A-82245, DECEMBER 17, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 600

A-82245: Dec 17, 1936

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

1936 - CHANGE OF LENGTH OF WORK DAY IN GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WHERE THE WEEKLY TOUR OF DUTY OF EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE SUBJECT TO THE FORTY-HOUR WEEK LAW IS CHANGED. SHOULD BE CHARGED ON A BASIS OF THE LENGTH OF THE WORK DAY IN FORCE WHEN THE LEAVE IS TAKEN. THE DENOMINATOR OF WHICH IS THE TOTAL NUMBER OF WORK HOURS CONSTITUTING THE DAY. IS AS FOLLOWS: PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 2 AND 3 OF THE ACT CONGRESS APPROVED MARCH 14. THERE WAS ISSUED BY THE PUBLIC PRINTER UNDER DATE OF JUNE 13. A COPY OF THE SAID REGULATIONS IS ENCLOSED. IT WAS ORDERED BY THE PUBLIC PRINTER ON NOVEMBER 25. COPY OF THE ORDER OF NOVEMBER 25 IS ALSO ENCLOSED. THE ARGUMENT IS PRESENTED THAT LEAVE DUE AN EMPLOYEE AS OF THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS NOVEMBER 30.

A-82245, DECEMBER 17, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 600

LEAVES OF ABSENCE - ANNUAL AND SICK - ACT, MARCH 14, 1936 - CHANGE OF LENGTH OF WORK DAY IN GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WHERE THE WEEKLY TOUR OF DUTY OF EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE SUBJECT TO THE FORTY-HOUR WEEK LAW IS CHANGED, FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REASONS, FROM 5 DAYS OF 8 HOURS EACH, MONDAY TO FRIDAY, INCLUSIVE, TO 5 DAYS OF 7 HOURS EACH, MONDAY TO FRIDAY, INCLUSIVE, AND 5 HOURS ON SATURDAY, ANNUAL AND SICK LEAVE, BOTH CURRENT AND ADVANCED, SHOULD BE CHARGED ON A BASIS OF THE LENGTH OF THE WORK DAY IN FORCE WHEN THE LEAVE IS TAKEN, A FULL WORK DAY'S ABSENCE, REGARDLESS OF THE NUMBER OF WORK HOURS CONSTITUTING THE DAY, TO BE COMPUTED AS ONE DAY'S LEAVE, A PARTIAL DAY AS A FRACTION OF A DAY, THE DENOMINATOR OF WHICH IS THE TOTAL NUMBER OF WORK HOURS CONSTITUTING THE DAY, AND THE NUMERATOR THE NUMBER OF WORK HOURS' ABSENCE THEREON. THE SATURDAY HALF-HOLIDAY LAW OF MARCH 3, 1931, 46 STAT. 1482, MAY BE REGARDED AS NOT APPLICABLE TO EMPLOYEES SUBJECT TO THE FORTY-HOUR WEEK LAW OF MARCH 28, 1934, 48 STAT. 522.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE PUBLIC PRINTER, DECEMBER 17, 1936:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 8, 1936, IS AS FOLLOWS:

PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 2 AND 3 OF THE ACT CONGRESS APPROVED MARCH 14, 1936, WHICH PROVIDED FOR VACATIONS TO GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE ON HOURS OF DUTY AND OVERTIME APPOINTED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE SAID ACT, THERE WAS ISSUED BY THE PUBLIC PRINTER UNDER DATE OF JUNE 13, 1936, REGULATIONS GOVERNING HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT AND OVERTIME. A COPY OF THE SAID REGULATIONS IS ENCLOSED.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE REGULATIONS AND IN ORDER TO PREPARE FOR THE INCOMING CONGRESS, IT WAS ORDERED BY THE PUBLIC PRINTER ON NOVEMBER 25, 1936, THAT EFFECTIVE, AS OF DECEMBER 1, 1936, THE OFFICE, AS A WHOLE,WOULD RETURN TO THE 6 DAY WEEK, WORKING 7 HOURS FOR THE 5 DAYS, MONDAY TO FRIDAY, INCLUSIVE, WITH 5 HOURS ON SATURDAY, MAKING A 40 HOUR WEEK. COPY OF THE ORDER OF NOVEMBER 25 IS ALSO ENCLOSED.

