B-144047, NOV. 18, 1960

B-144047: Nov 18, 1960

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TO HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS: IT HAS COME TO THE ATTENTION OF OUR OFFICE THAT INCONSISTENT METHODS ARE BEING EMPLOYED IN THE COMPUTATION OF PREMIUM COMPENSATION PAID TO FIREFIGHTERS AND CERTAIN OTHER "STANDBY" EMPLOYEES FOR IRREGULAR. SECTION 401 WAS FURTHER AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 18. STATES THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION IS TO AMEND THE LAW. THE USE OF ANY RULE OF APPROXIMATION SUCH AS THE SO-CALLED "TWO THIRDS RULE" TO ARRIVE AT THE NUMBER OF HOURS OF IRREGULAR UNSCHEDULED OVERTIME DUTY FOR WHICH PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF JULY 18. IS TO BE AVOIDED.

B-144047, NOV. 18, 1960

TO HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS:

IT HAS COME TO THE ATTENTION OF OUR OFFICE THAT INCONSISTENT METHODS ARE BEING EMPLOYED IN THE COMPUTATION OF PREMIUM COMPENSATION PAID TO FIREFIGHTERS AND CERTAIN OTHER "STANDBY" EMPLOYEES FOR IRREGULAR, UNSCHEDULED OVERTIME DUTY IN EXCESS OF THEIR SCHEDULED TOURS OF DUTY.

SECTION 208 OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1954, 68 STAT. 1111, AMENDED SECTION 401 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, BY AUTHORIZING THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, TO PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF PREMIUM COMPENSATION ON AN ANNUAL PERCENTAGE BASIS IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER PREMIUM COMPENSATION FOR OVERTIME, NIGHT AND HOLIDAY WORK REQUIRED IN CERTAIN TYPES OF POSITIONS. SECTION 401 WAS FURTHER AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 18, 1958, 72 STAT. 363, TO PERMIT PAYMENT OF PREMIUM COMPENSATION TO THE INCUMBENTS OF SUCH POSITIONS, FOR IRREGULAR UNSCHEDULED OVERTIME DUTY IN EXCESS OF THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED WEEKLY TOUR.

THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE ACT OF JULY 18, 1958 (PUBLIC LAW NO. 85- 525) AS FOUND IN SENATE REPORT NO. 687, PAGES 1 AND 2, AND HOUSE REPORT NO. 1870, PAGES 1 TO 4, UPON THE BILL S. 1901, 85TH CONGRESS, 2ND SESSION, STATES THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION IS TO AMEND THE LAW, 5 U.S.C. 926 (1), SO AS TO REQUIRE PAYMENT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION AT THE USUAL TIME AND ONE-HALF RATE TO FIREFIGHTERS AND CERTAIN OTHER "STANDBY" EMPLOYEES FOR IRREGULAR, UNSCHEDULED OVERTIME DUTY IN EXCESS OF THEIR REGULARLY SCHEDULED TOURS OF DUTY. THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY SHOWS, ALSO, THAT SUCH OVERTIME COMPENSATION WOULD NOT BE PAYABLE FOR EATING AND SLEEPING TIME DURING SUCH PERIODS OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY BEYOND THE REGULARLY ESTABLISHED TOURS OF DUTY.

THEREFORE, EXCLUDING ACTUAL SLEEPING AND EATING TIME WHICH MUST BE REFLECTED BY ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS OF ACTUAL TIME SO SPENT, THE EMPLOYEES SHOULD BE PAID FOR HOURS OF DUTY IN EXCESS OF THEIR REGULARLY ESTABLISHED TOURS, THE OVERTIME COMPENSATION AUTHORIZED BY THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, AS AMENDED, COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SALARY TABLES.

THE USE OF ANY RULE OF APPROXIMATION SUCH AS THE SO-CALLED "TWO THIRDS RULE" TO ARRIVE AT THE NUMBER OF HOURS OF IRREGULAR UNSCHEDULED OVERTIME DUTY FOR WHICH PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF JULY 18, 1958, 5 U.S.C. 926 (1), IS TO BE AVOIDED.