B-144894, AUG. 24, 1961

B-144894: Aug 24, 1961

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WE HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 21. WHICH WERE DISCUSSED IN CONFERENCE WITH YOU ON APRIL 19. WHILE YOUR POSITION WAS CLASSIFIED AS GS-11 AND THEN WAS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945. AS FOLLOWS: "THE BASIC ISSUE WHEN BOILED DOWN IS THE DEFINITION OF "NECESSARY WORK" FOR PURPOSES OF ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVING OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR FIELD TECHNICIANS WHILE IN TRAVEL STATUS. ADVANCE APPROVAL OF A NOT TO EXCEED AMOUNT OF OVERTIME IS THEN AUTHORIZED ON THE TRAVEL ORDER. POST APPROVAL IS RECOMMENDED BY THE SUPERVISOR FOR APPROVAL BY THE IBS ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER COVERING THE ADDITIONAL NECESSARY WORK PERFORMED. THE BASIS ON WHICH OVERTIME IS AUTHORIZED TAKES INTO CONSIDERATION SUCH NECESSARY WORK AS SETTING UP OF EQUIPMENT.

B-144894, AUG. 24, 1961

TO MR. BERNARD SINGER:

ON JANUARY 16, 1961, AND IN YOUR BEHALF, A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES REQUESTED, FOR THE REASONS STATED IN HIS LETTER, THAT WE REVIEW OUR CLAIMS DIVISION ACTION OF OCTOBER 26, 1960, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES PERFORMED WHILE IN A TRAVEL AND DUTY STATUS DURING THE PERIODS APRIL 29 THROUGH MAY 15, 1959, AND SEPTEMBER 17 TO 24, 1959, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY. ALSO, WE HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 21, 1961, ADDING TO THE RECORD DETAILED DAILY LOGS OF THE DUTIES IN QUESTION, WHICH WERE DISCUSSED IN CONFERENCE WITH YOU ON APRIL 19, 1961.

THE REASONING STATED IN THE AFGE LETTER OF JANUARY 16, 1961, HAS BEEN CAREFULLY CONSIDERED TOGETHER WITH THE EVIDENCE YOU SUBMITTED. AS TO THE TRAVEL AND DUTY, INCLUDING THE PERIOD APRIL 29 TO MAY 15, 1959, WHILE YOUR POSITION WAS CLASSIFIED AS GS-11 AND THEN WAS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, 5 U.S.C. 911, ON AUGUST 1, 1961, THE AGENCY'S BROADCASTING SERVICE REPORTED TO US, AS FOLLOWS:

"THE BASIC ISSUE WHEN BOILED DOWN IS THE DEFINITION OF "NECESSARY WORK" FOR PURPOSES OF ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVING OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR FIELD TECHNICIANS WHILE IN TRAVEL STATUS. THE SUPERVISOR DETERMINES PRIOR TO TRAVEL OF A TECHNICIAN ON SPECIAL EVENTS COVERAGE THE BASIC NUMBER OF HOURS THE ASSIGNMENT WOULD SEEM TO REQUIRE. ADVANCE APPROVAL OF A NOT TO EXCEED AMOUNT OF OVERTIME IS THEN AUTHORIZED ON THE TRAVEL ORDER. SUBSEQUENTLY, WHEN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRE UNANTICIPATED ADDITIONAL WORK, POST APPROVAL IS RECOMMENDED BY THE SUPERVISOR FOR APPROVAL BY THE IBS ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER COVERING THE ADDITIONAL NECESSARY WORK PERFORMED. THE BASIS ON WHICH OVERTIME IS AUTHORIZED TAKES INTO CONSIDERATION SUCH NECESSARY WORK AS SETTING UP OF EQUIPMENT, PERFORMING TEST RECORDINGS, RECORDING ACTUAL EVENTS, DISMANTLING EQUIPMENT, AND WHEN NECESSARY, HANDLING LINE FEEDS TO WASHINGTON. THE PROBLEM HAS BEEN THAT THE CLAIMANT EMPLOYEES BASE THEIR OVERTIME CLAIMS ON THE ABOVE FACTORS, BUT IN ADDITION INCLUDE AS "WORK" SUCH THINGS AS TIME TRAVELLING FROM HOME TO AIRPORT, TIME IN ACTUAL FLIGHT TO TDY LOCATION, TAXI TIME BETWEEN HOTELS AND EVENT SITE. FURTHERMORE, THE CLAIMANTS HAVE IN THE OPINION OF KNOWLEDGEABLE PROFESSIONAL SUPERVISORS REPORTED EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF TIME AS BEING NECESSARY TO THE PERFORMANCE OF WORK SEGMENTS SUCH AS TEST RECORDING,"SET-UP" AND "TAKE-DOWN," LOCAL BUILDING ACCESS ARRANGEMENTS, ETC. THESE ITEMS ARE NOT INTERPRETED BY THE AGENCY AS NECESSARY WORK FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYMENT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION. THEY ARE PERMITTED, HOWEVER, TO MAKE UP THE FULL 40 HOUR WORK WEEK WHEN EMPLOYEES ACTUALLY HAVE NOT PERFORMED 40 HOURS OF "NECESSARY WORK" AS DESCRIBED ABOVE. OVERTIME COMPENSATION IS, OF COURSE, AUTHORIZED WHEN NECESSARY WORK IS REQUIRED OF AN EMPLOYEE ON HIS DAY OFF. FIELD TECHNICIANS MAINTAIN LOGS OF THEIR DAILY ACTIVITIES. THESE LOGS SERVE THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING EASY REFERENCE FOR PURPOSES OF TIME AND ATTENDANCE REPORTS, OBVIOUSLY, BUT THE EMPLOYEE'S ENTRY CAN NOT CONSIDERED BY AGENCY SUPERVISORS TO BE THE FINAL DETERMINATION ON WHAT DOES OR DOES NOT CONSTITUTE NECESSARY WORK.'

THEREFORE, AND SINCE WE UNDERSTAND THE AGENCY HAS MADE PAYMENT TO YOU FOR ALL AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED OVERTIME WORK ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE "NECESSARY WORK," THE DISALLOWANCE OF ..END :