B-120893, NOVEMBER 2, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 211

B-120893: Nov 2, 1954

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COMPENSATION - POSTAL SERVICE - AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS - DATE TO BE COMMENCED A POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEE WHO AT THE TIME OF A TRANSFER BETWEEN POSITIONS IN THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE IS CREDITED UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 19. WITH SUFFICIENT SERVICE TO ENTITLE HIM TO AN AUTOMATIC PROMOTION IS REQUIRED TO BE PROMOTED IMMEDIATELY UPON THE DATE OF THE TRANSFER. 1954: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JULY 28. THE INVOLVED EMPLOYEE WAS PROMOTED ON JANUARY 1. THE EMPLOYEE WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THE POSITION OF CHAIRMAN. THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 674 THE EMPLOYEE PROPERLY COULD BE GRANTED THE TWO-GRADE INCREASE EFFECTIVE ON THE DATE OF TRANSFER. OR WHETHER SUCH PROMOTION SHOULD HAVE BEEN WITHHELD UNTIL THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER FOLLOWING SUCH TRANSFER.

B-120893, NOVEMBER 2, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 211

COMPENSATION - POSTAL SERVICE - AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS - DATE TO BE COMMENCED A POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEE WHO AT THE TIME OF A TRANSFER BETWEEN POSITIONS IN THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE IS CREDITED UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 19, 1948, WITH SUFFICIENT SERVICE TO ENTITLE HIM TO AN AUTOMATIC PROMOTION IS REQUIRED TO BE PROMOTED IMMEDIATELY UPON THE DATE OF THE TRANSFER.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL MORROW TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, NOVEMBER 2, 1954:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JULY 28, 1954, YOUR REFERENCE 4, FROM THE ACTING POSTMASTER GENERAL, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE APPLICATION OF THE ACT OF JUNE 19, 1948, 62 STAT. 484, AS AMENDED, 39 U.S.C. 879-884, HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO AS PUBLIC LAW 674, 62 STAT. 484, TO THE REASSIGNMENT OF A POSTAL EMPLOYEE ON A PARTICULAR DATE UNDER THE FACTS HEREINAFTER DESCRIBED.

THE INVOLVED EMPLOYEE WAS PROMOTED ON JANUARY 1, 1951, TO THE TOP AUTOMATIC GRADE (GRADE 4) IN THE POSITION OF CHAIRMAN. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF OCTOBER 24, 1951, PUBLIC LAW 204, 65 STAT. 622, THE TOP GRADE FOR THE POSITION OF CHAIRMAN BECAME GRADE 2 AT $1.475 PER HOUR. SUBSEQUENTLY, ON SEPTEMBER 16, 1953, THE EMPLOYEE WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THE POSITION OF CHAIRMAN, GRADE 2, TO THE POSITION OF FIREMAN-LABORER, GRADE 4, AT $3,270 PER ANNUM. THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 674 THE EMPLOYEE PROPERLY COULD BE GRANTED THE TWO-GRADE INCREASE EFFECTIVE ON THE DATE OF TRANSFER, NAMELY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1953, OR WHETHER SUCH PROMOTION SHOULD HAVE BEEN WITHHELD UNTIL THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER FOLLOWING SUCH TRANSFER, NAMELY, OCTOBER 1, 1953.

