B-13970, JANUARY 28, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 411

B-13970: Jan 28, 1941

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

ARE NOT TO BE REGARDED AS "REGULAR EMPLOYEES. UNLESS AND UNTIL THEY HAVE SERVED SIX MONTHS AS SUCH INDEFINITE EMPLOYEES. FIELD EMPLOYEES ARE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION AS STIPULATED IN THE PER DIEM. FOR "ANY DAY ON WHICH THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE CLOSED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER. 1941: REFERENCE IS MADE TO DECISION ADDRESSED TO YOU BY THE FORMER COMPTROLLER GENERAL UNDER DATE OF OCTOBER 9. THE DECISION IS. READS IN PART: "THAT HEREAFTER WHENEVER REGULAR EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED AT A RATE PER DAY. OR ON A PIECE- WORK BASIS ARE RELIEVED OR PREVENTED FROM WORKING SOLELY BECAUSE OF THE OCCURRENCE OF A HOLIDAY SUCH AS NEW YEAR'S DAY.

B-13970, JANUARY 28, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 411

SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS - HOLIDAYS - COMPENSATION - PER DIEM, ETC., EMPLOYEES "INDEFINITE EMPLOYEES," AS DEFINED IN THE UNIFORM ANNUAL LEAVE REGULATIONS, ARE NOT TO BE REGARDED AS "REGULAR EMPLOYEES, ENTITLED TO HOLIDAY COMPENSATION UNDER THE PER DIEM, ETC., EMPLOYEES HOLIDAY PAY STATUTE OF JUNE 29, 1938, UNLESS AND UNTIL THEY HAVE SERVED SIX MONTHS AS SUCH INDEFINITE EMPLOYEES, BUT THEREAFTER SO LONG AS SUCH STATUS CONTINUES, THEY MAY BE ALLOWED HOLIDAY COMPENSATION TO WHICH THEY MAY BE OTHERWISE ENTITLED UNDER THE STATUTE, ALTHOUGH THEY MAY NOT ACTUALLY WORK AND BE IN A PAY STATUS ON ALL WORK DAYS IN THE MONTH PRECEDING THE HOLIDAY. 19 COMP. GEN. 426, AMPLIFIED. FIELD EMPLOYEES ARE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION AS STIPULATED IN THE PER DIEM, ETC., EMPLOYEES HOLIDAY PAY STATUTE OF JUNE 29, 1938, FOR "ANY DAY ON WHICH THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE CLOSED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER," EVEN THOUGH THE EXECUTIVE ORDER CLOSING THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS, AND, WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS, EXCUSING ALL EMPLOYEES, INCLUDING FIELD EMPLOYEES, DOES NOT EXPRESSLY DIRECT THAT THE FIELD OFFICES AND AGENCIES OF SUCH DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS SHALL BE "CLOSED" THAT DAY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JANUARY 28, 1941:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO DECISION ADDRESSED TO YOU BY THE FORMER COMPTROLLER GENERAL UNDER DATE OF OCTOBER 9, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 426, CONCERNING THE ALLOWANCES OF HOLIDAY PAY, UNDER THE HOLIDAY COMPENSATION ACT OF JUNE 29, 1938, 52 STAT. 1246, TO EMPLOYEES APPOINTED AND PAID ON THE BASIS OF ,WHEN ACTUALLY EMPLOYED.' THE DECISION IS, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1938, 52 STAT. 1246, READS IN PART:

"THAT HEREAFTER WHENEVER REGULAR EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED AT A RATE PER DAY, PER HOUR, OR ON A PIECE- WORK BASIS ARE RELIEVED OR PREVENTED FROM WORKING SOLELY BECAUSE OF THE OCCURRENCE OF A HOLIDAY SUCH AS NEW YEAR'S DAY, WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY, MEMORIAL DAY, FOURTH OF JULY, LABOR DAY, THANKSGIVING DAY, CHRISTMAS DAY, OR ANY OTHER DAY DECLARED A HOLIDAY BY FEDERAL STATUTE OR EXECUTIVE ORDER, OR ANY DAY ON WHICH THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE CLOSED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER, THEY SHALL RECEIVE THE SAME PAY FOR SUCH DAYS AS FOR OTHER DAYS ON WHICH AN ORDINARY DAY'S WORK IS PERFORMED.'

