A-75744, JUNE 4, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 1056

A-75744: Jun 4, 1936

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IS UNAUTHORIZED UNDER EXISTING LAWS. TO DETERMINE WHETHER THEY MAY BE SO ARRANGED THAT ITS EMPLOYEES WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO REPORT FOR WORK ON SATURDAYS. ARE FROM 9 A.M. WHICH IT IS UNDERSTOOD IS THE NUMBER OF HOURS OF WORK IN THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT. IT IS MY FEELING THAT. EMPLOYEES ARE REQUIRED TO WORK MORE THAN FOUR HOURS ON SATURDAY. IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT THE LATTER DOES NOT REQUIRE "NOT LESS THAN" FOUR HOURS OF WORK ON SATURDAY. IN WHICH CASE THE WORK DAY ON SOME OTHER DAY IS SHORTENED. THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS: "ADMINISTRATIVE EMPLOYEES WILL RENDER NOT LESS THAN 39 HOURS' SERVICE EACH WEEK. USUALLY THIS WILL BE SEVEN HOURS EACH DAY. THE WORKING HOURS FOR ANY PARTICULAR ADMINISTRATION MAY BE PRESCRIBED AT THE DISCRETION OF THE ADMINISTRATOR AS LONG AS THE STANDARD REQUIREMENTS OF 39 HOURS PER WEEK ARE MET.'.

A-75744, JUNE 4, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 1056

FIVE-DAY WEEK - DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE - DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A FIVE-DAY WEEK FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EMPLOYEES IN THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, INCLUDING THE ADMINISTRATIVE FORCE OF THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION, IS UNAUTHORIZED UNDER EXISTING LAWS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION, JUNE 4, 1936:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF MAY 22, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION HAS UNDER SERIOUS CONSIDERATION THE MATTER WITH RELATION TO THE HOURS OF WORK PER WEEK IN ITS OFFICES IN WASHINGTON, D.C., DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS, FROM PROBABLY JUNE 1 TO SEPTEMBER 30, TO DETERMINE WHETHER THEY MAY BE SO ARRANGED THAT ITS EMPLOYEES WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO REPORT FOR WORK ON SATURDAYS.

AT PRESENT THE HOURS OF WORK FROM MONDAY TO FRIDAY, INCLUSIVE, ARE FROM 9 A.M. TO 5 P.M., WITH ONE HOUR FOR LUNCHEON, AND ON SATURDAY FROM 9 A.M. TO 1 P.M., OR A TOTAL OF 39 HOURS PER WEEK, WHICH IT IS UNDERSTOOD IS THE NUMBER OF HOURS OF WORK IN THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT.

IT IS MY FEELING THAT, DURING THE HOT SUMMER MONTHS, IT WOULD TEND TO INCREASE THE EFFICIENCY OF THE ADMINISTRATION IF ITS EMPLOYEES WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO WORK ON SATURDAYS, AND IN LIEU THEREOF WORK FROM 8 A.M. TO 4:30 P.M. FROM MONDAY TO THURSDAY, INCLUSIVE, AND FROM 8 A.M. 4:20 P.M. ON FRIDAY, WITH 40 MINUTES FOR LUNCHEON EACH DAY, WHICH WOULD TOTAL 39 HOURS OF WORK FOR THE WEEK.

