B-127849, JUN. 12, 1956

B-127849: Jun 12, 1956

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FOR OVERTIME SERVICES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN PERFORMED BY YOU AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE POSTAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE. WERE UTILIZED IN STUDYING FOR AN EXAMINATION YOU WERE ADMINISTRATIVELY ORDERED TO TAKE IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR DUTIES AS DISTRIBUTION CLERK. THERE IS NO SUCH REQUIREMENT UNDER THE ACT FOR A LEVEL 4 CLERK. IT IS CONTENDED BY YOU THAT THE HOURS YOU SPENT IN PREPARATION FOR THE EXAMINATION. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED ON THE BASIS OF A REPORT FROM THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT ADVISING THAT IT IS THE POLICY OF THE DEPARTMENT TO REQUIRE SUCH PERIODIC EXAMINATIONS FOR THE EFFICIENT OPERATION OF THE SERVICE. BECAUSE NO ORDERS WERE ISSUED AUTHORIZING OVERTIME FOR THE PURPOSE OF PREPARING FOR YOUR EXAMINATION.

B-127849, JUN. 12, 1956

TO MR. EDWARD CARLSON:

YOUR RECENT LETTER REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 16, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $315.18, FOR OVERTIME SERVICES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN PERFORMED BY YOU AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE POSTAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE, ST. PAUL TERMINAL, MINNESOTA, DURING THE PERIOD DECEMBER 12, 1955, TO JANUARY 9, 1956.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE AMOUNT CLAIMED REPRESENTS 102 HOURS WHICH, YOU SAY, WERE UTILIZED IN STUDYING FOR AN EXAMINATION YOU WERE ADMINISTRATIVELY ORDERED TO TAKE IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR DUTIES AS DISTRIBUTION CLERK, LEVEL 4, AT THE ABOVE INSTALLATION. IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CLAIM YOU STATED THAT WHILE UNDER THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE COMPENSATION ACT OF 1955, 69 STAT. 88 (PUBLIC LAW 68), A DISTRIBUTION CLERK, LEVEL 5, MUST QUALIFY THROUGH EXAMINATION PERIODICALLY ON KNOWLEDGE OF DISTRIBUTION SCHEMES, THERE IS NO SUCH REQUIREMENT UNDER THE ACT FOR A LEVEL 4 CLERK, SUCH AS YOURSELF. IN VIEW THEREOF, IT IS CONTENDED BY YOU THAT THE HOURS YOU SPENT IN PREPARATION FOR THE EXAMINATION--- PERFORMED ON YOUR OWN TIME--- CONSTITUTE OVERTIME UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 201 OF PUBLIC LAW 763, 68 STAT. 1109, WHICH AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF OVERTIME FOR HOURS OF WORK OFFICIALLY ORDERED OR APPROVED IN EXCESS OF 40 HOURS IN ANY ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEK.

IN OUR SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 16, 1956, THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED ON THE BASIS OF A REPORT FROM THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT ADVISING THAT IT IS THE POLICY OF THE DEPARTMENT TO REQUIRE SUCH PERIODIC EXAMINATIONS FOR THE EFFICIENT OPERATION OF THE SERVICE,AND BECAUSE NO ORDERS WERE ISSUED AUTHORIZING OVERTIME FOR THE PURPOSE OF PREPARING FOR YOUR EXAMINATION.

IN REQUESTING REVIEW, YOU SAY, IN EFFECT, THAT SINCE YOU WERE ORDERED TO TAKE THE EXAMINATION, AND NO TIME WAS PROVIDED FOR YOU TO STUDY FOR IT DURING YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED DUTY HOURS, YOU WERE THEREFORE QUALIFIED FOR OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR THE PERIOD OF PREPARATION UNDER SECTION 201 OF THE ABOVE PUBLIC LAW 763. YOU ALSO QUESTION THE AUTHORITY OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT TO REQUIRE SUCH EXAMINATIONS OF DISTRIBUTION CLERKS IN LEVEL 4.

YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE OVERTIME PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 763, AMENDING THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO EMPLOYEES IN THE FIELD SERVICE OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. THE AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION TO SUCH EMPLOYEES IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 603 OF THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE COMPENSATION ACT OF 1955, 69 STAT. 125, THE PROVISIONS OF WHICH ARE AS FOLLOWS:

"SEC. 603. IN EMERGENCIES OR IF THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE REQUIRE, THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MAY REQUIRE EMPLOYEES TO WORK MORE THAN EIGHT HOURS IN ONE DAY, OR ON SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS, OR HOLIDAYS. FOR SUCH SERVICE HE SHALL GRANT EMPLOYEES IN THE "PFS" SCHEDULE COMPENSATORY TIME OR PAY SUCH EMPLOYEES OVERTIME COMPENSATION UNDER THE FOLLOWING RULES:

"/1) EACH EMPLOYEE IN OR BELOW SALARY LEVEL PFS-7 SHALL BE PAID FOR ALL WORK IN EXCESS OF EIGHT HOURS IN ONE DAY AT THE RATE OF 150 PER CENTUM OF HIS HOURLY BASIC COMPENSATION.'

THE CITED SECTION 603 CONTEMPLATES THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL POST OFFICE WORK IN THE POSITION IN WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS SERVING. THE HOURS STATED BY YOU TO HAVE BEEN SPENT IN PREPARING FOR YOUR EXAMINATION MAY NOT BE CONSTRUED AS THE PERFORMANCE OF THE DUTIES OF YOUR POSITION WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE SAID PROVISIONS OF LAW. HENCE, THERE EXISTS NO LEGAL BASIS TO REGARD THEM AS OVERTIME.

ACCORDINGLY, OUR SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 16, 1956, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM FOR OVERTIME MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.