THE RETURN TO THE 7 HOUR DAY HAS RAISED MANY QUESTIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE RECORDING AND CREDITING OF LEAVE TAKEN OR EARNED. THE ARGUMENT IS PRESENTED THAT LEAVE DUE AN EMPLOYEE AS OF THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS NOVEMBER 30, 1936, SHOULD BE CONVERTED INTO HOURS, AND THE EMPLOYEE WHO TAKES A FULL 7 HOUR DAY OFF IN DECEMBER WHILE THE OFFICE IS ON A 7 HOUR DAY SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH 7 HOURS RATHER THAN 1 DAY. TO SUBSTANTIATE THIS VIEW ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE CASE OF TWO EMPLOYEES WHO, ON NOVEMBER 1, HAD AVAILABLE FOR THE BALANCE OF THE YEAR 5 DAYS LEAVE. THE FIRST EMPLOYEE WAS PERMITTED DURING NOVEMBER TO TAKE A FULL WEEK OFF AND, OF COURSE, WITHOUT ANY LOSS OF PAY AS AT THAT TIME THE OFFICE WAS WORKING THE 5 DAY WEEK. THE SECOND EMPLOYEE TAKES A WEEK OFF IN DECEMBER WHICH CAUSES HIM TO LOSE 5 HOURS WITHOUT PAY, AS THE 5 DAYS LEAVE, DUE HIM FOR THE YEAR, ARE CONSUMED BY THE CHARGES FOR MONDAY TO FRIDAY, INCLUSIVE, AND, THEREFORE, THE 5 HOURS LOST ON SATURDAY MUST BE WITHOUT PAY. THIS CHARGE OF 5 HOURS LEAVE WITHOUT PAY WOULD BE UNNECESSARY IF THE 5 DAYS AVAILABLE TO THE EMPLOYEE ON DECEMBER 1 WERE CONVERTED TO HOURS AT THE RATE OF 8 PER DAY. THIS WOULD GIVE THE EMPLOYEE 40 HOURS LEAVE AND WOULD PERMIT HIM TO TAKE OFF THE FIVE 7 HOUR DAYS AND THE 5 HOURS ON SATURDAY WITHOUT LOSS OF PAY.

THERE HAVE BEEN MANY EXAMPLES CITED, ALL TENDING TO SHOW THE SAME RESULT. ONE OF THOSE MOST OFTEN USED IS THE CASE OF THE EMPLOYEE WHO WENT ON LEAVE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 1936, AND RETURNED TO WORK MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23. THIS EMPLOYEE WAS AWAY FROM THE OFFICE 10 DAYS WITH A LEAVE CHARGE OF 6 DAYS. AN EMPLOYEE IN DECEMBER WHO TAKES LEAVE BEGINNING DECEMBER 11 AND REPORTS TO WORK DECEMBER 21 WILL ALSO BE AWAY FROM THE OFFICE 10 DAYS BUT WILL BE CHARGED WITH 7 DAYS AND 3 HOURS--- A DAY AND 3 HOURS MORE THAN THE EMPLOYEE WHO TOOK HIS LEAVE IN NOVEMBER.

SOME OF THE EXAMPLES CITED TO ILLUSTRATE THE POINT THAT POSSIBLY THE CONVERSION TO HOURS SHOULD NOT BE MADE IS THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE WHO FROM JANUARY 1 TO DECEMBER 1 HAS USED 16 DAYS LEAVE, LEAVING 10 DAYS AVAILABLE FOR USE IN DECEMBER. IF THIS 10 DAYS IS CONVERTED INTO HOURS AT THE RATE OF 8 PER DAY, IT WILL, OF COURSE, GIVE THE EMPLOYEE 80 HOURS WHICH WILL ENABLE HIM TO TAKE 11 DAYS (OF 7 HOURS EACH) AND 3 HOURS. BUT THESE 11 DAYS AND 3 HOURS ADDED TO THE 16 DAYS HE HAS TAKEN PRIOR TO DECEMBER 1, WOULD GIVE HIM FOR THE YEAR 27 DAYS AND 3 HOURS--- A DAY AND 3 HOURS MORE THAN HE IS ENTITLED TO UNDER THE LAW.

