON 24-HOUR SERVICE SPENDS MANY OF THE HOURS BEYOND 4:30 P.M. IN ACTIVE ATTENDANCE UPON SICK PATIENTS. THIS IS NO MORE THAN A PHYSICIAN'S DUTY, OF COURSE; BUT WE BELIEVE THAT IT IS AN ADDED REASON WHY OUR CASE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED APART FROM THAT OF OTHER TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES.

WE BEG, THEREFORE, YOUR PERSONAL CONSIDERATION OF THIS QUESTION.

THE PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT OF INTERNES--- ONE AND TWO YEARS--- AND THE NATURE OF THEIR EMPLOYMENT REQUIRING LONG HOURS ON DUTY JUSTIFIES VIEWING THE RULE DENYING LEAVE WITH PAY TO TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES AS NOT NECESSARILY APPLICABLE TO INTERNES WHO ARE EMPLOYED FOR AT LEAST A YEAR; BUT THIS IS SUBJECT TO THAT IT IS WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO NOT ALLOW ANNUAL LEAVE WITH PAY TO SUCH INTERNES. SEE 13 COMP. GEN. 460.