B-143601, OCT. 5, 1960

B-143601: Oct 5, 1960

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THE DISALLOWANCE WAS BASED UPON THE FACT THAT YOU HAD VOLUNTARILY SIGNED A "WAIVER" OF COMPENSATION AND OTHER EXPENSES FOR SUCH DEADHEAD TIME IN CONSIDERATION OF YOUR BEING GRANTED THE PRIVILEGE OF PERFORMING SERVICES AT POINTS WHERE WORK WAS AVAILABLE OTHER THAN AT YOUR OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS. THAT PART OF YOUR CLAIM WHICH ACCRUED MORE THAN TEN YEARS PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF THE CLAIM IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS BARRED BY THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. 5 U.S.C. 71A. BECAUSE OF SUBSTANTIAL DECREASES IN MAIL VOLUME AT CERTAIN HEADQUARTERS OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUBSTITUTE WORK AT SUCH HEADQUARTERS WERE SEVERELY CURTAILED AND THE EARNINGS OF SUBSTITUTES REDUCED ACCORDINGLY. THESE REQUESTS WERE ADMINISTRATIVELY CONSIDERED AND IT WAS DETERMINED TO HONOR SUCH REQUESTS WHEN TO DO SO WOULD NOT IMPAIR THE RIGHTS OF SUBSTITUTES HEADQUARTERED AT THE OTHER POINTS.

B-143601, OCT. 5, 1960

TO MR. EDWARD W. CASSIDY:

YOUR LETTER OF JULY 15, 1960, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 28, 1960, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM--- RECEIVED HERE ON JANUARY 11, 1960 --- FOR PAYMENT OF DEADHEAD TIME AND PER DIEM FOR TRIPS MADE BY YOU AS A SUBSTITUTE RAILWAY POSTAL CLERK DURING THE PERIODS MAY 1949 TO AUGUST 1952 AND AUGUST 1953 TO SEPTEMBER 1956. THE DISALLOWANCE WAS BASED UPON THE FACT THAT YOU HAD VOLUNTARILY SIGNED A "WAIVER" OF COMPENSATION AND OTHER EXPENSES FOR SUCH DEADHEAD TIME IN CONSIDERATION OF YOUR BEING GRANTED THE PRIVILEGE OF PERFORMING SERVICES AT POINTS WHERE WORK WAS AVAILABLE OTHER THAN AT YOUR OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS.

THAT PART OF YOUR CLAIM WHICH ACCRUED MORE THAN TEN YEARS PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF THE CLAIM IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS BARRED BY THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. 5 U.S.C. 71A.

A THOROUGH EXAMINATION OF THE RECORD INVOLVED REVEALS THAT INSTANCES DEVELOPED WITHIN THE POSTAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE WHEN, BECAUSE OF SUBSTANTIAL DECREASES IN MAIL VOLUME AT CERTAIN HEADQUARTERS OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUBSTITUTE WORK AT SUCH HEADQUARTERS WERE SEVERELY CURTAILED AND THE EARNINGS OF SUBSTITUTES REDUCED ACCORDINGLY. BECAUSE OF SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES SOME POSTAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE SUBSTITUTES HAD REQUESTED PERMISSION TO OBTAIN RUNS HEADINGS OUT OF POINTS OTHER THAN THEIR HEADQUARTERS, ON THE BASIS THAT SUCH RUNS WOULD AUGMENT THEIR EARNINGS. THE EMPLOYEES WHO SOUGHT THIS SPECIAL CONSIDERATION VOLUNTEERED TO MAKE THEMSELVES AVAILABLE AT THE POINTS WHERE THE RUNS BEGAN, WITH NO EXPENSE TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. THESE REQUESTS WERE ADMINISTRATIVELY CONSIDERED AND IT WAS DETERMINED TO HONOR SUCH REQUESTS WHEN TO DO SO WOULD NOT IMPAIR THE RIGHTS OF SUBSTITUTES HEADQUARTERED AT THE OTHER POINTS. THE POLICY OF THE DEPARTMENT IS THAT REGARD, ALTHOUGH ESTABLISHED MUCH EARLIER, IS EMBODIED IN ITS LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1955, A COPY OF WHICH WAS SUBMITTED BY YOU AND WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"IN THE FUTURE THE FOLLOWING WILL GOVERN THE ASSIGNMENT OF SUBSTITUTE EMPLOYEES TO DUTY AT POINTS OTHER THAN THEIR AUTHORIZED HEADQUARTERS.

