B-115803, JULY 28, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 49

B-115803: Jul 28, 1953

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COMPENSATION - RATES - SIMULTANEOUS DEMOTION AND WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENT - SUBSEQUENT PROMOTION UNDER SECTIONS 25.102 AND 25.103 OF THE EMPLOYEE'S PAY REGULATIONS AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAD BECOME ENTITLED TO A WITHIN-GRADE STEP INCREASE ON THE SAME DAY HE WAS REASSIGNED TO A LOWER GRADE. WHO WAS SUBSEQUENTLY RESTORED TO THE HIGHER GRADE IS ENTITLED TO BE PAID AT THE HIGHER RATE EARNED PRIOR TO THE DEMOTION. - ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL FISHER TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. 1953: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JUNE 16. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE PROPER SALARY RATE PAYABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION WHEN HE WAS REPROMOTED TO THE GRADE FROM WHICH HE PREVIOUSLY HAD BEEN DEMOTED.

B-115803, JULY 28, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 49

COMPENSATION - RATES - SIMULTANEOUS DEMOTION AND WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENT - SUBSEQUENT PROMOTION UNDER SECTIONS 25.102 AND 25.103 OF THE EMPLOYEE'S PAY REGULATIONS AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAD BECOME ENTITLED TO A WITHIN-GRADE STEP INCREASE ON THE SAME DAY HE WAS REASSIGNED TO A LOWER GRADE, BECAUSE OF AN AGENCY REORGANIZATION, AND WHO WAS SUBSEQUENTLY RESTORED TO THE HIGHER GRADE IS ENTITLED TO BE PAID AT THE HIGHER RATE EARNED PRIOR TO THE DEMOTION.

- ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL FISHER TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, JULY 28, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JUNE 16, 1953, FROM THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE PROPER SALARY RATE PAYABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION WHEN HE WAS REPROMOTED TO THE GRADE FROM WHICH HE PREVIOUSLY HAD BEEN DEMOTED, UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER RELATED.

THE LETTER STATES THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS PROMOTED FROM GRADE CAF-12, $6,144.60 PER ANNUM, TO GRADE CAF-13, $7,102.20 PER ANNUM, EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 16, 1947; THAT HE WAS DUE TO RECEIVE A PERIODIC STEP INCREASE TO THE SECOND SCHEDULED STEP OF GRADE CAF-13 ON MAY 29, 1949, THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING COMPLETION OF THE REQUIRED PERIOD OF TIME FOR A WITHIN-GRADE STEP PROMOTION, BUT BECAUSE OF A REORGANIZATION OF THE AGENCY, THE EMPLOYEE WAS REASSIGNED ON MAY 29, 1949, TO A GRADE CAF-12 POSITION AT A SALARY OF $7,192.80 PER ANNUM THEREBY AVOIDING THE EFFECTUATION OF THE PERIODIC STEP INCREASE; AND THAT SUBSEQUENTLY THE EMPLOYEE WAS REPROMOTED TO A GRADE GS-13 POSITION EFFECTIVE APRIL 26, 1953. IN RESPECT OF THAT REPROMOTION THE QUESTION IS RAISED WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY RATE IN GRADE GS-13 SHOULD BE SET AT THE SECOND SCHEDULED STEP RATE--- THE STEP HE HAD QUALIFIED FOR IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS DEMOTION BUT SALARY FOR WHICH STEP WAS NOT PROCESSED BECAUSE OF THE DEMOTION BEING EFFECTIVE ON THE SAME DAY THE STEP -INCREASE OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE BEEN EFFECTED--- OR WHETHER IT MUST BE LIMITED TO THE FIRST SCHEDULED STEP RATE OF THAT GRADE.

SECTION 25.103 AND 25.102 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEE'S PAY REGULATIONS, PROVIDE, RESPECTIVELY, AS FOLLOWS:

(B) (1) SUBJECT TO THE MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPH (D) OF THIS SECTION AND SECTION 25.104, AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS REEMPLOYED, TRANSFERRED, REASSIGNED, PROMOTED, REPROMOTED, OR DEMOTED MAY BE PAID AT ANY SCHEDULED RATE FOR HIS GRADE WHICH DOES NOT EXCEED THE EMPLOYEE'S HIGHEST PREVIOUS RATE. * * * IF THE EMPLOYEE'S EXISTING RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION IS LESS THAN THE MINIMUM SCHEDULED RATE OF THE NEW GRADE, HIS COMPENSATION SHALL BE INCREASED TO THE MINIMUM RATE.

(J) HIGHEST PREVIOUS RATE IS THE HIGHEST BASIC SALARY RATE PREVIOUSLY PAID TO A FEDERAL CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OCCUPYING A POSITION IN A DEPARTMENT OR DEFINED IN SECTION 201 (A) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, OR IN A MIXED OWNERSHIP, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER OR NOT SUCH POSITION IS SUBJECT TO THE PAY SCHEDULES OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. IF SUCH HIGHEST PREVIOUS RATE WAS EARNED IN A CLASSIFICATION ACT POSITION, IT SHALL BE SUBSEQUENT AMENDMENTS TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT PAY SCHEDULES. * * *

IN 31 COMP. GEN. 62, IT WAS HELD:

AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE POSITION IS REALLOCATED TO A HIGHER GRADE ON THE SAME DATE HE BECOMES ELIGIBLE FOR A WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 701 (A) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, IS ENTITLED TO HAVE SAID WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENT INCLUDED IN HIS EXISTING RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION IN FIXING UNDER SECTION 802 (B) HIS BASIC RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR THE HIGHER GRADE.

SEE ALSO 31 COMP. GEN. 207, APPLYING THE SAME PRINCIPLE TO PROMOTIONS TO A HIGHER GRADE ON THE SAME DATE EMPLOYEE BECAME ENTITLED TO A WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENT. THERE APPEARS NO REASON WHY THE SAME PRINCIPLE SHOULD NOT APPLY TO A DEMOTION OR ASSIGNMENT TO A LOWER GRADE ON THE SAME DATE THE EMPLOYEE OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN A WITHIN GRADE SALARY ADVANCE. THAT IS TO SAY, THE WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCE SHOULD HAVE BEEN PROCESSED BEFORE THE DEMOTION TOOK EFFECT WHICH IN THE PRESENT CASE WOULD HAVE ENTITLED THIS EMPLOYEE TO HAVE HAD HIS SALARY RATE WHEN DEMOTED TO CAF-12 BASED UPON THE SALARY RATE OF $7,671.60, THE SECOND STEP IN CAF-13. THIS PARTICULAR CASE, IT WOULD NOT HAVE MADE ANY CHANGE IN HIS SALARY RATE IN CAF-12 AS HE WAS GIVEN THE TOP SALARY RATE ($7,192.80) IN THAT GRADE. HOWEVER, HE STILL WOULD BE ENTITLED TO THE BENEFIT OF THE $7,671.60 PREVIOUSLY ATTAINED SECOND STEP RATE (AS INCREASED BY SUBSEQUENT STATUTORY ENACTMENTS TO $8,560) IN FIXING HIS SALARY RATE UPON RESTORATION OR REPROMOTION TO GS-13 IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE-QUOTED CIVIL-SERVICE REGULATIONS AND, WITHIN ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION, HIS SALARY COULD BE FIXED AS OF APRIL 26, 1953, AT $8,560, THE PRESENT SECOND STEP IN GS-13. COMPARE 26 COMP. GEN. 368; 24 ID. 341.