B-150508, JANUARY 23, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. 393

B-150508: Jan 23, 1963

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

WHEN THE MILEAGE OF HIS RURAL ROUTE WAS CHANGED FROM 69.75 TO 51.05 ON OCTOBER 27. THE QUESTION INVOLVED IS WHETHER HIS RETAINED COMPENSATION SHOULD BE BASED UPON THE PAY APPLICABLE TO A ROUTE OF 59.30 MILES ($5. HIS SERVICE ON A ROUTE OF 61.70 MILES OR LONGER COVERED A PERIOD OF EXACTLY 104 WEEKS BUT WAS JUST SHORT OF 2 CALENDAR YEARS. 1962. 39 U.S.C. 3560 REQUIRES AMONG OTHER THINGS THAT AN EMPLOYEE SERVE "FOR TWO CONTINUOUS YEARS IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO SUCH REDUCTION IN SALARY STANDING" IN THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE "WITH ANY SALARY STANDING HIGHER THAN THE SALARY STANDING TO WHICH HE IS REDUCED" BEFORE HE IS ELIGIBLE FOR SALARY RETENTION UPON DEMOTION. IN DETERMINING THE RATE OF SALARY WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO RETAIN SECTION 3560.

B-150508, JANUARY 23, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. 393

COMPENSATION - POSTAL SERVICE - DOWNGRADING - SAVED COMPENSATION - TWO YEAR REQUIREMENT UPON REDUCTION OF ROUTE MILEAGE, THE RETAINED COMPENSATION OF A RURAL MAIL CARRIER UNDER 39 U.S.C. 3560, SECTION 201 OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 21, 1961, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 715 OF THE POSTAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1962, MAY NOT BE BASED ON THE LONGER ROUTE IN WHICH HE HAD SERVED PRIOR TO THE REDUCTION FOR 104 WEEKS, A PERIOD JUST SHORT OF THE 2 CALENDAR YEARS PROVIDED BY 39 U.S.C. 3560 FOR ELIGIBILITY TO SALARY RETENTION UPON DEMOTION, THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE 1961 ACT INDICATING NO CONGRESSIONAL INTENT THAT THE REQUIRED 2 YEAR PERIOD UNDER THE RETAINED COMPENSATION PROVISIONS SHOULD BE REGARDED THE SAME AS 104 WEEKS.

TO LEROY P. AFDEM, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, JANUARY 23, 1963:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 19, 1962, REFERENCE AIR:LPA, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER, WHICH YOU ENCLOSED, COVERING ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO MR. K. F. STARK, A RURAL MAIL CARRIER, UNDER THE RETAINED COMPENSATION PROVISIONS OF 39 U.S.C. 3650.

YOU SAY THAT MR. STARK MET ALL THE REQUIREMENTS FOR RETAINED COMPENSATION UNDER 39 U.S.C. 3560, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 715 OF THE POSTAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1962, APPROVED OCTOBER 11, 1962, PUBLIC LAW 87- 793, 76 STAT. 857, WHEN THE MILEAGE OF HIS RURAL ROUTE WAS CHANGED FROM 69.75 TO 51.05 ON OCTOBER 27, 1962. THE QUESTION INVOLVED IS WHETHER HIS RETAINED COMPENSATION SHOULD BE BASED UPON THE PAY APPLICABLE TO A ROUTE OF 59.30 MILES ($5,933 PER ANNUM) BECAUSE HE HAD SERVED A ROUTE OF THAT MILEAGE OR LONGER SINCE JULY 9, 1960, OR WHETHER HE MAY BE PAID AT THE RATE APPLICABLE TO A ROUTE OF 61.70 MILES ($6,005 PER ANNUM) BECAUSE HE HAD SERVED A ROUTE OF THAT LENGTH OR LONGER SINCE OCTOBER 29, 1960. HIS SERVICE ON A ROUTE OF 61.70 MILES OR LONGER COVERED A PERIOD OF EXACTLY 104 WEEKS BUT WAS JUST SHORT OF 2 CALENDAR YEARS. THE VOUCHER ENCLOSED PROPOSES TO PAY MR. STARK THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COMPENSATION AT THE $5,933 RATE AND THE $6,005 RATE FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 27 TO NOVEMBER 9, 1962.

39 U.S.C. 3560 REQUIRES AMONG OTHER THINGS THAT AN EMPLOYEE SERVE "FOR TWO CONTINUOUS YEARS IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO SUCH REDUCTION IN SALARY STANDING" IN THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE "WITH ANY SALARY STANDING HIGHER THAN THE SALARY STANDING TO WHICH HE IS REDUCED" BEFORE HE IS ELIGIBLE FOR SALARY RETENTION UPON DEMOTION. IN DETERMINING THE RATE OF SALARY WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO RETAIN SECTION 3560, AS AMENDED BY PUBLIC LAW 87-793, ALSO PROVIDES THAT SUCH RATE SHALL BE (SO FAR AS HERE PERTINENT):

(C) THE AMOUNT OF THE RATE IN THE LOWEST SALARY STANDING WHICH SUCH EMPLOYEE HELD DURING THE TWO YEARS IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING SUCH REDUCTION IN SALARY STANDING AUGMENTED BY EACH STEP INCREASE WHICH HE WOULD HAVE EARNED IN SUCH SALARY STANDING AND BY EACH INCREASE PROVIDED BY LAW IN SUCH SALARY RATE.

WE HAVE REVIEWED THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF SECTION 201 OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 21, 1961, PUBLIC LAW 87-270, 75 STAT. 569, WHICH ADDED SECTION 3560 TO TITLE 39, U.S.C. BUT FIND NO INDICATION THAT THE CONGRESS INTENDED THAT THE 2-YEAR PERIODS REFERRED TO THEREIN SHOULD BE REGARDED THE SAME AS 104 WEEKS. IN THAT CONNECTION WE NOTE THAT THE CONGRESS HAS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR THE DURATION OF OTHER WAITING PERIODS IN CONNECTION WITH COMPENSATION CHANGES IN TERMS OF WEEKS RATHER THAN YEARS. SEE 39 U.S.C. 3552; SECTION 701 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, CH. 782, 63 STAT. 967, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 1121.

THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.