A-82174, DECEMBER 14, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 581

A-82174: Dec 14, 1936

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IS APPLICABLE TO OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE NOT. IS AS FOLLOWS: THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. HAVE BEEN REQUESTED TO GRANT TO OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THE QUESTION HAS ALSO ARISEN AS TO WHETHER OR NOT OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE TWO DEPARTMENTS ARE ENTITLED TO SATURDAY HALF-DAY HOLIDAYS AS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 3. OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE TWO DEPARTMENTS ARE NOW RECEIVING. OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE ENTITLED TO SATURDAY HALF-DAY HOLIDAYS AND LEGAL HOLIDAYS.

A-82174, DECEMBER 14, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 581

LEAVES OF ABSENCE - ANNUAL - ACT, MARCH 14, 1936 - DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS THE ANNUAL LEAVE ACT OF MARCH 14, 1936, 49 STAT. 1161, IS APPLICABLE TO OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THE PHRASE "EXCLUSIVE OF SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS" APPEARING IN THE ANNUAL LEAVE ACT OF MARCH 14, 1936, 49 STAT. 1161, DOES NOT GRANT ADDITIONAL DAYS OF LEAVE WITH PAY, BUT SIMPLY EXCLUDES FROM THE COMPUTATION OF THE TWENTY- SIX DAYS' LEAVE THOSE SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS WITHIN A PERIOD OF ABSENCE ON ANNUAL LEAVE, ON WHICH, PURSUANT TO OTHER STATUTES, THE PARTICULAR CLASS OF PERSONNEL WOULD BE AUTHORIZED TO BE EXCUSED FROM DUTY WITHOUT LOSS OF PAY. OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE NOT, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIAL LEGISLATION, ENTITLED TO TIME OFF WITH PAY ON SATURDAY HALF-HOLIDAYS OR OTHER LEGAL HOLIDAYS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, OR ON DAYS IN LIEU THEREOF, IN ADDITION TO THE 26 DAYS' ANNUAL LEAVE GRANTED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 14, 1936, 49 STAT. 1161.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE PRESIDENT, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, DECEMBER 14, 1936:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 4, 1936, IS AS FOLLOWS:

THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ANNUAL LEAVE ACT OF MARCH 14, 1936 (49 STAT. 1161), AND THE EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7409, DATED JULY 9, 1936, HAVE BEEN REQUESTED TO GRANT TO OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, IN ADDITION TO THE 26 DAYS' ANNUAL LEAVE, DAYS OFF IN LIEU OF LEGAL HOLIDAYS.

THIS ACT PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

"THAT WITH THE EXCEPTION OF TEACHERS AND LIBRARIANS OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL AND PANAMA RAILROAD ON THE ISTHMUS OF PANAMA, AND EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 4 HEREOF, ALL CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES WHEREVER STATIONED AND OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, REGARDLESS OF THEIR TENURE, IN ADDITION TO ANY ACCRUED LEAVE, SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TWENTY-SIX DAYS' ANNUAL LEAVE WITH PAY EACH CALENDAR YEAR, EXCLUSIVE OF SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS: * * *.

"SEC. 7. THE LEAVE OF ABSENCE HEREIN PROVIDED FOR SHALL BE ADMINISTERED UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE SO AS TO OBTAIN, SO FAR AS PRACTICABLE, UNIFORMITY IN THE APPLICATION OF THIS ACT.'

THE QUESTION HAS ALSO ARISEN AS TO WHETHER OR NOT OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE TWO DEPARTMENTS ARE ENTITLED TO SATURDAY HALF-DAY HOLIDAYS AS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931 (46 STAT. 1482). OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE TWO DEPARTMENTS ARE NOW RECEIVING, IN LIEU OF SUNDAY, ONE DAY OFF OUT OF EACH WEEK OF SEVEN DAYS. SEE IN THIS CONNECTION YOUR DECISION TO THE PRESIDENT, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS A/50909), DATED SEPTEMBER 16, 1933.

IN INTERPRETING SECTION 21, TITLE 2, OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1935, YOU HELD THE TERM "OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA" TO INCLUDE OFFICERS AND TEACHERS OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND MEMBERS OF THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS (A-56394, JULY 7, 1934).

THE COMMISSIONERS WOULD APPRECIATE EARLY ADVICE FROM YOU AS TO WHETHER, UNDER EXISTING LAW, OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE ENTITLED TO SATURDAY HALF-DAY HOLIDAYS AND LEGAL HOLIDAYS, AND IF SO, WHETHER LEAVE SHOULD BE GIVEN IN LIEU THEREOF WHEN IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO GRANT LEAVE ON THOSE DAYS.

THE LEAVE ACT OF MARCH 14, 1936, 49 STAT. 1161, WHICH GRANTS "TWENTY-SIX DAYS' ANNUAL LEAVE WITH PAY EACH CALENDAR YEAR, EXCLUSIVE OF SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS" IS APPLICABLE TO OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. HOWEVER, THE PHRASE ,EXCLUSIVE OF SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS" DOES NOT GRANT ADDITIONAL DAYS OF LEAVE WITH PAY, BUT SIMPLY EXCLUDES FROM THE COMPUTATION OF THE TWENTY-SIX DAYS' LEAVE THOSE SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS, WITHIN A PERIOD OF ABSENCE ON ANNUAL LEAVE WITH PAY, ON WHICH, PURSUANT TO OTHER STATUTES, THE PARTICULAR CLASS OF PERSONNEL WOULD BE AUTHORIZED TO BE EXCUSED FROM DUTY WITHOUT LOSS OF PAY.

IN VIEW OF THE NATURE OF THE DUTIES OF POLICEMEN AND FIREMEN, AND AS THEIR COMPENSATION IS PAID ON AN ANNUAL BASIS FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR, SPECIAL LEGISLATION MUST APPEAR TO AUTHORIZE TIME OFF WITH PAY FOR THIS CLASS OF PERSONNEL IN ADDITION TO THE STATUTORY LEAVE.

SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MAY 27, 1924, 43 STAT. 175, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THAT IN LIEU OF SUNDAY THERE SHALL BE GRANTED TO THE METROPOLITAN POLICE AND TO EACH OFFICER AND MEMBER OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ONE DAY OFF OUT OF EACH WEEK OF SEVEN DAYS, WHICH SHALL BE IN ADDITION TO HIS ANNUAL LEAVE AND SICK LEAVE NOW ALLOWED BY LAW: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT WHENEVER THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DECLARE THAT AN EMERGENCY EXISTS OF SUCH A CHARACTER AS TO REQUIRE THE CONTINUOUS SERVICE OF ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE FORCE AND THE MEMBERS OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, THE MAJOR AND SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE AND THE CHIEF ENGINEER OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT SHALL HAVE AUTHORITY, AND IT SHALL BE THEIR DUTY, TO SUSPEND AND DISCONTINUE THE GRANTING OF THE SAID ONE DAY OFF IN SEVEN DURING THE CONTINUANCE OF SUCH EMERGENCY.

IN THE CODE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA THIS STATUTORY PROVISION HAS BEEN INCLUDED IN TITLE 20 AS SECTION 531 FOR THE METROPOLITAN POLICE FORCE AND AS SECTION 560 FOR THE OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.

THERE IS NO SPECIAL STATUTE AUTHORIZING TIME OFF WITH PAY FOR POLICEMEN AND FIREMEN OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON OR ON OTHER LEGAL HOLIDAYS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OR ON DAYS IN LIEU THEREOF.

ACCORDINGLY, THE QUESTION PRESENTED IN THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER, SUPRA, IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.