PUBLIC LAW 674 IS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

THAT ANY EMPLOYEE OF THE POSTAL SERVICE WHO IS IN A POSITION FOR WHICH SALARY GRADES ARE PROVIDED IN THE ACT ENTITLED " AN ACT TO RECLASSIFY THE SALARIES OF POSTMASTERS, OFFICERS, AND EMPLOYEES OF THE POSTAL SERVICE; TO ESTABLISH UNIFORM PROCEDURES FOR COMPUTING COMPENSATION; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," APPROVED JULY 6, 1945, AND WHO TRANSFERS OR IS TRANSFERRED FROM SUCH POSITION TO ANY OTHER POSITION IN THE POSTAL SERVICE FOR WHICH SALARY GRADES ARE PROVIDED BY SUCH ACT, SHALL, FOR PURPOSES OF ESTABLISHING ELIGIBILITY FOR PROMOTION IN THE POSITION TO WHICH HE TRANSFERS OR IS TRANSFERRED, (1) IN THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE IN A POSITION FOR WHICH AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS ARE PROVIDED, BE CREDITED WITH ALL SATISFACTORY SERVICE SINCE HIS LAST AUTOMATIC PROMOTION AND (2) IN THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE IN A POSITION FOR WHICH AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS ARE NOT PROVIDED, BE CREDITED WITH ALL SATISFACTORY SERVICE PERFORMED IN SUCH POSITION.

SEC. 2. ANY SUCH EMPLOYEE SHALL BE ELIGIBLE FOR PROMOTION WITHIN THE SALARY GRADES OF HIS NEW POSITION AFTER COMPLETING AN AMOUNT OF SERVICE IN SUCH POSITION, WHICH WHEN ADDED TO THE PRIOR SERVICE FOR WHICH CREDIT IS PROVIDED BY THE FIRST SECTION OF THIS ACT, GIVES SUCH EMPLOYEE SUFFICIENT SERVICE FOR PROMOTION IN HIS NEW POSITION.

WHILE PUBLIC LAW 674 AUTHORIZES THE COUNTING OF CERTAIN SERVICE FOR PROMOTION PURPOSES UPON TRANSFER FROM ONE POSITION TO ANOTHER WITHIN THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE, NO EXPRESS LANGUAGE IS CONTAINED IN THAT ACT AUTHORIZING UPON SUCH A TRANSFER AN IMMEDIATE PROMOTION BASED UPON PRIOR SERVICE. MOREOVER, THERE HAS BEEN FOUND NOTHING SPECIFIC IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY IN THAT ACT WHICH WOULD CLARIFY THE MATTER. HOWEVER, THE PURPOSE OF PUBLIC LAW 674 AS DISCLOSED BY SENATE REPORT NO. 1921 ON S. 1082, DATED MAY 11, 1948 (SEE PAGE 2), IS "TO ENABLE EMPLOYEES IN THE FIELD POSTAL SERVICE, WHEN TRANSFERRED FROM ONE POSITION TO ANOTHER, TO RECEIVE CREDIT TOWARD SALARY ADVANCEMENT FOR SERVICE ACCUMULATED SINCE THEIR LAST ADVANCEMENT.' CONSTRUING SECTIONS 1 AND 2 OF PUBLIC LAW 674, 62 STAT. 484, CONSISTENTLY WITH THE PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION, IT REASONABLY MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT THE LAW CONTEMPLATES THAT WHERE UPON TRANSFER BETWEEN POSITIONS IN THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE AN EMPLOYEE IS CREDITED WITH SUFFICIENT SERVICE TO ENTITLE HIM TO A PROMOTION, SUCH PROMOTION SHOULD BE MADE EFFECTIVE AT THE DATE OF TRANSFER. ANY EXCESS SERVICE, OR SERVICE THAT IS INSUFFICIENT TO ENTITLE AN EMPLOYEE TO A PROMOTION IMMEDIATELY UPON TRANSFER, SHALL REMAIN TO HIS CREDIT IN THE NEW POSITION AND COUNT TOWARD THE REQUIRED SERVICE FOR HIS NEXT AUTOMATIC PROMOTION. ACCORDINGLY, MY VIEW IS--- AND I SO HOLD--- THAT THE ACTION TAKEN IN PROMOTING THE EMPLOYEE TO GRADE 4 EFFECTIVE UPON THE DATE OF HIS TRANSFER TO THE POSITION OF FIREMAN-LABORER NOT ONLY WAS CORRECT, BUT WAS REQUIRED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 674.