B-132824, AUG. 27, 1957

B-132824: Aug 27, 1957

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IS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE SALARY RATE OF THE FIRST LONGEVITY STEP OF THE GRADE TO WHICH HE HAS BEEN PROMOTED UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER DESCRIBED. OUR UNDERSTANDING IS THAT ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SECTION 103 (A) OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 1. THE EMPLOYEE WAS SERVING IN GRADE GS-13 AT $9. HE WAS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR A LONGEVITY STEP INCREASE IN GRADE GS-13. HIS GRADE WAS CHANGED FROM GS-13. THE EMPLOYEE WAS PROMOTED TO GRADE GS-12. EACH DEPARTMENT SHALL GRANT AN ADDITIONAL STEP INCREASE (TO BE KNOWN AS A LONGEVITY STEP-INCREASE) BEYOND THE MAXIMUM SCHEDULED RATE OF THE GRADE IN WHICH HIS POSITION IS PLACED. TO EACH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE FOR EACH THREE YEARS OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE COMPLETED BY HIM AT SUCH MAXIMUM RATE OR AT A RATE IN EXCESS THEREOF AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION WITHOUT INCREASE IN GRADE OR RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION EXCEPT SUCH INCREASE AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY ANY PROVISIONS OF LAW OF GENERAL APPLICATION. * * *" YOUR DEPARTMENT IS CONCERNED WITH WHETHER THE FACT THAT THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY DID NOT RECEIVE THIS SALARY OF THE LONGEVITY STEP OF GRADE GS-12 SHOULD SERVE TO DEPRIVE HIM OF ELIGIBILITY FOR SUCH STEP UPON SUBSEQUENT PROMOTION TO THAT GRADE WHICH HE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED HAD HE BEEN CHANGED ORIGINALLY FROM GS-13 TO GS-12 INSTEAD OF FROM GS-13 TO GS-11.

B-132824, AUG. 27, 1957

TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE:

ON AUGUST 1, 1957, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, ADMINISTRATION, REQUESTED OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE OF YOUR DEPARTMENT, IS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE SALARY RATE OF THE FIRST LONGEVITY STEP OF THE GRADE TO WHICH HE HAS BEEN PROMOTED UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER DESCRIBED.

OUR UNDERSTANDING IS THAT ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SECTION 103 (A) OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1954, 68 STAT. 1105 (5 U.S.C. 1124, PUBLIC LAW 763, 83D CONGRESS), THE EMPLOYEE WAS SERVING IN GRADE GS-13 AT $9,360 PER ANNUM. HE WAS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR A LONGEVITY STEP INCREASE IN GRADE GS-13, BUT HAD SERVED AN AGGREGATE OF 10 YEARS OR MORE IN GRADE GS-12 AND HAD COMPLETED THREE CONSECUTIVE YEARS AT THE MAXIMUM SCHEDULED RATE OF GS-12, A PERIOD FROM DECEMBER 18, 1947, TO MARCH 17, 1951. ON NOVEMBER 27, 1954, HIS GRADE WAS CHANGED FROM GS-13, TO GRADE GS-11, AT $6,940 PER YEAR, THE MAXIMUM SCHEDULED RATE OF THAT GRADE. ON DECEMBER 5, 1954, HE ADVANCED TO THE FIRST LONGEVITY STEP OF GS-11, ON THE BASIS OF HIS HAVING SERVED AN AGGREGATE OF MORE THAN 10 YEARS AT GRADES HIGHER THAN GS-11 AND ON THE BASIS OF HIS HAVING SERVED AT THE MAXIMUM SCHEDULED RATE OF GS-12 FOR THE AFORESAID PERIOD FROM DECEMBER 18, 1947, TO MARCH 17, 1951.

ON MAY 5, 1957, THE EMPLOYEE WAS PROMOTED TO GRADE GS-12, AT THE MAXIMUM SCHEDULED RATE OF THAT GRADE. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY NOW RAISES THE QUESTION AS TO THE EMPLOYEE'S ELIGIBILITY FOR THE FIRST LONGEVITY STEP OF GRADE GS-12 SINCE HE PREVIOUSLY HAD COMPLETED AN AGGREGATE OF 10 YEARS OF SERVICE IN THAT GRADE OR A HIGHER GRADE AND HAD RENDERED THREE YEARS OF SERVICE AT THE MAXIMUM SCHEDULED SALARY RATE OF GS-12.

SECTION 703 (A) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED (5 U.S.C. 1123), PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"SUBJECT TO SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION, AND AS A REWARD FOR LONG AND FAITHFUL SERVICE, EACH DEPARTMENT SHALL GRANT AN ADDITIONAL STEP INCREASE (TO BE KNOWN AS A LONGEVITY STEP-INCREASE) BEYOND THE MAXIMUM SCHEDULED RATE OF THE GRADE IN WHICH HIS POSITION IS PLACED, TO EACH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE FOR EACH THREE YEARS OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE COMPLETED BY HIM AT SUCH MAXIMUM RATE OR AT A RATE IN EXCESS THEREOF AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION WITHOUT INCREASE IN GRADE OR RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION EXCEPT SUCH INCREASE AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY ANY PROVISIONS OF LAW OF GENERAL APPLICATION. * * *"

YOUR DEPARTMENT IS CONCERNED WITH WHETHER THE FACT THAT THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY DID NOT RECEIVE THIS SALARY OF THE LONGEVITY STEP OF GRADE GS-12 SHOULD SERVE TO DEPRIVE HIM OF ELIGIBILITY FOR SUCH STEP UPON SUBSEQUENT PROMOTION TO THAT GRADE WHICH HE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED HAD HE BEEN CHANGED ORIGINALLY FROM GS-13 TO GS-12 INSTEAD OF FROM GS-13 TO GS-11. YOU ASK OUR ADVICE AS TO WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE PAID A LONGEVITY STEP OF THE GRADE TO WHICH HE IS PROMOTED BASED ON HIS HAVING PREVIOUSLY COMPLETED ALL REQUIREMENTS FOR ELIGIBILITY FOR A LONGEVITY STEP INCREASE IN THE HIGHER GRADE.

THE PRINCIPAL CONDITIONS FOR ENTITLEMENT TO LONGEVITY STEP INCREASES SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH 703 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED (5 U.S.C. 1123), ARE THAT AN EMPLOYEE HAS SERVED A 10-YEAR AGGREGATE PERIOD AT THE SAME OR HIGHER GRADE AND THAT HE HAS COMPLETED THREE YEARS OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE AT THE MAXIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE. OUR OPINION IS THAT THE FAILURE OF THE EMPLOYEE TO HAVE RECEIVED A SALARY OF THE LONGEVITY STEP OF GRADE GS-12 DOES NOT OPERATE TO PREVENT ADJUSTING HIS SALARY NOW TO THE FIRST LONGEVITY STEP OF GRADE GS-12, NOTWITHSTANDING THE SAME SERVICE CREDIT WAS USED TO GRANT THE LONGEVITY IN GS-11. SEE B-132206, AUGUST 23, 1957, QUESTION 1 AND ANSWER THERETO.

THEREFORE, OUR OPINION IS THAT THE EMPLOYEE IS PRESENTLY ENTITLED TO BE PAID THE RATE OF THE FIRST LONGEVITY STEP OF GRADE GS-12.