WHO MAY BE A REGULAR EMPLOYEE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WITH COMPENSATION FIXED AS SPECIFIED IN THE STATUTE, DEPENDS UPON ALL THE FACTS WITH RESPECT TO THE PURPOSE, NATURE, TENURE, AND/OR DURATION OF HIS EMPLOYMENT. GENERALLY, AS STATED IN THE DECISION FROM WHICH YOU QUOTE (B- 1415, MARCH 6, 1939), ONE APPOINTED AND PAID ON THE BASIS OF "WHEN ACTUALLY EMPLOYED" DOES NOT HAVE THAT STATUS (REGULAR EMPLOYEE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT) FOR THE REASON SUCH TERM IS ORDINARILY DESCRIPTIVE OF A DAY-TO-DAY WORKER WHO IS NOT REQUIRED TO SERVE FOR CONTINUOUS AND COMPARATIVELY INDEFINITE PERIODS, OR TO BE AT HAND FOR SERVICE IF NOT EXCUSED IN ADVANCE. * * *

ON THE OTHER HAND, YOUR LETTER INDICATES THAT SOME OF THESE PER DIEM EMPLOYEES MAY HAVE BEEN CONTINUOUSLY ON THE ROLLS FOR SEVERAL YEARS. ALSO, IT IS EVIDENT FROM THE BUREAU'S CIRCULAR LETTER OF AUGUST 19, 1937, THAT ANY WHO HAVE COMPLETED 5 YEARS' CONTINUOUS SERVICE ARE SUBJECT TO THE RETIREMENT ACT, WHICH, IT IS NOTED, INCLUDES ONLY "EMPLOYEES WHOSE TENURE OF EMPLOYMENT IS NOT INTERMITTENT NOR OF UNCERTAIN DURATION" (5 U.S.C. 693 (D) ). REFERENCE IS MADE IN THIS CONNECTION TO SECTION 1 (E), (5), AND 19 (F) OF THE UNIFORM ANNUAL LEAVE REGULATIONS ( E.O. 7845, MARCH 21, 1938), UNDER WHICH IT APPEARS THE EMPLOYEES HERE IN QUESTION ACCUMULATE ANNUAL LEAVE WHEN CONTINUOUSLY EMPLOYED FOR AT LEAST ONE MONTH, AND AS TO WHICH IT WAS SAID IN 17 COMP. GEN. 1017, AT PAGE 1019:

"* * * THE APPARENT PURPOSE OF THE DEFINITION OF INDEFINITE EMPLOYEES WAS PRIMARILY TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN EMPLOYEES WHO ARE REQUIRED TO BE AVAILABLE FOR DUTY DURING THE PERIOD OF THEIR INDEFINITE APPOINTMENTS ALTHOUGH PAID "ONLY WHEN ACTUALLY EMPLOYED," AND PART-TIME OR INTERMITTENT EMPLOYEES WHO ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BE AVAILABLE FOR DUTY EXCEPT DURING THE TIME THEY ACTUALLY WORK. * * *" SEE, ALSO, 18 COMP. GEN. 400, COPY OF WHICH WAS CIRCULATED BY THE BUREAU UNDER DATE OF DECEMBER 2, 1938. FURTHERMORE, IN 5 COMP. GEN. 312, CERTAIN PER DIEM EMPLOYEES OF THE FORMER RECLAMATION SERVICE WHO WERE PAID ONLY FOR THE DAYS THEY ACTUALLY WORKED WERE FOUND, BY REASON OF THEIR RELATIVELY CONTINUOUS SERVICE, TO BE ENTITLED TO HOLIDAY PAY UNDER THE STATUTES THEN IN FORCE, IT APPEARING THEY WERE "EMPLOYED PERMANENTLY AS DISTINGUISHED FROM EMPLOYMENT FROM DAY TO DAY OR FOR BRIEF, DEFINITE PERIODS" (CF. 3 COMP. GEN. 411).

