B-12873, OCTOBER 24, 1940, 20 COMP. GEN. 209

B-12873: Oct 24, 1940

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1940: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 11. AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH A COMMUNICATION OF OCTOBER 1. IN WHICH YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED CONCERNING THE METHOD OF HANDLING REIMBURSEMENT TO THE UNITED STATES BY AN EMPLOYEE ON JURY DUTY IN CASES WHERE THE JURY SERVICE FEE EXCEEDS THE REGULAR DAILY RATE OF COMPENSATION PAID TO THE EMPLOYEE BY THE UNITED STATES. YOUR EARLY DECISION IN THIS MATTER WILL BE APPRECIATED. AN EMPLOYEE EXCUSED FROM WORK AS BEING ON JURY DUTY IS NOT CHARGED WITH ANNUAL LEAVE. THIS EMPLOYEE IS A LABORER AT $2.40 PER DAY. THE STATE OF TEXAS JURY SERVICE FEE IN THE COUNTY IN WHICH THIS EMPLOYEE SERVED ON JURY DUTY IS $3.00 PER DAY. THEREFORE THE JURY SERVICE FEE IS GREATER THAN THE DAILY RATE OF COMPENSATION OF THE EMPLOYEE.

B-12873, OCTOBER 24, 1940, 20 COMP. GEN. 209

COMPENSATION - DEDUCTIONS - FEES RECEIVED BY FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AS JURORS IN STATE COURTS SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1940, PROVIDING THAT THERE SHALL BE CREDITED AGAINST COMPENSATION PAYABLE TO A FEDERAL EMPLOYEE FOR PERIODS OF ABSENCE ON ACCOUNT OF JURY SERVICE IN STATE COURTS ANY AMOUNTS RECEIVED FOR SUCH SERVICE, DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT THE COLLECTION OR DEDUCTION ON ACCOUNT OF JURY FEES RECEIVED BY AN EMPLOYEE EXCEED THE COMPENSATION OTHERWISE PAYABLE TO HIM FOR THE PERIOD OF HIS ABSENCE ON ACCOUNT OF JURY SERVICE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, OCTOBER 24, 1940:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 11, 1940, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH A COMMUNICATION OF OCTOBER 1, 1940, FROM THE ACTING COMMISSIONER, INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY COMMISSION, UNITED STATES AND MEXICO, EL PASO, TEXAS, IN WHICH YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED CONCERNING THE METHOD OF HANDLING REIMBURSEMENT TO THE UNITED STATES BY AN EMPLOYEE ON JURY DUTY IN CASES WHERE THE JURY SERVICE FEE EXCEEDS THE REGULAR DAILY RATE OF COMPENSATION PAID TO THE EMPLOYEE BY THE UNITED STATES.

YOUR EARLY DECISION IN THIS MATTER WILL BE APPRECIATED.

THE LETTER DATED OCTOBER 1, 1940, FROM THE ACTING COMMISSIONER, INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY COMMISSION, UNITED STATES AND MEXICO, TO YOU, READS AS FOLLOWS:

A REGULAR EMPLOYEE OF THIS COMMISSION HAS BEEN SUMMONED TO JURY DUTY AND UNDER PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC, NO. 676, 76TH CONGRESS, APPROVED JUNE 29, 1940, AN EMPLOYEE EXCUSED FROM WORK AS BEING ON JURY DUTY IS NOT CHARGED WITH ANNUAL LEAVE. HOWEVER, A QUESTION ARISES AS TO THE APPLICATION OF SECTION 3 OF THIS ACT.

THIS EMPLOYEE IS A LABORER AT $2.40 PER DAY. THE STATE OF TEXAS JURY SERVICE FEE IN THE COUNTY IN WHICH THIS EMPLOYEE SERVED ON JURY DUTY IS $3.00 PER DAY. THEREFORE THE JURY SERVICE FEE IS GREATER THAN THE DAILY RATE OF COMPENSATION OF THE EMPLOYEE. AS A RESULT THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ARE PROPOUNDED FOR YOUR DECISION:

1. SHOULD $3.00 PER DAY BE DEDUCTED FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S COMPENSATION ON THE PAY ROLL AS THE RESULT OF JURY SERVICE?

2. IF YOUR ANSWER TO THE FIRST QUESTION IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE AND AN EMPLOYEE SHOULD SERVE ON THE JURY FOR 12 DAYS DURING THE PAY ROLL PERIOD AND WOULD BE ENTITLED TO 12 DAYS' PAY FOR THE SAME PERIOD, THE AMOUNT OF DEDUCTION WOULD BE GREATER THAN THE SALARY EARNED. SHOULD THE EMPLOYEE BE REQUIRED TO REFUND THE DIFFERENCE, OR SHOULD A PAY-ROLL DEDUCTION BE MADE ON THE NEXT SUBSEQUENT PAY ROLL FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT RECEIVED FROM THE STATE FOR JURY SERVICE AND THE AMOUNT OF PAY EARNED IN HIS REGULAR POSITION DURING THE PERIOD OF JURY SERVICE?

