A-77963, OCTOBER 5, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 331

A-77963: Oct 5, 1936

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CREDIT WAS ALLOWED IN THE AMOUNT OF $32.81. THE POSTMASTER WAS NOTIFIED THAT HE WOULD BE CHARGED WITH THE DIFFERENCE OF 96 CENTS IN SETTLEMENT OF HIS ACCOUNT. THERE WAS RECEIVED IN REPLY A LETTER FROM THE POSTMASTER. ALTHOUGH THE ACTUAL HOURS OF WORK WERE ONE HOUR LESS FOR EACH SATURDAY INCLUDED IN THE PERIOD. IT WAS DECIDED THAT THE DEPARTMENT DID NOT WISH FIVE HOURS WORK FOR CHARMAN ON SATURDAYS SO LISTED. HAVE ALSO BEEN WRITTEN THAT WAY. IS AS FOLLOWS: IT HAS BEEN OBSERVED THAT THERE IS A TENDENCY ON THE PART OF MANY POSTMASTERS AT FEDERAL BUILDINGS UNDER THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS DEPARTMENT TO ASSIGN CHARMEN AND CHARWOMEN IN THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE TO HOURS OF SERVICE IN ADDITION TO THOSE AUTHORIZED BY THE DEPARTMENT.

A-77963, OCTOBER 5, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 331

COMPENSATORY TIME - CHARMEN AND CHARWOMEN - POSTAL SERVICE CHARMEN AND CHARWOMEN OF THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE TRANSFERRED FROM THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT TO THE POSTAL SERVICE BY OPERATION OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6166, DATED JUNE 10, 1933, NOT HAVING BEEN INCLUDED WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 17, 1931, 46 STAT. 1164, DIRECTING THE ALLOWANCE OF COMPENSATORY TIME TO CERTAIN CLASSES OF POSTAL EMPLOYEES THEREIN ENUMERATED FOR SERVICE PERFORMED IN EXCESS OF 4 HOURS ON SATURDAY, AND BEING SPECIFICALLY EXCEPTED FROM THE OPERATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 14, 1935, 49 STAT. 650, WITH RESPECT TO COMPENSATORY TIME FOR SERVICE ON SATURDAY, THERE APPEARS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR DEPARTMENT INSTRUCTIONS PURPORTING TO GRANT TO SAID CHARMEN AND CHARWOMEN THE BENEFITS OF A SHORTER WORKDAY ON SATURDAY WITH FULL PAY AS ON OTHER DAYS, EMPLOYEES OF THE POSTAL SERVICE HAVING BEEN SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED FROM THE BENEFITS OF THE SATURDAY HALF-HOLIDAY LAW OF MARCH 3, 1931, 46 STAT. 1482.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, OCTOBER 5, 1936:

THERE HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION A QUESTION WHICH HAS ARISEN IN THE AUDIT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF THE POSTMASTER AT SHELBYVILLE, KY., WITH RESPECT TO THE PROPER BASIS OF COMPENSATION OF CHARMEN AND CHARWOMEN OF THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED ON SATURDAYS.

IN HIS ACCOUNT FOR THE QUARTER ENDED MARCH 31, 1936, THE POSTMASTER CLAIMED CREDIT FOR $33.77 AS COMPENSATION OF A CHARMAN FOR 68 HOURS' SERVICE AT 50 CENTS PER HOUR, LESS 3 1/2 PERCENT RETIREMENT DEDUCTION, FROM MARCH 16 TO MARCH 31, 1936. CREDIT WAS ALLOWED IN THE AMOUNT OF $32.81, THE CORRECT COMPENSATION FOR THE TIME AND AT THE RATE INDICATED IN THE ACCOUNT, AND THE POSTMASTER WAS NOTIFIED THAT HE WOULD BE CHARGED WITH THE DIFFERENCE OF 96 CENTS IN SETTLEMENT OF HIS ACCOUNT. THERE WAS RECEIVED IN REPLY A LETTER FROM THE POSTMASTER, DATED MAY 18, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

WITH REFERENCE TO THE ENCLOSED DEBIT NOTICE, IT HAS BEEN MY CUSTOM TO LIST THE NUMER OF HOURS WORK PAID FOR TO CHARMAN, ALTHOUGH THE ACTUAL HOURS OF WORK WERE ONE HOUR LESS FOR EACH SATURDAY INCLUDED IN THE PERIOD.

AFTER RECEIVING SEVERAL NOTICES SIMILAR TO THE ENCLOSED LETTER SIGNED BY THE FOURTH ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL, IT WAS DECIDED THAT THE DEPARTMENT DID NOT WISH FIVE HOURS WORK FOR CHARMAN ON SATURDAYS SO LISTED, WHICH ACCOUNTS FOR THE 68 HOURS SHOWN ON MY MARCH 16-31 ACCOUNT.

THE VOUCHERS FOR APRIL AND MAY 15, HAVE ALSO BEEN WRITTEN THAT WAY. PLEASE ADVISE HOW TO WRITE THE VOUCHERS FOR CHARMAN.