BY ANALOGY, IT MAY BE CONCLUDED, THEREFORE, THAT PER DIEM EMPLOYEES, EVN THOUGH APPOINTED AND PAID "WHEN ACTUALLY EMPLOYED," WHO ARE ENGAGED FOR INDEFINITE PERIODS OR FOR PERIODS OF NOT LESS THAN 6 MONTHS, NOT INTERMITTENTLY AT THEIR OWN VOLITION, AND NOT INCLUDING "TEAMSTERS," ETC., REFERRED TO ABOVE, OR OTHERS IN SUCH STATUS, MAY FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE HOLIDAY STATUTE BE CONSIDERED "REGULAR EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT" AND RECEIVED THEIR REGULAR PAY FOR STATUTORY OR EXECUTIVE ORDER HOLIDAYS, WHETHER WORKING OR NOT, AND FOR ANY OTHER DAYS ON WHICH THEY ARE "RELIEVED OR PREVENTED FROM WORKING SOLELY BECAUSE OF THE OCCURRENCE OF * * * ANY DAY ON WHICH THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE CLOSED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER," PROVIDED SUCH EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN CONTINUOUSLY ON DUTY DURING THE 30 DAYS NEXT PRECEDING THE DAY IN QUESTION, AND PROVIDED ALL OTHER CONDITIONS OF THE STATUTE, HAVE BEEN MET. SEE DECISIONS IN 18 COMP. GEN. AT PAGES 186, 191, 206, 259, 378, 481, 575, AND 673; AND PARTICULARLY, DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 9, 1939, B- 5294, 19 COMP. GEN. 337. TO THE EXTENT, IF ANY, THAT THE PERSONNEL INVOLVED IN THE DECISION OF MARCH 6, 1939, B-1415, ARE EMBRACED UNDER THE CATEGORY OF "REGULAR EMPLOYEES" JUST DESCRIBED, THAT DECISION IS MODIFIED ACCORDINGLY. * * * ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

IT APPEARS IN CONNECTION WITH THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS SUBMITTED TO THIS OFFICE PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE DECISION THAT CERTAIN BUREAU OF RECLAMATION "INDEFINITE" EMPLOYEES WHO ARE REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN ON THE ROLLS FOR SEVERAL YEARS DID NOT WORK EVERY WORKDAY DURING THE THIRTY DAY PERIOD PRECEDING CERTAIN OF THE HOLIDAYS, DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER, CHANGE-OVER IN THE WORK, ABSENCE ON LEAVE, ETC., AND THE QUESTION HAS ARISEN AS TO WHETHER THIS PRECLUDES PAYMENT FOR THE PARTICULAR HOLIDAYS UNDER THE STATUTE.

