B-142404, JUL. 15, 1960

B-142404: Jul 15, 1960

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YOUR FIRST QUESTION CONCERNS "THE PROPRIETY OF CONTINUING DIFFERENTIAL PAYMENTS FOR PERIODS OF COMBINED LEAVE AND DETAIL IN EXCESS OF 42 DAYS WHEN AN EMPLOYEE'S ABSENCE FROM HIS POST OF DUTY IS ATTRIBUTABLE PARTIALLY TO A PERIOD OF DETAIL AND PARTIALLY TO ANNUAL LEAVE.'. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION HAS NO REGULATIONS SPECIFICALLY COVERING THE MATTER INVOLVED IN THIS QUESTION BUT SECTIONS 350.6 (B) (2) AND 350.6 (B) (3) EACH CONCERN THE MATTER AND ARE INTENDED TO BE READ TOGETHER. SINCE THE DIFFERENTIALS THEREUNDER ARE PAYABLE FOR ALL PERIODS OF LEAVE BUT ARE PAYABLE ONLY FOR THE "FIRST 42 CONSECUTIVE CALENDAR DAYS ON DETAIL. " THE PRIMARY PROBLEM IS CONCERNED WITH DETERMINING THE BEGINNING DATE OF THE "DETAIL" AS DEFINED IN SECTION 350.1 (G).

B-142404, JUL. 15, 1960

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 25, 1960, PRESENTS, FOR OUR COMMENTS, QUESTIONS CONCERNING YOUR PROPOSED AGENCY INSTRUCTIONS GOVERNING THE PAYMENT OF TERRITORIAL POST DIFFERENTIALS AND COST-OF-LIVING ALLOWANCES, UNDER PART 350 OF THE FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. AS INDICATED IN OUR PRIOR CORRESPONDENCE WITH YOU WE REQUESTED THE VIEWS OF THE COMMISSION CONCERNING THIS MATTER. THE REPORT HAS BEEN RECEIVED AND CONSIDERED IN ARRIVING AT THE CONCLUSIONS HEREINAFTER STATED.

YOUR FIRST QUESTION CONCERNS "THE PROPRIETY OF CONTINUING DIFFERENTIAL PAYMENTS FOR PERIODS OF COMBINED LEAVE AND DETAIL IN EXCESS OF 42 DAYS WHEN AN EMPLOYEE'S ABSENCE FROM HIS POST OF DUTY IS ATTRIBUTABLE PARTIALLY TO A PERIOD OF DETAIL AND PARTIALLY TO ANNUAL LEAVE.' THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION HAS NO REGULATIONS SPECIFICALLY COVERING THE MATTER INVOLVED IN THIS QUESTION BUT SECTIONS 350.6 (B) (2) AND 350.6 (B) (3) EACH CONCERN THE MATTER AND ARE INTENDED TO BE READ TOGETHER. SINCE THE DIFFERENTIALS THEREUNDER ARE PAYABLE FOR ALL PERIODS OF LEAVE BUT ARE PAYABLE ONLY FOR THE "FIRST 42 CONSECUTIVE CALENDAR DAYS ON DETAIL," THE PRIMARY PROBLEM IS CONCERNED WITH DETERMINING THE BEGINNING DATE OF THE "DETAIL" AS DEFINED IN SECTION 350.1 (G). ONCE THIS BEGINNING DATE IS DETERMINED THE 42-DAY LIMITATION BEGINS TO RUN.

IN MAKING THIS DETERMINATION, IT APPEARS THAT THERE ARE 3 BASIC KINDS OF SITUATIONS THAT ARE LIKELY TO ARISE. THE FIRST OCCURS WHEN THE EMPLOYEE LEAVES HIS POST OF REGULAR ASSIGNMENT ON DETAIL AND THIS PERIOD OF DETAIL IS FOLLOWED BY A PERIOD OF LEAVE. WHEN THE EMPLOYEE LEAVES HIS POST ON THE DETAIL, WITHOUT ADVANCE APPROVAL FOR A PERIOD OF LEAVE TO BE TAKEN BY THE EMPLOYEE PRIOR TO BEGINNING THE DETAIL, THE 42-DAY LIMITATION BEGINS WITH THE EMPLOYEE'S FIRST DAY OF ABSENCE FROM HIS POST OF REGULAR ASSIGNMENT. THE SECOND SITUATION ARISES WHEN THE EMPLOYEE DEPARTS FROM HIS POST ON LEAVE AND THIS PERIOD OF LEAVE IS FOLLOWED BY A PERIOD OF DETAIL. WHEN THE EMPLOYEE DEPARTS FROM HIS POST ON LEAVE, WITH ADVANCE APPROVAL FOR THE PERIOD OF LEAVE TO BE TAKEN BY THE EMPLOYEE PRIOR TO BEGINNING HIS DETAIL, THE 42-DAY LIMITATION BEGINS WITH THE EMPLOYEE'S FIRST DAY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DETAIL. THE THIRD SITUATION OCCURS WHEN A PERIOD OF LEAVE IS TAKEN "DURING THE PERIOD OF DETAIL" OR "BETWEEN TWO PERIODS OF DETAIL.' THE PERIOD OF LEAVE DOES NOT INTERRUPT THE PERIOD OF DETAIL AND WILL NOT EXTEND THE 42-DAY LIMITATION ON THE PAYMENT OF DIFFERENTIAL. THUS, IN THE THIRD SITUATION THE PERIOD OF LEAVE IS INCLUDED IN THE COMPUTATION OF THE 42-DAY PERIOD.

