B-111993, OCTOBER 24, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 204

B-111993: Oct 24, 1952

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LEAVES OF ABSENCE - ANNUAL - ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY TO PLACE EMPLOYEE IN ANNUAL LEAVE STATUS UNDER THE ANNUAL AND SICK LEAVE ACT OF 1951 THE PLACING OF AN EMPLOYEE IN AN ANNUAL LEAVE STATUS IS THE PROPER EXERCISE OF ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY REGARDLESS OF THE REASON FOR SUCH ACTION. AN EMPLOYEE IN A LEAVE WITHOUT PAY STATUS WHO WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY PLACED IN AN ANNUAL LEAVE STATUS ONE DAY PRIOR TO GOING ON MILITARY TRAINING DUTY AND WHO RETURNS TO DUTY IMMEDIATELY AFTER EXPIRATION OF SAID TRAINING DUTY IS ENTITLED TO MILITARY LEAVE FROM THE CIVILIAN POSITION. THERE WAS REFERRED HERE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 26. WHETHER A SUBSEQUENT PAY ROLL WHICH WILL COVER A PERIOD OF MILITARY LEAVE FROM AUGUST 18 THROUGH AUGUST 30.

B-111993, OCTOBER 24, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 204

LEAVES OF ABSENCE - ANNUAL - ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY TO PLACE EMPLOYEE IN ANNUAL LEAVE STATUS UNDER THE ANNUAL AND SICK LEAVE ACT OF 1951 THE PLACING OF AN EMPLOYEE IN AN ANNUAL LEAVE STATUS IS THE PROPER EXERCISE OF ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY REGARDLESS OF THE REASON FOR SUCH ACTION, AND THEREFORE, THE STATUS OF AN EMPLOYEE ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY MAY BE CHANGED ADMINISTRATIVELY TO ANNUAL LEAVE FOR THE PURPOSE OF PLACING THE EMPLOYEE IN A PAY STATUS ONE DAY PRIOR TO ENTRY ON MILITARY TRAINING DUTY. INASMUCH AS AN EMPLOYEE ON MILITARY TRAINING DUTY DOES NOT SUFFER ANY LOSS OF PAY FROM HIS CIVILIAN POSITION IF OTHERWISE ENTITLED THERETO, AN EMPLOYEE IN A LEAVE WITHOUT PAY STATUS WHO WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY PLACED IN AN ANNUAL LEAVE STATUS ONE DAY PRIOR TO GOING ON MILITARY TRAINING DUTY AND WHO RETURNS TO DUTY IMMEDIATELY AFTER EXPIRATION OF SAID TRAINING DUTY IS ENTITLED TO MILITARY LEAVE FROM THE CIVILIAN POSITION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO R. W. GRIBBENS, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, OCTOBER 24, 1952:

BY LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 19, 1952 (FILE REFERENCE 370), FROM THE OFFICE OF DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS AND FINANCE, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, THERE WAS REFERRED HERE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 26, 1952, ENCLOSING A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. JOHN W. HAKANSON, FOR COMPENSATION FOR AUGUST 15, 1952, AND REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER RELATED, AND, IN ADDITION, WHETHER A SUBSEQUENT PAY ROLL WHICH WILL COVER A PERIOD OF MILITARY LEAVE FROM AUGUST 18 THROUGH AUGUST 30, 1952, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT WHEN RECEIVED. APPARENTLY, THE LATTER WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRESENT VOUCHER BECAUSE THE PERIOD OF MILITARY LEAVE HAD NOT EXPIRED AT THE TIME OF YOUR SUBMISSION.

IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT MR. HAKANSON WAS GRANTED LEAVE WITHOUT PAY FROM JULY 7 TO AUGUST 14, 1952, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTENDING SUMMER SCHOOL; THAT HE RETURNED TO A PAY STATUS (ANNUAL LEAVE) ON AUGUST 15, 1952, A FRIDAY, PRIOR TO GOING ON MILITARY LEAVE ON THE FOLLOWING MONDAY, FOR THE PERIOD AUGUST 18 TO 30, 1952, WITH THE EXPECTATION OF HIS RETURN TO DUTY ON SEPTEMBER 2, 1952. YOU REFER TO OFFICE DECISION 11 COMP. GEN. 469, HOLDING TO THE EFFECT THAT THE RIGHT TO MILITARY LEAVE ACCRUES ONLY WHEN EMPLOYEES ARE IN A DUTY STATUS AT THE TIME THEY GO ON MILITARY TRAINING DUTY, AND THAT SINCE MR. HAKANSON WAS RETURNED TO AN ANNUAL LEAVE WITH PAY STATUS FOR THE APPARENT PURPOSE OF GRANTING MILITARY LEAVE, YOU EXPRESS DOUBT WHETHER HE IS ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FOR THE DAY WHEN SUCH ANNUAL LEAVE WAS GRANTED AND TO PAYMENT FOR THE PERIOD WHILE ABSENT ON MILITARY TRAINING DUTY.