THE STATUTE ALLOWS THE PAY TO "REGULAR" EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHO ARE RELIEVED OR PREVENTED FROM WORKING "SOLELY" BECAUSE OF THE OCCURRENCE OF A HOLIDAY, ETC. WHERE AN EMPLOYEE, THROUGH LENGTH OF SERVICE, PROPERLY MAY BE REGARDED AS A "REGULAR" EMPLOYEE WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE HOLIDAY STATUTE, EVEN THOUGH APPOINTED AND PAID ON THE BASIS OF "WHEN ACTUALLY EMPLOYED," IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT SUCH STATUS OF BEING A "REGULAR" EMPLOYEE IS NOT LOST OR AFFECTED MERELY BY ABSENCE FROM WORK, NOT AMOUNTING TO A TERMINATION OF THE EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP; AND THAT WHERE SUCH STATUS CONTINUES, THE EMPLOYEE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO PAY WHEN HE IS RELIEVED OR PREVENTED FROM WORKING "SOLELY" BECAUSE OF THE OCCURRENCE OF A HOLIDAY, AS PROVIDED IN THE STATUTE, EVEN THOUGH HE MAY NOT HAVE WORKED EVERY WORKDAY DURING THE 30 DAY PERIOD IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING SUCH HOLIDAY. SEE 2 COMP. GEN. 141. THE LANGUAGE IN THE DECISION, SUPRA,"PROVIDED SUCH EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN CONTINUOUSLY ON DUTY DURING THE 30 DAYS NEXT PRECEDING THE DAY IN QUESTION" IS, ACCORDINGLY, TO BE UNDERSTOOD AS USED IN THE GENERAL SENSE INDICATEDLY BY THE CITATION TO THE UNIFORM ANNUAL LEAVE REGULATIONS ( E.O. 7845, MARCH 21, 1938) DEFINING "INDEFINITE EMPLOYEES" AS THOSE APPOINTED FOR THE "DURATION OF THE JOB" AND THOSE WHO,"ALTHOUGH PAID ONLY WHEN ACTUALLY EMPLOYED, ARE CONTINUOUSLY EMPLOYED OR REQUIRED TO BE AVAILABLE FOR DUTY FOR A PERIOD OF NOT LESS THAN ONE NTH," AS DISTINGUISHED FROM PART-TIME OR INTERMITTENT EMPLOYEES. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