THE ACTS OF MARCH 3, 1893 (27 STAT. 715), AND MARCH 15, 1898 (30 STAT. 316), 5 U.S.C. 29, PROVIDE FOR "NOT LESS THAN SEVEN HOURS OF LABOR EACH DAY EXCEPT SUNDAYS AND DAYS DECLARED PUBLIC HOLIDAYS BY LAW OR EXECUTIVE ORDER.' THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931 (46 STAT. 1482), 5 U.S.C. 26A, PROVIDES THAT "FOUR HOURS, EXCLUSIVE OF TIME FOR LUNCHEON, SHALL CONSTITUTE A DAY'S WORK ON SATURDAYS," AND WHERE, FOR SPECIAL PUBLIC REASONS, EMPLOYEES ARE REQUIRED TO WORK MORE THAN FOUR HOURS ON SATURDAY, THEY SHALL BE ENTITLED TO AN EQUAL SHORTENING OF THE WORK DAY ON SOME OTHER DAY. IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT THE LATTER DOES NOT REQUIRE "NOT LESS THAN" FOUR HOURS OF WORK ON SATURDAY. IT APPEARS THAT THE FORMER ACTS PROVIDE FOR MINIMUM HOURS OF LABOR EACH DAY WHICH SHALL NOT BE LESS THAN SEVEN HOURS, AND THE LATTER ACT PROVIDES FOR A MAXIMUM OF FOUR HOURS ON SATURDAYS UNLESS THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT REQUIRES EMPLOYEES, FOR SPECIAL PUBLIC REASONS, TO WORK MORE THAN FOUR HOURS, IN WHICH CASE THE WORK DAY ON SOME OTHER DAY IS SHORTENED. A REASONABLE INTERPRETATION OF THE ABOVE ACTS WOULD PERMIT THIS ADMINISTRATION TO OBSERVE THE 5-DAY WEEK BY REQUIRING ITS PERSONNEL TO MAKE UP ON WEEK DAYS THE HOURS OF WORK ORDINARILY PERFORMED ON SATURDAYS.

THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS ISSUED, BY BULLETIN NO. 1, THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS:

"ADMINISTRATIVE EMPLOYEES WILL RENDER NOT LESS THAN 39 HOURS' SERVICE EACH WEEK. USUALLY THIS WILL BE SEVEN HOURS EACH DAY. MONDAY TO FRIDAY, INCLUSIVE, AND FOUR HOURS ON SATURDAY. HOWEVER, THE WORKING HOURS FOR ANY PARTICULAR ADMINISTRATION MAY BE PRESCRIBED AT THE DISCRETION OF THE ADMINISTRATOR AS LONG AS THE STANDARD REQUIREMENTS OF 39 HOURS PER WEEK ARE MET.'

PURSUANT TO SUCH INSTRUCTIONS THE FIVE-DAY-A-WEEK PLAN IS BEING OBSERVED IN MANY OF THE STATE ADMINISTRATIONS OF THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATIONS. IF THE PERSONNEL OF THE ADMINISTRATION IN WASHINGTON IS REQUIRED TO WORK ON SATURDAYS, MUCH OF ITS WORK WOULD BE INEFFECTIVE BECAUSE OF THE LOSS OF CONTACT WITH STATE ADMINISTRATIONS.

ACCORDINGLY I DESIRE TO HAVE YOUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE HOURS OF WORK OUTLINED ABOVE ON A FIVE-DAY WEEK BASIS MAY BE APPLIED TO THE PERSONNEL OF THIS ADMINISTRATION DURING THE MONTHS OF JUNE, JULY, AUGUST, AND SEPTEMBER.

YOUR EARLY DECISION IN THE PREMISES WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.

SECTIONS 2 AND 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 14, 1936 (49 STAT. 1161), PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 2. EACH HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT SHALL ISSUE GENERAL PUBLIC REGULATIONS NOT INCONSISTENT WITH LAW SETTING FORTH THE HOURS OF DUTY PER DAY AND PER WEEK FOR EACH GROUP OF EMPLOYEES. BEFORE ISSUING SUCH REGULATIONS, WHICH SHALL BE ISSUED WITHIN THREE MONTHS FROM THE DATE OF APPROVAL OF THIS ACT, THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS SHALL MEET AND CONSULT AMONG THEMSELVES AND MAKE SUCH REGULATIONS AS NEARLY UNIFORM AS POSSIBLE SO THAT ALL EMPLOYEES, TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT, IN ALL DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS SHALL RECEIVE LIKE TREATMENT AS NEARLY AS MAY BE PRACTICABLE: PROVIDED, THAT HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS MAY APPOINT A SUBCOMMITTEE TO DRAFT SUCH REGULATIONS.