UNDER THE ANNUAL AND SICK LEAVE ACT OF 1951, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 6, 1952, 65 STAT. 679, THE PLACING OF AN EMPLOYEE IN AN ANNUAL LEAVE STATUS IS A PROPER EXERCISE OF ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY (31 COMP. GEN. 581); AND REGARDLESS OF THE REASON FOR THE GRANTING OF ANNUAL LEAVE TO MR. HAKANSON ON AUGUST 15, 1952, HE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE COMPENSATION THEREFOR. ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER COVERING PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION FOR AUGUST 15, 1952, IS RETURNED HEREWITH, AND IT MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.

WITH RESPECT TO THE QUESTION INVOLVING PAYMENT FOR MILITARY LEAVE YOU MAY BE ADVISED THAT ORDINARILY A DECISION MAY BE RENDERED TO A CERTIFYING OFFICER ONLY UPON A QUESTION SPECIFICALLY INVOLVED IN THE VOUCHER BEFORE HIM FOR PAYMENT. 23 COMP. GEN. 793. HOWEVER, SINCE THE PERIOD OF MILITARY LEAVE NOW HAS EXPIRED, AND AS THE PAYMENT FOR AUGUST 15, 1952, IS SO CLOSELY RELATED TO THE QUESTION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S RIGHT TO PAYMENT FOR THE MILITARY LEAVE, THIS OFFICE WILL UNDERTAKE TO ANSWER SUCH QUESTION IN THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE WITHOUT SUBMISSION OF THE VOUCHER

IT CONSISTENTLY HAS BEEN HELD BY THIS OFFICE THAT A LEAVE WITH PAY STATUS IS SYNONYMOUS WITH A DUTY STATUS. 29 COMP. GEN. 271 AT PAGE 273. HENCE, THE FACT THAT THE EMPLOYEE HERE INVOLVED WAS GRANTED ANNUAL LEAVE WITH PAY ON AUGUST 15, 1952, PRIOR TO HIS ENTRY ON MILITARY TRAINING DUTY WOULD NOT MAKE ANY MATERIAL DIFFERENCE IN THE DETERMINATION OF HIS RIGHT TO MILITARY LEAVE WITH PAY.

THE MILITARY LEAVE STATUTES UNIFORMLY PROVIDE THAT EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SHALL BE GRANTED MILITARY LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITHOUT LOSS OF PAY, TIME OR EFFICIENCY RATING. 10 U.S.C. 371, 371A AND 371B; 32 U.S.C. 75, 76; AND 34 U.S.C. 853G, 853G 1. BUT, AS INDICATED IN DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE, AN EMPLOYEE SUFFERS NO LOSS OF PAY IF, DURING THE PERIOD OF THE MILITARY TRAINING DUTY, HE WAS NOT OTHERWISE IN A STATUS TO ENTITLE HIM TO THE PAY OF HIS CIVILIAN POSITION. ADDITION TO 11 COMP. GEN. 469, PREVIOUSLY REFERRED TO, SEE 12 COMP. GEN. 241, AND 17 ID. 174.

WHILE THE EMPLOYEE HERE INVOLVED MAY HAVE BEEN PLACED ON ANNUAL LEAVE ON AUGUST 15, 1952, FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF GIVING HIM A PAY STATUS PRIOR TO HIS ENTRY ON MILITARY TRAINING DUTY, NEVERTHELESS, SINCE IT WAS THE INTENTION THAT SUCH EMPLOYEE RETURN TO DUTY IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF HIS MILITARY TRAINING, IT WOULD SEEM TO FOLLOW THAT IF HE HAD NOT GONE ON MILITARY TRAINING DUTY HE WOULD HAVE IN A DUTY OR PAY STATUS IN HIS CIVILIAN POSITION DURING SUCH PERIOD.

IN THE LIGHT OF THE REPORTED FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS ENTITLED TO MILITARY LEAVE, AND ANY VOUCHER PRESENTED TO YOU FOR CERTIFICATION BASED UPON THE FOREGOING MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN THE PROPER AMOUNT.