IT SHOULD BE POINTED OUT IN FURTHER CLARIFICATION OF THE MATTER, HOWEVER, THAT "INDEFINITE EMPLOYEES" AS DEFINED BY THE SAID LEAVE REGULATIONS ARE NOT PROPERLY TO BE REGARDED AS "REGULAR EMPLOYEES" OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE HOLIDAY STATUTE MERELY BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN CONTINUOUSLY EMPLOYED OR REQUIRED TO BE AVAILABLE FOR DUTY FOR A PERIOD OF NOT LESS THAN 1 MONTH BEFORE A PARTICULAR HOLIDAY. AS DEFINED IN THE LEAVE REGULATIONS, AN "INDEFINITE EMPLOYEE" MAY BE ONE APPOINTED FOR THE "DURATION OF THE JOB," WHICH MAY BE FOR ONLY SEVERAL DAYS OR SEVERAL WEEKS, OR ONE WHO MAY BE CONTINUOUSLY EMPLOYED OR REQUIRED TO BE AVAILABLE FOR DUTY FOR NO MORE THAN 1 MONTH. THE TERM "REGULAR EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT" AS USED IN THE HOLIDAY STATUTE CONNOTES A MORE PERMANENT TENURE OF EMPLOYMENT THAN IS INVOLVED IN SUCH DEFINITION OF ,INDEFINITE EMPLOYEES.' ON THE OTHER HAND, SUCH "INDEFINITE EMPLOYEES, MAY BE CONTINUED EMPLOYMENT IN SUCH STATUS SUPPLY THAT ELEMENT OF PERMANENCE IMPLICIT IN THE TERM "REGULAR" EMPLOYEE. THE SAID LEAVE REGULATIONS DEFINE "PERMANENT EMPLOYEES" AS THOSE "APPOINTED WITHOUT LIMITATION AS TO LENGTH OF SERVICE OR FOR DEFINITE PERIODS IN EXCESS OF 6 MONTHS," AND "TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES" AS THOSE ,APPOINTED FOR DEFINITE PERIODS OF TIME NOT EXCEEDING 6 MONTHS.' GENERALLY "PERMANENT EMPLOYEES," AS THUS DEFINED, BY REASON OF THEIR RELATIVELY PERMANENT TENURE, WOULD BE REGARDED AS "REGULAR EMPLOYEES" OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE HOLIDAY STATUTE, WHILE "TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES," BY REASON OF THEIR RELATIVELY TEMPORARY TENURE, WOULD NOT BE SO REGARDED. DUE TO VARIOUS CONTINGENCIES,"INDEFINITE EMPLOYEES," AS DEFINED IN THE REGULATIONS, MAY BE EMPLOYED FOR MORE THAN 6 MONTHS, AND MAY OR MAY NOT BE EXPECTED, OR EXPECT, TO WORK MORE THAN 6 MONTHS WHEN APPOINTED OR EMPLOYED. IN VIEW OF THEIR INDEFINITE STATUS AND QUESTIONABLE PERMANENCE, SUCH EMPLOYEES CANNOT REASONABLY BE REGARDED IMMEDIATELY UPON APPOINTMENT AS "REGULAR EMPLOYEES" WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF THE HOLIDAY STATUTE. HOWEVER, WHERE SUCH EMPLOYMENT IS ACTUALLY CONTINUED FOR AS MUCH AS 6 MONTHS, THE ELEMENT OF RELATIVE PERMANENCE--- FOLLOWING THE ANALOGY TO THE LEAVE REGULATIONS--- IS SUPPLIED, AND THEREAFTER SUCH EMPLOYEES GENERALLY MAY PROPERLY BE REGARDED AS ,REGULAR" EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE HOLIDAY STATUTE. APPLYING THESE PRINCIPLES, THE RESULTING GENERAL RULE IS THAT "INDEFINITE EMPLOYEES," AS DEFINED IN THE LEAVE REGULATIONS, ARE NOT TO BE REGARDED AS "REGULAR EMPLOYEES" ENTITLED TO HOLIDAY PAY UNDER THE SAID ACT OF JUNE 29, 1938, SUPRA, UNLESS AND UNTIL THEY HAVE SERVED NOT LESS THAN 6 MONTHS AS SUCH INDEFINITE EMPLOYEES, BUT THEREAFTER SO LONG AS SUCH STATUS CONTINUES, THEY MAY BE ALLOWED HOLIDAY PAY TO WHICH THEY MAY BE OTHERWISE ENTITLED UNDER THE STATUTE, ALTHOUGH THEY MAY NOT ACTUALLY WORK AND BE IN A PAY STATUS ON ALL WORK DAYS IN THE MONTH PRECEDING THE HOLIDAY.

ANOTHER QUESTION RAISED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SETTLEMENT OF THE PENDING CLAIMS, AND WHICH WAS INDICATED IN YOUR SUBMISSION OF AUGUST 23, 1939, BUT NOT CONSIDERED IN THE SAID DECISIONS OF OCTOBER 9, 1939, IS WHETHER FIELD EMPLOYEES ARE ENTITLED TO PAY AS STIPULATED IN THE HOLIDAY STATUTE FOR "ANY DAY ON WHICH THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE CLOSED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER," WHERE THE EXECUTIVE ORDER CLOSING THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS, AND, WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS, EXCUSING ALL EMPLOYEES, INCLUDING FIELD EMPLOYEES, FROM WORK ON A PARTICULAR DAY, DOES NOT EXPRESSLY DIRECT THAT THE FIELD OFFICES AND AGENCIES OF SUCH DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS SHALL BE "CLOSED" THAT DAY. FOR EXAMPLE, EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8183, JUNE 28, 1939, IS WORDED AS FOLLOWS:

EXECUTIVE ORDER

EXCUSING FEDERAL EMPLOYEES FROM DUTY ON JULY 3, 1939

BY VIRTUE OF THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:

1. THE SEVERAL EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS, AND OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, INCLUDING THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE AND THE NAVY YARD AND NAVAL STATIONS, SHALL BE CLOSED ALL DAY ON MONDAY, JULY 3, 1939, THE DAY PRECEDING INDEPENDENCE DAY; AND ALL EMPLOYEES IN THE FEDERAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND IN THE FIELD SERVICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS, AND OTHER AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT, EXCEPT THOSE WHO MAY FOR SPECIAL PUBLIC REASONS BE EXCLUDED FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ORDER BY THE HEADS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE DEPARTMENTS, ESTABLISHMENTS, OR AGENCIES, OR THOSE WHOSE ABSENCE FROM DUTY WOULD BE INCONSISTENT WITH THE PROVISIONS OF EXISTING LAW, SHALL BE EXCUSED FROM DUTY ON THAT DAY.