TRANSIT TIME IS CHARGEABLE ON THE BASIS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S DUTY STATUS AS DETERMINED AT THE TIME OF DEPARTURE. IF THE EMPLOYEE LEAVES HIS POST ON DETAIL, TRANSIT TIME IS CHARGEABLE TO THE PERIOD OF DETAIL; IF HE DEPARTS ON LEAVE, THE TRANSIT TIME IS CHARGEABLE TO THE PERIOD OF LEAVE. SUBPARAGRAPH 8F OF THE PROPOSED INSTRUCTIONS SHOULD BE MODIFIED ACCORDINGLY.

YOUR SECOND QUESTION CONCERNS THE PROVISION IN SECTION 350.6 (B) (1) WHICH BEGINS OR CONTINUES AN EMPLOYEE'S DIFFERENTIAL IF THE EMPLOYEE IS REQUIRED TO PERFORM WORK IN A HARDSHIP AREA WHEN HE IS EN ROUTE TO OR RETURNING FROM A POST OF REGULAR ASSIGNMENT. THE PROVISION DOES NOT APPLY IF THE EMPLOYEE IS ON DETAIL FROM HIS POST, AS THE DETAIL PRE SUPPOSES HIS RETURN. THE INTENT OF THIS PROVISION IS TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF DIFFERENTIAL IN THOSE CASES WHEN AN EMPLOYEE HAS NOT BEEN GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO REACH HIS POST OF REGULAR ASSIGNMENT WHERE A DIFFERENTIAL IS AUTHORIZED, AND YET IS REQUIRED TO PERFORM WORK IN A HARDSHIP AREA WHILE EN ROUTE TO HIS POST. THIS AUTHORITY IS REQUIRED BECAUSE THE DIFFERENTIAL IS NOT OTHERWISE PAYABLE UNTIL AN EMPLOYEE ARRIVES AT HIS POST OF REGULAR ASSIGNMENT. THE SAME PRINCIPLE IS TO APPLY WHEN HE LEAVES HIS POST OF REGULAR ASSIGNMENT AND A DETAIL IS NOT APPROPRIATE BECAUSE HE IS NOT ON A TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT AND IS NOT EXPECTED TO RETURN TO THE POST. SUBPARAGRAPH 8C SHOULD BE CHANGED IN LINE WITH THE FOREGOING COMMENTS. THIS CAN BE DONE BY REDRAFTING THE MATERIAL ON PAGES 5 AND 6 OF THE PROPOSED INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT SUBPARAGRAPH 8C IS TO BE APPLIED ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH SUBPARAGRAPHS 8A AND 8B.

FURTHER, WE DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO PAGE 7, ITEM 2, SECOND PARAGRAPH OF THE PROPOSED INSTRUCTIONS, LAST SENTENCE THEREOF, WHICH APPEARS TO BE IN ERROR BECAUSE ANY DAY IN A PAY STATUS ON DETAIL IS INCLUDED IN COMPUTING THE 42-DAY LIMITATION PERIOD. ON PAGE 10, ITEM G, WE SUGGEST THAT THE WORD "PERIODIC" BE ELIMINATED AND THAT THE ITEM BE REWORDED TO SHOW THAT PAYMENT OF THE DIFFERENTIAL OR ALLOWANCE IS NOT CONSIDERED AN INCREASE IN BASIC COMPENSATION SO AS TO AFFECT ENTITLEMENT TO STEP INCREASES, THEREBY COVERING BOTH PERIODIC AND LONGEVITY STEP INCREASES.