ANOTHER TYPE OF QUESTION WOULD ARISE IN THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS GRANTED 26 DAYS LEAVE IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY WHEN THE OFFICE WAS ON THE 7 -HOURS BASIS, AS HE APPARENTLY WOULD BE ENTITLED TO ADDITIONAL LEAVE IN JULY WHEN THE OFFICE REVERTED TO THE 8-HOURS BASIS. TO ANALYZE THIS CASE: THE EMPLOYEE WAS GRANTED TWENTY-SIX 7-HOUR DAYS IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY, OR 182 HOURS. WHEN THE OFFICE RETURNED TO AN 8 HOUR BASIS IN JULY, AND HAVING REMAINED ON AN 8-HOUR BASIS UNTIL DECEMBER 1, THE EMPLOYEE WAS ENTITLED TO 13 DAYS BY 7 HOURS, OR 91 HOURS, FOR THE PERIOD FROM JANUARY 1 TO JULY 1, PLUS 86 HOURS AND 40 MINUTES (THAT EARNED FOR THE 5 MONTHS OF JULY TO NOVEMBER, INCLUSIVE, WHILE ON AN 8-HOUR BASIS), PLUS THE 15 HOURS AND 10 MINUTES FOR DECEMBER ON A 7-HOUR BASIS, MAKING A TOTAL FOR THE THREE PERIODS OF 192 HOURS AND 50 MINUTES. THIS IS 10 HOURS AND 50 MINUTES MORE THAN HE WAS GRANTED IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY IN CONSUMING HIS TWENTY-SIX DAYS ANNUAL LEAVE. HOWEVER, IF HE IS NOW IN DECEMBER ALLOWED TO TAKE THE 10 HOURS AND 50 MINUTES, THE LEAVE GRANTED TO HIM FOR THE YEAR WOULD EXCEED THE 26 DAYS ALLOWABLE UNDER THE LAW.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS QUESTION IS REPRESENTED BY THE EMPLOYEE WHO WAS GRANTED 26 DAYS LEAVE WHILE THE OFFICE WAS ON AN 8-HOUR BASIS. IF THIS LEAVE IS CONVERTED AND ADJUSTED IN THE SAME MANNER AS THAT OF THE EMPLOYEE WHOSE CASE WAS JUST OUTLINED, HE WILL BE REQUIRED TO REFUND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE NUMBER OF HOURS HE ACTUALLY EARNED, AS ABOVE STATED 192 HOURS AND 50 MINUTES, AND THE NUMBER OF HOURS HE WAS ALLOWED, 195 HOURS, OR 2 HOURS AND 10 MINUTES.

ANOTHER COMPLICATION ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONVERSION OF THE DAYS TAKEN OR EARNED INTO HOURS AND THE CHARGING OF 7 OR 8 HOURS FOR THE LOSS OF A DAY--- DEPENDING UPON THE HOURS WORKED WHEN THE LEAVE IS TAKEN-- - IS THE PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED IN RECORDING SICK LEAVE TAKEN IN ADVANCE OF THAT EARNED--- THE CASE IN MIND BEING THAT OF AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS ADVANCED 7 DAYS SICK LEAVE WHILE WORKING ON AN 8-HOUR BASIS. IF THIS IS CHARGED TO HIM ON AN HOURLY BASIS, IT WILL, OF COURSE, BE 56 HOURS. ORDER TO LIQUIDATE THIS CHARGE, HE WILL BE REQUIRED TO EARN 8 DAYS LEAVE ON THE 7-HOUR BASIS.