THIS IS THE USUAL AND REGULAR FORM OF SUCH EXECUTIVE ORDERS, FOLLOWED BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER THE ENACTMENT OF THE HOLIDAY STATUTE OF JUNE 29, 1938, HERE INVOLVED. SEE, FOR EXAMPLE, E.O. NO. 7763, DECEMBER 6, 1937; E.O. NO. 8022, DECEMBER 6, 1938; AND E.O. NO. 8613, DECEMBER 16, 1940. THE EXECUTIVE ORDER OF DECEMBER 6, 1937, FOLLOWING THIS FORM, WAS THE SUBJECT OF DECISION DATED DECEMBER 20, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 519, HOLDING--- WITH RESPECT TO PER DIEM FIELD EMPLOYEES OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT--- THAT PER DIEM EMPLOYEES WHO PERFORM NO SERVICE ON A DAY DECLARED A HOLIDAY BY EXECUTIVE ORDER ARE NOT ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION THEREFOR IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTE SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZING SUCH PAYMENT. APPARENTLY, IT WAS TO AMELIORATE THE SITUATION RESULTING FROM THAT DECISION, BY PROVIDING THE NECESSARY STATUTORY AUTHORITY, THAT THE HOLIDAY ACT OF JUNE 29, 1938, WAS ENACTED. SEE 19 COMP. GEN. 337. THE STATUTE DIRECTED THAT PAY SHOULD BE ALLOWED, INTER ALIA, WHERE THE SPECIFIED "REGULAR EMPLOYEES" ARE "RELIEVED OR PREVENTED FROM WORKING SOLELY BECAUSE OF THE OCCURRENCE OF * * * ANY DAY ON WHICH THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE CLOSED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER.' THE EXECUTIVE ORDERS BOTH PRIOR AND SUBSEQUENT TO THE ENACTMENT OF THE STATUTE HAVE PROVIDED THAT "THE SEVERAL EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS, AND OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, * * * SHALL BE CLOSED ALL DAY ON * * * AND ALL EMPLOYEES IN THE FEDERAL SERVICE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND IN THE FIELD SERVICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS, AND OTHER AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT, EXCEPT * * *, SHALL BE EXCUSED FROM DUTY ON THAT DAY.' WHILE THIS LANGUAGE DOES NOT EXPRESSLY DIRECT THE CLOSING OF FIELD OFFICES, NEVERTHELESS "THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE CLOSED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER" AS STIPULATED IN THE STATUTE, AND AS THE EFFECT OF EXCUSING ALL FIELD EMPLOYEES IS TO CLOSE THE FIELD OFFICES AND AGENCIES, ALTHOUGH NOT IN SO MANY WORDS DIRECTED TO BE CLOSED, I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT THE STATUTE INTENDS THAT FIELD EMPLOYEES, AS WELL AS EMPLOYEES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, SHALL BE ALLOWED PAY FOR SUCH DAYS, UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDERS SO PHRASED, IF OTHERWISE WITHIN THE TERMS OF THE STATUTE.

THE CLAIMS WILL BE SETTLED ON THE BASIS HEREIN STATED, AND THE MATTERS INVOLVED ARE BEING THUS BROUGHT TO YOUR ATTENTION TO CLARIFY THE PRIOR DECISION WITH RESPECT TO FUTURE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE IN SIMILAR CASES.