A-86382, DECEMBER 11, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 483

A-86382: Dec 11, 1937

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COMPENSATION - REDUCTION - EXECUTION OF OATH OF OFFICE FOR LOWER SALARIED POSITION - CLAIM FOR PAYMENT AT PRIOR RATE - ADMINISTRATIVE MISUNDERSTANDING WHERE AN EMPLOYEE WAS DEMOTED DURING A REORGANIZATION OF AN OFFICE. IS AS FOLLOWS: WE WERE PLEASED TO RECEIVE THE PARTIAL PAYMENT OF THE ABOVE ENTITLED CLAIM ON JUNE 7. WE STILL FEEL THAT MISS THOMPSON IS ENTITLED TO AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF $183.75. WHILE IT IS TRUE THAT AFTER APRIL 1. MISS THOMPSON WAS REDUCED IN GRADE FROM A SENIOR STENOGRAPHER TO A JUNIOR CLERK-STENOGRAPHER AND SIGNED THE NEW OATH OF OFFICE AT THAT GRADE. IT IS ALSO TRUE THAT SHE WAS DEMOTED BECAUSE OF AN ERRONEOUS RULING FROM WASHINGTON THAT SHE HAD BEEN IMPROPERLY TRANSFERRED.

A-86382, DECEMBER 11, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 483

COMPENSATION - REDUCTION - EXECUTION OF OATH OF OFFICE FOR LOWER SALARIED POSITION - CLAIM FOR PAYMENT AT PRIOR RATE - ADMINISTRATIVE MISUNDERSTANDING WHERE AN EMPLOYEE WAS DEMOTED DURING A REORGANIZATION OF AN OFFICE, THE APPOINTMENT TO, AND EXECUTION OF THE OATH OF OFFICE FOR, THE LOWER SALARIED POSITION RESTRICTED HER RIGHT TO COMPENSATION TO THE RATE ADMINISTRATIVELY FIXED FOR SUCH POSITION, NOTWITHSTANDING THE EMPLOYEE'S CLAIM THAT THE DEMOTION RESULTED FROM ADMINISTRATIVE MISUNDERSTANDING AS TO THE LEGALITY OF HER PRIOR RATE OF COMPENSATION.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO EMMA R. THOMPSON, DECEMBER 11, 1937:

THE LETTER OF YOUR ATTORNEY, HENRY T. POWELL, DATED JULY 22, 1937, RELATIVE TO SETTLEMENT NO. 0448453, DATED JUNE 7, 1937, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES RENDERED BY YOU AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT AT RALEIGH, N.C., FROM APRIL 1 TO DECEMBER 8, 1936, INCLUSIVE, IS AS FOLLOWS:

WE WERE PLEASED TO RECEIVE THE PARTIAL PAYMENT OF THE ABOVE ENTITLED CLAIM ON JUNE 7, 1937. BUT WE STILL FEEL THAT MISS THOMPSON IS ENTITLED TO AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF $183.75. WHILE IT IS TRUE THAT AFTER APRIL 1, 1936, MISS THOMPSON WAS REDUCED IN GRADE FROM A SENIOR STENOGRAPHER TO A JUNIOR CLERK-STENOGRAPHER AND SIGNED THE NEW OATH OF OFFICE AT THAT GRADE, IT IS ALSO TRUE THAT SHE WAS DEMOTED BECAUSE OF AN ERRONEOUS RULING FROM WASHINGTON THAT SHE HAD BEEN IMPROPERLY TRANSFERRED. PAYMENT ABOVE REFERRED TO IS AN ADMISSION BY THE GOVERNMENT THAT THIS RULING WAS IN ERROR. AND WE CAN SHOW, IF NECESSARY, BY AFFIDAVIT FROM JAMES COLEMAN, THE FORMER HEAD OF THE RALEIGH OFFICE OF THE STATE PROCUREMENT OFFICE, THAT SHE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DEMOTED HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR THIS RULING REFERRED TO.

WE THEREFORE FEEL THAT MISS THOMPSON IS ENTITLED TO $30.00 A MONTH UNTIL AUGUST 1, 1936, AND $15.00 A MONTH UNTIL DECEMBER 8, 1936, THE DAY SHE LEFT THE EMPLOYMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT.

THE ACTION OF THIS OFFICE ON YOUR CLAIM WAS BASED ON AN ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT FROM THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, DATED MARCH 5, 1937, AS FOLLOWS:

ACCORDING TO THE RECORDS OF THIS OFFICE, MISS THOMPSON WAS EMPLOYED AS STENOGRAPHER TO THE CHIEF OF THE PURCHASE DIVISION IN THE NORTH CAROLINA STATE PROCUREMENT OFFICE ON NOVEMBER 18, 1935, AT THE SALARY RATE OF $1,320.00 PER ANNUM. IT WAS LATER DETERMINED THAT SHE HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN EMPLOYED BY THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION AT $960.00 PER ANNUM. HER SALARY WAS, THEREFORE, REDUCED TO COMPLY WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER 7070 AND DEDUCTIONS WERE MADE ON THE PAYROLLS OF JANUARY 31ST AND FEBRUARY 15TH, 1936, FOR OVERPAYMENTS MADE AT THE RATE OF $1,320.00 PER ANNUM.

A NEW ORGANIZATION CHART WAS ESTABLISHED APRIL 1, 1936, FOR THE NORTH CAROLINA STATE PROCUREMENT OFFICE, IN WHICH PROVISION WAS MADE FOR THE TRANSFER OF MISS THOMPSON FROM HER POSITION IN THE PURCHASE DIVISION TO THE STENOGRAPHIC AND TYPIST SECTION. THE SALARY OF THE POSITION TO WHICH SHE WAS ASSIGNED WAS $960.00 PER ANNUM. IT IS THE BELIEF OF THIS OFFICE THAT THE SALARY RATE OF $960.00 PER ANNUM WAS COMMENSURATE WITH THE DUTIES PERFORMED.

THAT PORTION OF MISS THOMPSON'S CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SALARY AT THE RATE OF $1,320.00 PER ANNUM FROM DATE OF ENTRANCE ON DUTY, NOVEMBER 18, 1935, TO AND INCLUDING MARCH 31, 1936, IS ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED, IF THE RESTRICTION PLACED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER 7070 MAY BE REMOVED.

ON THE BASIS OF THIS REPORT IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT YOUR TRANSFER OR REASSIGNMENT ON APRIL 1, 1936, TO A POSITION WITH SALARY RATE OF $960 PER ANNUM HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PRIOR MISUNDERSTANDING REGARDING THE APPLICABILITY OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7070, BUT WAS THE RESULT OF A REORGANIZATION OF THE OFFICE. EVEN IF THE PRIOR ADMINISTRATIVE MISUNDERSTANDING REGARDING THE APPLICABILITY OF SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER TO YOUR CASE HAD BEEN CONSIDERED IN YOUR DEMOTION, THE FACT REMAINS THAT YOU WERE APPOINTED TO, AND TOOK THE OATH OF OFFICE FOR, A POSITION WITH SALARY RATE OF $960 PER ANNUM FIXED ADMINISTRATIVELY EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 1936, WHICH WAS THE ONLY LEGAL RATE PAYABLE FOR YOUR SERVICES ON AND AFTER THAT DATE AND UNTIL DECEMBER 8, 1936, WHEN IT IS STATED YOU LEFT THE EMPLOYMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 7, 1937, MUST BE, AND IS, SUSTAINED.