THE LETTER OF THE FOURTH ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL, A CIRCULAR LETTER DATED MARCH 20, 1936, ADDRESSED TO POSTMASTERS, IS AS FOLLOWS:

IT HAS BEEN OBSERVED THAT THERE IS A TENDENCY ON THE PART OF MANY POSTMASTERS AT FEDERAL BUILDINGS UNDER THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS DEPARTMENT TO ASSIGN CHARMEN AND CHARWOMEN IN THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE TO HOURS OF SERVICE IN ADDITION TO THOSE AUTHORIZED BY THE DEPARTMENT.

YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO PARAGRAPH 2, SECTION VI, OF THE BOOKLET, "INSTRUCTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR POSTMASTERS IN THE OPERATION OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS, 1935," STATING THAT UNLESS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED AND UPON PRIOR AUTHORITY OF THE DEPARTMENT, CHARWOMEN, CHARMEN, AND HEAD CHARWOMEN SHALL RENDER FIVE HOURS' SERVICE DAILY, EXCEPT SATURDAY, WHEN FOUR HOURS CONSTITUTE A DAY, WITH PAYMENT FOR THE REGULAR FIVE HOURS. IT WILL BE SEEN, THEREFORE, THAT CHARMEN AND CHARWOMEN SHOULD NOT BE ASSIGNED TO HOURS OF SERVICE OTHER THAN THOSE AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE BY THE DEPARTMENT.

IN THE FUTURE, THESE EMPLOYEES ARE NOT TO BE ASSIGNED TO HOURS IN EXCESS OF THOSE AUTHORIZED, WITHOUT THE DEPARTMENT'S PRIOR AUTHORITY FOR THE ADDITIONAL SERVICE.

IN ORDER TO AVOID SUSPENSIONS IN YOUR ACCOUNTS BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND TO FACILITATE AUDIT, YOUR COOPERATION WILL BE APPRECIATED.

THE FUNCTIONS OF CUSTODY AND OPERATION OF POST-OFFICE BUILDING WERE FORMERLY VESTED IN THE CUSTODIAN SERVICE OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT. EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, INCLUDING CHARWOMEN AND CHARMEN, TO THE EXTENT THEIR REGULAR WORKDAY WAS FIXED IN EXCESS OF 4 HOURS, WERE ENTITLED AS EMPLOYEES OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT TO THE BENEFITS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, 46 STAT. 1482, WHICH PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

THAT ON AND AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ACT FOUR HOURS, EXCLUSIVE OF TIME FOR LUNCHEON, SHALL CONSTITUTE A DAY'S WORK ON SATURDAYS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, WITH PAY OR EARNINGS FOR THE DAY THE SAME AS ON OTHER DAYS WHEN FULL TIME IS WORKED, FOR ALL CIVIL EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, EXCLUSIVE OF EMPLOYEES OF THE POSTAL SERVICE, *

HOWEVER, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6166, DATED JUNE 10, 1933, PROVIDING FOR TRANSFER OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF POST-OFFICE BUILDINGS TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, EMPLOYEES OF THIS CLASS WERE TRANSFERRED AND REAPPOINTED AS EMPLOYEES OF THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. (SEE 14 COMP. GEN. 448.)

IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, SUPRA, SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDES EMPLOYEES OF THE POSTAL SERVICE FROM THE BENEFITS THEREIN GRANTED. THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 17, 1931 (46 STAT. 1164), DIRECTING THE ALLOWANCE OF COMPENSATORY TIME TO CERTAIN CLASSES OF POSTAL EMPLOYEES THEREIN ENUMERATED FOR SERVICE PERFORMED IN EXCESS OF 4 HOURS ON SATURDAY, DOES NOT INCLUDE CHARMEN AND CHARWOMEN. CHARWOMEN AND CHARMEN OF THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE ARE SPECIFICALLY EXCEPTED FROM THE OPERATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 14, 1935 (49 STAT. 650), WITH RESPECT TO COMPENSATORY TIME FOR SERVICE PERFORMED ON SATURDAY BY CERTAIN POSTAL EMPLOYEES.

ACCORDINGLY, THERE APPEARS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR THE INSTRUCTIONS ISSUED BY YOUR DEPARTMENT PURPORTING TO GRANT TO CHARWOMEN, CHARMEN, AND HEAD CHARWOMEN OF THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE THE BENEFITS OF A SHORTER WORK DAY ON SATURDAYS, WITH FULL PAY AS ON OTHER DAYS, AND CREDIT MAY NOT BE ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF POSTMASTERS FOR COMPENSATION PAID EMPLOYEES OF THESE CLASSES FOR ANY TIME ON SATURDAYS IN EXCESS OF THE TIME DURING WHICH SERVICES ARE ACTUALLY RENDERED. THE EXISTING INSTRUCTIONS TO POSTMASTERS SHOULD BE AMENDED ACCORDINGLY.