IN THE PRESENT CASE, IN ORDER THAT THE PAY OF THE EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE HELD UP PENDING THE DECISION FROM YOUR OFFICE, THE TOTAL AMOUNT HE RECEIVED FROM THE STATE FOR JURY SERVICE WILL BE DEDUCTED, EVEN THOUGH FOR THOSE DAYS HE SERVED HE RECEIVED FROM THE STATE MORE THAN HE EARNED IN HIS EMPLOYMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT.

A PROMPT DECISION WILL BE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED AS THERE ARE OTHER CASES THAT WILL PROBABLY COME UP DURING THIS MONTH.

THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1940, 54 STAT. 689, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THAT THE COMPENSATION OF ANY EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES OR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHO MAY BE CALLED UPON FOR JURY SERVICE IN ANY STATE COURT OR COURT OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL NOT BE DIMINISHED DURING THE TERM OF SUCH JURY SERVICE BY REASON OF SUCH ABSENCE, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 3, NOR SHALL SUCH PERIOD OF SERVICE BE DEDUCTED FROM THE TIME ALLOWED FOR ANY LEAVE OF ABSENCE AUTHORIZED BY LAW.

SEC. 2. ANY EMPLOYEE SPECIFIED IN SECTION 1 WHO MAY BE CALLED UPON FOR JURY SERVICE IN ANY COURT OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL NOT RECEIVE ANY COMPENSATION FOR SUCH SERVICE.

SEC. 3. THERE SHALL BE CREDITED AGAINST THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE BY THE UNITED STATES TO ANY EMPLOYEE SPECIFIED IN SECTION 1 FOR SUCH PERIOD AS SUCH EMPLOYEE MAY BE ABSENT ON ACCOUNT OF JURY SERVICE IN THE COURT OF ANY STATE ANY AMOUNTS WHICH SUCH EMPLOYEE MAY RECEIVE FROM SUCH STATE ON ACCOUNT OF SUCH JURY SERVICE.

THE PLAIN PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THE STATUTE IS THAT AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL NOT BE DEPRIVED OF EITHER HIS REGULAR COMPENSATION OR ANY LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITH PAY FOR THE TIME HE IS ABSENT FROM DUTY ON ACCOUNT OF JURY SERVICE. SECTION 3 OF THE STATUTE, PROVIDING THAT THERE SHALL BE CREDITED AGAINST THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE FOR SUCH PERIOD AS THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE ABSENT ON ACCOUNT OF JURY SERVICE ANY AMOUNTS RECEIVED FROM THE STATE FOR JURY SERVICE, EVIDENTLY DID NOT CONTEMPLATE THAT THE UNITED STATES SHOULD, IN ANY CASE, REALIZE A PROFIT FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S SERVICE ON A JURY IN A STATE COURT. THE REASONABLE INTENDMENT IS THAT THE UNITED STATES SHALL BE MADE WHOLE INSOFAR AS POSSIBLE WITH RESPECT TO THE COMPENSATION PAYABLE TO THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE PERIOD OF HIS ABSENCE FROM HIS REGULAR DUTY BY CREDITING AGAINST SUCH COMPENSATION ALL, OR SO MUCH AS MAY BE NECESSARY, OF THE JURY FEES PAID TO THE EMPLOYEE BY THE STATE. TO HOLD OTHERWISE WOULD RESULT, IN THE CASE PRESENTED IN YOUR SUBMISSION, IN THE COLLECTING OR CREDITING BY THE UNITED STATES OF AN AMOUNT ON ACCOUNT OF JURY FEES TO COVER THE COMPENSATION OF THE EMPLOYEE FOR A LONGER PERIOD THAN THE EMPLOYEE WAS ABSENT ON JURY DUTY. THIS IS NOT REQUIRED OR AUTHORIZED UNDER THE STATUTE. QUESTION 1 IS ANSWERED BY STATING THAT IN NO CASE SHOULD THE AMOUNT COLLECTED OR DEDUCTED ON ACCOUNT OF JURY FEES RECEIVED BY THE EMPLOYEE EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF SALARY OR COMPENSATION OTHERWISE PAYABLE TO THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE PERIOD OF HIS ABSENCE ON ACCOUNT OF JURY SERVICE. THIS ANSWER TO QUESTION 1 MAKES IT UNNECESSARY TO ANSWER QUESTION 2.