B-108695, JUNE 13, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 656

B-108695: Jun 13, 1952

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1952: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 20. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF PART-TIME EMPLOYMENTS IN RELATION TO A TRAINING PLAN NOW UNDER CONSIDERATION BY YOUR COMMISSION WHICH IS DESIGNED TO INCREASE THE SUPPLY OF STENOGRAPHERS AVAILABLE FOR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT DURING THE PRESENT EMERGENCY. IT IS STATED THAT THE PROPOSED PLAN WOULD OPERATE AS FOLLOWS: A. THESE EMPLOYEES WOULD HAVE TO MEET THE COMMISSION'S STANDARDS FOR REASSIGNMENT TO STENOGRAPHIC POSITIONS. SUCH EMPLOYEES WOULD HAVE TO QUALIFY FOR THE PART-TIME POSITIONS AND FOR THE TRAINING AND WOULD ALSO BE EXPECTED TO SHOW EVIDENCE OF THEIR GETTING TRAINING IN STENOGRAPHY OR TYPING. WHICH HOLDS IN PERTINENT PART THAT: * * * ESTABLISHMENT OF PART-TIME POSITIONS IS JUSTIFIED ONLY ON THE BASIS OF THE CHARACTER OF THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED.

B-108695, JUNE 13, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 656

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT WHILE RECEIVING PART-TIME JOB TRAINING AT EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, UNDER A PROPOSED TRAINING PLAN DESIGNED TO INCREASE THE SUPPLY OF STENOGRAPHERS AVAILABLE FOR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT, MAY ESTABLISH PART-TIME POSITIONS UNDER WHICH APPOINTEES WOULD RECEIVE PART-TIME TRAINING AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE TO QUALIFY FOR FULL-TIME POSITIONS AS STENOGRAPHERS. 6 COMP. GEN. 15, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE CHAIRMAN, UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, JUNE 13, 1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 20, 1952, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF PART-TIME EMPLOYMENTS IN RELATION TO A TRAINING PLAN NOW UNDER CONSIDERATION BY YOUR COMMISSION WHICH IS DESIGNED TO INCREASE THE SUPPLY OF STENOGRAPHERS AVAILABLE FOR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT DURING THE PRESENT EMERGENCY. IT IS STATED THAT THE PROPOSED PLAN WOULD OPERATE AS FOLLOWS:

A. A SPECIAL EXAMINATION WOULD BE ANNOUNCED TO ATTRACT PERSONS INTERESTED IN ACQUIRING STENOGRAPHIC SKILL AND IN WORKING FOR THE GOVERNMENT. THE ANNOUNCEMENT WOULD EXPLAIN THE FEATURES OF THE TRAINING PROGRAM, AND WOULD STRESS THE ADVANTAGES OF THE PROGRAM TO THE PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYEES. THE ANNOUNCEMENT WOULD INDICATE THAT UPON APPOINTMENT, APPLICANTS WOULD BE PAID PROPORTIONATELY AT THE RATE OF $2,500 FOR 2080 HOURS (THE BEGINNING STEP FOR GS-1).

B. APPLICANTS WOULD BE RANKED BY MEANS OF TESTS DESIGNED TO MEASURE APTITUDE FOR PERFORMING CLERICAL AND STENOGRAPHIC AND TYPING WORK.

C. AGENCIES WOULD APPOINT SUCCESSFUL APPLICANTS TO WORK AS CLERKS, TYPISTS, OFFICE MACHINE OPERATORS, OR OTHER WORK FOR WHICH THEY MAY BE QUALIFIED, HALF DAYS AND OBTAIN TRAINING IN STENOGRAPHY THE OTHER HALF. THE PART-TIME POSITIONS WOULD BE ALLOCABLE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949 IN THOSE AGENCIES HAVING POSITIONS SUBJECT TO THAT ACT.

D. THE PART-TIME EMPLOYEES WOULD PAY TUITION AND OTHER COSTS INCIDENT TO THE TRAINING.

E. APPOINTEES WOULD BE EXPECTED TO SHOW EVIDENCE OF GETTING TRAINING IN STENOGRAPHY AS A CONDITION FOR CONTINUED EMPLOYMENT. AFTER A PERIOD OF 24 WEEKS, THESE EMPLOYEES WOULD HAVE TO MEET THE COMMISSION'S STANDARDS FOR REASSIGNMENT TO STENOGRAPHIC POSITIONS. IF NOT, THEY WOULD BE REMOVED FROM THEIR PART-TIME POSITIONS. UPON SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF TRAINING THEY WOULD BE REASSIGNED TO FULL TIME STENOGRAPHIC OR TYPING POSITIONS.

F. AGENCIES COULD SELECT FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES (SUCH AS CLERKS, TYPISTS, MESSENGERS, ETC.) TO TAKE THIS TRAINING. SUCH EMPLOYEES WOULD HAVE TO QUALIFY FOR THE PART-TIME POSITIONS AND FOR THE TRAINING AND WOULD ALSO BE EXPECTED TO SHOW EVIDENCE OF THEIR GETTING TRAINING IN STENOGRAPHY OR TYPING, OR BOTH. IF SELECTED, THESE EMPLOYEES WOULD, OF COURSE, BE REASSIGNED TO PART-TIME POSITIONS FOR THE DURATION OF THE TRAINING.

G. THE PLAN WOULD FIRST BE TRIED IN WASHINGTON, D. C. TO DETERMINE ITS EFFECTIVENESS.

YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES FROM A DECISION DATED JULY 9, 1926 (6 COMP. GEN. 15) BY THE FORMER COMPTROLLER GENERAL, WHICH HOLDS IN PERTINENT PART THAT:

* * * ESTABLISHMENT OF PART-TIME POSITIONS IS JUSTIFIED ONLY ON THE BASIS OF THE CHARACTER OF THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED, SUCH AS DUTIES THE VERY NATURE OF WHICH DOES NOT NECESSARILY REQUIRE FULL-TIME SERVICE. 5 COMP. GEN. 763, 767. THERE WOULD BE NO AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH PART TIME POSITIONS FOR WORK THE NATURE OF WHICH REQUIRES FULL-TIME SERVICE, SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF PERMITTING THE EMPLOYEES TO WORK PART TIME FOR THE GOVERNMENT AND TO ATTEND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS PART TIME. * * *

THE FOREGOING DECISION WAS RENDERED AT THE REQUEST OF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE AND RELATED TO AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROPOSAL WHEREBY CERTAIN EMPLOYEES WOULD BE APPOINTED UPON A PART-TIME BASIS IN POSITIONS THE DUTIES OF WHICH REQUIRE FULL-TIME SERVICES. THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT THE SAID DECISION WAS INTENDED AS AN ABROGATION OR LIMITATION UPON THE AUTHORITY OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION TO MAKE FINAL DETERMINATION IN ALL CASES AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF AN ALLOCATION EITHER WITH RESPECT TO PART -TIME OR TO FULL-TIME POSITIONS. MOREOVER, AS POINTED OUT IN YOUR LETTER THE SAME CONSIDERATIONS INVOLVED IN THAT DECISION ARE NOT APPLICABLE UNDER EXISTING LAW WHICH PROVIDES FOR A 40 HOUR WORK WEEK WITH OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR WORK IN EXCESS THEREOF.

ACCORDINGLY, IT APPEARS THAT THE SAID DECISION OF JULY 9, 1926 DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A BAR TO THE PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT FEATURE OF THE PROPOSED TRAINING PLAN AND NO OTHER LEGAL OBJECTION THERETO IS PERCEIVED.