"IF THE VOLUME OF MAIL DECREASES TO THE EXTENT THAT SUBSTITUTES CANNOT BE EMPLOYED FOR A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME DURING EACH PAY PERIOD THEY MAY APPLY FOR PERMISSION TO REPORT FOR DUTY AT ANOTHER POINT WHERE WORK IS AVAILABLE AND THEIR SERVICES CAN BE USED WITHOUT DETRIMENT TO OTHER EMPLOYEES. THEIR APPLICATIONS SHOULD INDICATE THAT THEY UNDERSTAND THAT TRAVEL TO THE OTHER POINT WOULD BE WITHOUT EXPENSE TO THE DEPARTMENT AND THAT NO PER DIEM WOULD BE INVOLVED.

"IF FOR SERVICE REASONS IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO ASSIGN SUBSTITUTES TO DUTY AT SOME POINT OTHER THAN ESTABLISHED HEADQUARTERS AND BEYOND THE NORMAL COMMUTING AREA FOR A LIMITED TIME, THEY SHALL BE ALLOWED PER DIEM.

"ORDINARILY TEMPORARY MANPOWER NEEDS IN STATUTORY ORGANIZATIONS SHOULD NOT BE MET BY REASSIGNMENT OF SUBSTITUTES FROM OTHER STATIONARY UNITS BEYOND NORMAL COMMUTING DISTANCE BUT BY THE RECRUITMENT OF TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES AS OUTLINED IN OUR JOINT LETTER OF NOVEMBER 5, 1954, :H:MC:S 2248, SUBJECT: UNWORKED MAIL IN P.T.S. TERMINALS.'

UNDER THE DEPARTMENT'S POLICY TO FURNISH WORK FOR ITS SUBSTITUTE EMPLOYEES WHENEVER CONDITIONS PERMITTED AS EXPRESSED IN ITS LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1955, YOU APPARENTLY APPLIED FOR PERMISSION TO REPORT FOR DUTY AT MEMPHIS AND INCIDENT THERETO SIGNED WHAT YOU REFER TO AS A "WAIVER" OF DEADHEAD TRAVEL TIME BETWEEN YOUR HEADQUARTERS AT LITTLE ROCK AND MEMPHIS AND OF PER DIEM. AS A CONSEQUENCE OF YOUR APPLICATION YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO REPORT TO MEMPHIS FOR RUNS OUT OF THAT HEADQUARTERS.

THE POLICY SET FORTH IN THE LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1955, WAS MERELY ONE OF AFFORDING ADDITIONAL WORK TO SUBSTITUTE EMPLOYEES WITHOUT IMPOSING ADDITIONAL EXPENSE UPON THE GOVERNMENT. THIS IS CLEAR FROM THE STATEMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT'S POLICY OF DISCOURAGING EXCESSIVE DEADHEADING CONTAINED IN CIRCULAR LETTER NO. 5167, DATED MARCH 28, 1950.

OUR VIEW IS THAT THE SO-CALLED WAIVER MUST BE REGARDED AS A MERE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING OF THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH YOU WERE AFFORDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO WORK OUT OF MEMPHIS.

SITUATIONS WERE RECOGNIZED BY THE DEPARTMENT IN WHICH DEADHEAD TRAVEL TIME AND PER DIEM ARE AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW SUCH AS EMPLOYEES AND SUBSTITUTE EMPLOYEES WORKING OUT OF POINTS OTHER THAN THEIR HEADQUARTERS WHEN THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE SO REQUIRE (SEE THE THIRD PARAGRAPH OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1955), OR IN CASES OF EMERGENCY. YOUR CASE, HOWEVER, DOES NOT COME WITHIN SUCH CATEGORIES.

THEREFORE, WE MUST HOLD THAT YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED BY LAW TO THE DEADHEAD TIME AND PER DIEM CLAIMED; CONSEQUENTLY, OUR SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 28, 1960, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM IS SUSTAINED.

WE CANNOT RETURN ANY OF THE PAPERS SUBMITTED IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR CLAIM BECAUSE SUCH DOCUMENTS RELATING TO YOUR CLAIM CONSTITUTE PART OF THE PERMANENT FILE OF OUR OFFICE. AS SUCH THEY ARE REQUIRED TO BE MAINTAINED IN OUR OFFICE.