WHILE SPEAKING OF SICK LEAVE THE QUESTION ARISES AS TO THE PROPER CHARGE FOR A WEEK'S ABSENCE DUE TO ILLNESS. IN NOVEMBER THE CHARGE--- IN THE CASE OF HOURLY EMPLOYEES--- WAS, OF COURSE, 5 DAYS OF 8 HOURS EACH. THE EMPLOYEE WHO TAKES A WEEK ON SICK LEAVE IN DECEMBER WILL BE CHARGED WITH 5 DAYS AND 5 HOURS UNLESS IT IS ACCRUED AND TAKEN, ON AN HOURLY BASIS, WHICH WILL RESULT IN THE COMPLICATION JUST OUTLINED AND MANY OTHERS.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT (1) THE OFFICE IS ON THE 7-HOUR DAY FOR APPROXIMATELY 50 PERCENT OF THE TIME; (2) THE MANY QUESTIONS ARISING IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE LEAVE LAWS AS PARTIALLY INDICATED ABOVE; (3) THE IDEA THAT THE RECORDS WOULD BE MUCH CLEARER AND EASIER TO AUDIT; (4) IN THE BELIEF THAT THE LAW IN AUTHORIZING 26 DAYS LEAVE MEANS 26 DAYS REGARDLESS OF THE NUMBER OF HOURS WORKED PER DAY; AND (5) IN VIEW OF THE PROVISION IN THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE APPROPRIATION ACT THAT LEAVE SHOULD BE PAID FOR AT THE RATE THE EMPLOYEE IS EARNING AT THE TIME THE LEAVE IS TAKEN, THIS OFFICE WILL CONTINUE TO CONSIDER AND RECORD BOTH SICK AND ANNUAL LEAVE ON A DAILY BASIS UNLESS ADVISED BY YOU THAT THE SAME IS NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF DOUBT WHICH HAS BEEN RAISED AS TO THE CORRECTNESS OF THE PRACTICE, YOUR AUTHORITATIVE DECISION IN THE MATTER AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE DATE WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.

THE ANNUAL LEAVE ACT OF MARCH 14, 1936, 49 STAT. 1161, GRANTS TO EMPLOYEES OTHER THAN PORARY,"26 DAYS' ANNUAL LEAVE WITH PAY EACH CALENDAR YEAR, EXCLUSIVE OF SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS," AND TO TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES, WITH AN EXCEPTION NOT HERE INVOLVED,"2 1/2 DAYS" LEAVE FOR EACH MONTH OF SERVICE.' THE SICK LEAVE ACT OF MARCH 14, 1936, 49 STAT. 1162, GRANTS TO EMPLOYEES OTHER THAN TEMPORARY, SICK LEAVE "AT THE RATE OF 1 1/4 DAYS PER MONTH," AND TO TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES, WITH AN EXCEPTION NOT HERE INVOLVED "1 1/4 DAYS' SICK LEAVE FOR EACH MONTH OF SERVICE.' THE SAME STATUTE PROVIDES THAT FOR EACH MONTH OF SERVICE.' THE SAME STATUTE PROVIDES THAT "ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS MAY ADVANCE 30 DAYS' SICK LEAVE" UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS. UNDER THESE STATUTES BOTH ANNUAL AND SICK LEAVE IS REQUIRED TO BE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF DAYS. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ANNUAL LEAVE ON SATURDAY AS TO THOSE EMPLOYEES ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF THE SATURDAY HALF-HOLIDAY LAW OF MARCH 3, 1931, 46 STAT. 1482, A FULL WORK DAY'S ABSENCE, REGARDLESS OF THE NUMBER OF WORK HOURS CONSTITUTING THE DAY FIXED BY LAW OR REGULATION, MUST BE COMPUTED AS 1 DAY'S ANNUAL OR SICK LEAVE, AND A PARTIAL DAY'S ABSENCE MUST BE COMPUTED AS A FRACTION OF A DAY, USING THE TOTAL NUMBER OF WORK HOURS CONSTITUTING THE DAY AS THE DENOMINATOR AND THE NUMBER OF WORK HOURS' ABSENCE THEREON AS THE NUMERATOR. WHILE THE PUBLIC PRINTER HAS AUTHORITY TO FIX THE LENGTH OF EACH WORK DAY OF THE WEEK FOR EMPLOYEES SUBJECT TO THE 40-HOUR WEEK LAW OF MARCH 28, 1934, 48 STAT. 522 (15 COMP. GEN. 320; ID. 711), THERE IS NO AUTHORITY IN THE LEAVE STATUTES TO CONVERT THE STATUTORY ALLOWANCE OF "DAYS" LEAVE TO A BASIS OF 40 HOURS PER WEEK. THE SATURDAY HALF-HOLIDAY LAW MAY BE REGARDED AS NOT APPLICABLE TO EMPLOYEES SUBJECT TO THE 40-HOUR WEEK LAW, SUPRA.

ANNUAL AND SICK LEAVE, BOTH CURRENT AND ADVANCED, SHOULD BE CHARGED ON A BASIS OF THE LENGTH OF THE WORK DAYS IN FORCE WHEN THE LEAVE IS TAKEN.

ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION PROPOSED IN YOUR CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH IS CORRECT.