SEC. 3. EACH HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT SHALL KEEP A RECORD OF ALL WORK PERFORMED IN EXCESS OF THE WORK REQUIRED BY DEPARTMENTAL REGULATIONS ISSUED IN CONFORMANCE WITH SECTION 2 HEREOF FOR THE PERIOD COMMENCING JULY 1, 1936, AND ENDING DECEMBER 31, 1936, AND SHALL REPORT SAME TO THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AT THE END OF EACH MONTH. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION SHALL MAKE A REPORT OF SUCH RECORD TO THE CONGRESS ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 31, 1937.

IN THE REPORT OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE APPOINTED PURSUANT TO SECTION 2 DATED MAY 6, 1936, IT WAS CORRECTLY CONCLUDED AS FOLLOWS:

THESE SECTIONS DO NOT CHANGE EXISTING LAW, BUT THEY CLEARLY EXPRESS THE DESIRE OF CONGRESS THAT AS FAR AS POSSIBLE UNDER EXISTING LAW THERE BE UNIFORMITY IN THE HOURS OF DUTY OF EACH GROUP OF EMPLOYEES, AND THAT ANY EXCESS OF WORK BEYOND THESE HOURS OF DUTY SHALL BE REPORTED MONTHLY TO THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION FOR THE MONTHS OF JULY TO DECEMBER, INCLUSIVE, 1936, FOR TRANSMISSION TO CONGRESS.'

SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MAY 3, 1893, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 15, 1898 (30 STAT. 316), CITED BY YOU, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

HEREAFTER IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF THE HEADS OF THE SEVERAL EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, IN THE INTEREST OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE, TO REQUIRE OF ALL CLERKS AND OTHER EMPLOYEES, OF WHATEVER GRADE OR CLASS, IN THEIR RESPECTIVE DEPARTMENTS, NOT LESS THAN SEVEN HOURS OF LABOR EACH DAY, EXCEPT SUNDAYS AND DAYS DECLARED PUBLIC HOLIDAYS BY LAW OR EXECUTIVE ORDER; * * *

THIS STATUTE, WHICH IS STILL IN EFFECT, REQUIRES WORK ON 6 DAYS PER WEEK, EXCEPT WHEN 1 OF THE 6 DAYS IS A HOLIDAY DECLARED BY LAW OR EXECUTIVE ORDER, AND IS APPLICABLE TO ALL ADMINISTRATIVE EMPLOYEES IN THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. WHILE THE SATURDAY HALF -HOLIDAY LAW OF MARCH 3, 1931, 46 STAT. 1482, SHORTENED TO 4 HOURS THE WORK DAY ON SATURDAY, IT DID NOT OTHERWISE AFFECT THE REQUIREMENT OF THE ACT OF MARCH 15, 1898, SUPRA.

NEITHER THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935, APPROVED APRIL 8, 1935, 49 STAT. 115, PROVIDING THE APPROPRIATIONS UNDER WHICH THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN SET UP, NOR ANY OTHER STATUTE, AUTHORIZES THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A FIVE-DAY WEEK IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES IN THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION.

WHILE THIS OFFICE HAS HELD THAT ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES IN OFFICES, PLANTS, OR ESTABLISHMENTS REQUIRED TO BE ON A 40 HOUR WEEK UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 23 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, 48 STAT. 522, MAY BE EXCUSED FROM DUTY ON 1 DAY PER WEEK, USUALLY SATURDAY, WITHOUT LOSS OF COMPENSATION, WHEN THE OFFICE, PLANT OR ESTABLISHMENT IS CLOSED (13 COMP. GEN. 265, 269; ID. 277, 280), THE APPLICATION OF THAT RULE TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE FORCE OF THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION IN WASHINGTON IS NOT AUTHORIZED UNDER THE LAW APPLICABLE TO SUCH MPLOYEES; NOR DOES THERE APPEAR SUCH A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE WORK OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE FORCE IN WASHINGTON AND THE WORK OF THE EMPLOYEES AND SECURITY WAGE WORKERS IN THE FIELD AS TO REQUIRE SUSPENSION OF WORK IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ON SATURDAY OR ANY OTHER DAY OF THE WEEK THAT THE FIELD FORCE DOES NOT WORK.