B-116136, APR. 21, 1964

B-116136: Apr 21, 1964

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WE DETERMINED THAT YOU HAVE BEEN PAID AT THE CORRECT RATE FROM THE DATE OF YOUR REPROMOTION TO A GRADE GS-12 POSITION AS A CLASSIFIED CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT. THE RECORD OF SERVICE WHICH YOU ENCLOSED SHOWS THAT YOU WERE DEMOTED TO GRADE GS-11 WHILE SERVING IN GRADE GS-12 WITH COMPENSATION AT THE 4TH STEP FOR THAT GRADE. THAT RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE REPROMOTED TO GRADE GS-12 ON FEBRUARY 17. YOU CONTEND THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO A WITHIN-GRADE INCREASE TO STEP 6 IN GRADE GS-12 ON DECEMBER 8. WHO HAS NOT ATTAINED THE MAXIMUM RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR THE GRADE IN WHICH HIS POSITION IS PLACED. SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS: "/A) THAT NO EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION FROM ANY CAUSE WAS RECEIVED DURING SUCH PERIOD.

B-116136, APR. 21, 1964

TO MR. LOUIS W. JONES:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 20, 1964, CONCERNING OUR DECISION TO YOU OF JULY 30, 1963, B-116136, IN WHICH, FROM THE FACTS GIVEN BY YOU, WE DETERMINED THAT YOU HAVE BEEN PAID AT THE CORRECT RATE FROM THE DATE OF YOUR REPROMOTION TO A GRADE GS-12 POSITION AS A CLASSIFIED CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT.

THE RECORD OF SERVICE WHICH YOU ENCLOSED SHOWS THAT YOU WERE DEMOTED TO GRADE GS-11 WHILE SERVING IN GRADE GS-12 WITH COMPENSATION AT THE 4TH STEP FOR THAT GRADE. THAT RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE REPROMOTED TO GRADE GS-12 ON FEBRUARY 17, 1963, AND PLACED IN THE 5TH WITHIN-GRADE STEP OF THAT GRADE AS THE RESULT OF CORRECTIVE ACTION TAKEN ON JUNE 21, 1963, TO LOWER YOUR RATE OF PAY RETROACTIVELY FROM THAT APPLICABLE TO THE 6TH STEP OF GRADE GS-12 WHICH HAD ERRONEOUSLY BEEN ALLOWED YOU. YOU CONTEND THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO A WITHIN-GRADE INCREASE TO STEP 6 IN GRADE GS-12 ON DECEMBER 8, 1963, ON THE BASIS OF YOUR SERVICE IN GRADE GS-12 FROM DECEMBER 6, 1953 TO FEBRUARY 13, 1955, AND FROM FEBRUARY 17 TO DECEMBER 8, 1963, A TOTAL OF 2 YEARS.

SECTION 701 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, APPROVED OCTOBER 28, 1949, CH. 782, 63 STAT. 967, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 1121, PROVIDES:

"/A) EACH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE COMPENSATED ON A PER ANNUM BASIS, AND OCCUPYING A PERMANENT POSITION WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE COMPENSATION SCHEDULES FIXED BY THIS CHAPTER, WHO HAS NOT ATTAINED THE MAXIMUM RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR THE GRADE IN WHICH HIS POSITION IS PLACED, SHALL BE ADVANCED IN COMPENSATION SUCCESSIVELY TO THE NEXT HIGHER RATE WITHIN THE GRADE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF (1) EACH FIFTY-TWO CALENDAR WEEKS OF SERVICE IN SALARY RATES 1, 2, AND 3, OR (2) EACH ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR CALENDAR WEEKS OF SERVICE IN SALARY RATES 4, 5, AND 6, OR (3) EACH ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY SIX CALENDAR WEEKS OF SERVICE IN SALARY RATES 7, 8, AND 9, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:

"/A) THAT NO EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION FROM ANY CAUSE WAS RECEIVED DURING SUCH PERIOD;

"/B) THAT HIS WORK IS OF AN ACCEPTABLE LEVEL OF COMPETENCE AS DETERMINED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT * * *

"/B) ANY INCREASE IN COMPENSATION GRANTED BY LAW SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO BE AN EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION WITHIN THE MEANING OF SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION.'

AS YOU POINT OUT THE LAW DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY REQUIRE THAT SERVICE QUALIFYING FOR WITHIN-GRADE INCREASES BE CONTINUOUS, HOWEVER, THE LAW DOES REQUIRE THAT THE QUALIFYING PERIOD BE SERVED WITHOUT AN EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION. THUS, ASIDE FROM OTHER REASONS NOT MATERIAL IN YOUR CASE, WHEN AN EMPLOYEE RECEIVES AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION EQUAL AT LEAST TO A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY INCREASE IN THE GRADE IN WHICH HE IS SERVING--- EXCEPT AN INCREASE RESULTING FROM GENERAL SALARY INCREASE LEGISLATION--- HE MUST BEGIN A NEW WAITING PERIOD TO QUALIFY FOR AN ADDITIONAL WITHIN-GRADE INCREASE. ON FEBRUARY 17, 1963, YOUR COMPENSATION --- BY RETROACTIVE ADJUSTMENT AS NOTED ABOVE--- WAS INCREASED FROM $10,420, YOUR SAVED RATE OF PAY BASED ON YOUR SERVICE IN GRADE GS-12, STEP 4, TO $10,735 THE RATE APPLICABLE TO GRADE GS-12, STEP 5. THAT INCREASE WAS EXACTLY EQUAL TO A ONE STEP-INCREASE IN GRADE GS-12. THEREFORE, YOUR WAITING PERIOD TO QUALIFY FOR AN ADDITIONAL STEP-INCREASE IN GRADE GS-12 BEGAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 1963, BECAUSE ON THAT DAY YOU RECEIVED AN EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 701 QUOTED ABOVE.

WE EXPLAINED TO YOU IN OUR DECISION OF JULY 30, A COPY OF WHICH IS ENCLOSED FOR YOUR READY REFERENCE, THAT, ON THE BASIS OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF PERSONNEL ACTIONS WHICH YOU FURNISHED, YOUR EMPLOYING AGENCY PROPERLY RESTRICTED YOUR COMPENSATION TO $10,735 (GRADE GS-12, STEP 5) AT THE TIME OF YOUR REPROMOTION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 802 (B) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 1132 (B). ON THE BASIS OF THE INFORMATION FURNISHED, SINCE YOU RECEIVED AN EQUIVALENT INCREASE UPON REPROMOTION, YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO A STEP-INCREASE TO STEP 6 OF GRADE GS-12, UNTIL 2 YEARS AFTER SUCH REPROMOTION. THEREFORE, YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE AMOUNT OF ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION YOU NOW CLAIM.

A COPY OF THIS DECISION IS BEING SENT TO THE HONORABLE TOM MURRAY, CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON POST OFFICE AND CIVIL SERVICE, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.