B-150835, MARCH 11, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. 478

B-150835: Mar 11, 1963

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18 UNDER THE BENEFITS AND PERMITTED THE COUNTING OF ANY HIGHER GRADE SERVICE PRIOR TO DEMOTION TOWARD THE 2-YEAR QUALIFYING PERIOD RATHER THAN ONLY SERVICE IN THE SAME GRADE OR HIGHER GRADES FROM WHICH REDUCED ARE TO BE REGARDED AS EFFECTIVE FOR REDUCTIONS OCCURRING ON OR AFTER OCTOBER 14. EMPLOYEES WHO WOULD ONLY BE ELIGIBLE FOR BENEFITS UNDER THE 1962 AMENDMENTS BUT WHO WERE DEMOTED PRIOR TO OCTOBER 14. ARE NOT ENTITLED TO SALARY RETENTION. IS AMENDED. IT IS EVIDENT THEREFROM THAT THE AMENDMENTS ARE LIMITED TO SUBSECTION (A) IN SECTION 507. IS OR WAS REDUCED IN GRADE FROM ANY GRADE OF A BASIC COMPENSATION SCHEDULE OF THIS ACT. WHICHEVER IS LATER. TO RECEIVE THE RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION TO WHICH HE WAS ENTITLED IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO SUCH REDUCTION IN GRADE * * *.

B-150835, MARCH 11, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. 478

COMPENSATION - DOWNGRADING - SAVED COMPENSATION - EFFECT OF FEDERAL SALARY REFORM ACT OF 1962 THE AMENDMENTS TO THE SALARY RETENTION PROVISIONS OF SECTION 507 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, 5 U.S.C. 1107, ENACTED AS PART OF THE FEDERAL SALARY REFORM ACT OF 1962, APPROVED OCTOBER 11, 1962, WHICH INCLUDED EMPLOYEES IN GRADES 16, 17, AND 18 UNDER THE BENEFITS AND PERMITTED THE COUNTING OF ANY HIGHER GRADE SERVICE PRIOR TO DEMOTION TOWARD THE 2-YEAR QUALIFYING PERIOD RATHER THAN ONLY SERVICE IN THE SAME GRADE OR HIGHER GRADES FROM WHICH REDUCED ARE TO BE REGARDED AS EFFECTIVE FOR REDUCTIONS OCCURRING ON OR AFTER OCTOBER 14, 1962, THE FIRST DAY OF THE PAY PERIOD AFTER THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THE 1962 ACT IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY LANGUAGE SPECIFYING A RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE DATE; THEREFORE, EMPLOYEES WHO WOULD ONLY BE ELIGIBLE FOR BENEFITS UNDER THE 1962 AMENDMENTS BUT WHO WERE DEMOTED PRIOR TO OCTOBER 14, 1962, ARE NOT ENTITLED TO SALARY RETENTION.

TO THE CHAIRMAN, UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, MARCH 11, 1963:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 13, 1963, PRESENTS FOR OUR DETERMINATION TWO QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE EFFECT OF THE AMENDMENTS MADE BY SECTION 605 OF THE FEDERAL SALARY REFORM ACT OF 1962, PUBLIC LAW 87-793, 76 STAT. 848, 5 U.S.C. 1107 (A).

SECTION 605 READS AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 605. SECTION 507 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED (72 STAT. 830; 5 U.S.C. 1107), IS AMENDED---

(1) BY STRIKING OUT "/OTHER THAN GRADE 16, 17, OR 18 OF THE GENERAL SCHEDULE)" IN PARAGRAPH (1) OF SUBSECTION (A) OF SUCH SECTION; AND

(2) BY STRIKING OUT "/B) IN THE SAME GRADE OR IN THE SAME AND HIGHER GRADES; " IN PARAGRAPH (4) OF SUBSECTION (A) OF SUCH SECTION; AND BY INSERTING IN LIEU THEREOF "/B) IN ANY GRADE OR GRADES HIGHER THAN THE GRADE TO WHICH DEMOTED; " .

IT IS EVIDENT THEREFROM THAT THE AMENDMENTS ARE LIMITED TO SUBSECTION (A) IN SECTION 507, 5 U.S.C. 1107 (A). SUBSECTION (A) READS, IN PERTINENT PART, INCLUDING THE AMENDMENT SET OUT ABOVE, AS FOLLOWS:

(A) * * * EACH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE * * *

(1) WHO AT ANY TIME AFTER JUNE 17, 1956, IS OR WAS REDUCED IN GRADE FROM ANY GRADE OF A BASIC COMPENSATION SCHEDULE OF THIS ACT;

(4) WHO, FOR TWO CONTINUOUS YEARS IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO SUCH REDUCTION IN GRADE, SERVED (A) IN THE SAME DEPARTMENT AND (B) IN ANY GRADE OR GRADES HIGHER THAN THE GRADE TO WHICH DEMOTED;

SHALL BE ENTITLED, AS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH REDUCTION IN GRADE OR AS OF THE FIRST DAY OF THE FIRST PAY PERIOD WHICH BEGINS AFTER THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THIS AMENDMENT, WHICHEVER IS LATER, * * * UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH REDUCTION IN GRADE OR IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE FIRST DAY OF SUCH FIRST PAY PERIOD, AS APPLICABLE, TO RECEIVE THE RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION TO WHICH HE WAS ENTITLED IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO SUCH REDUCTION IN GRADE * * *.

YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS READ AS FOLLOWS:

IN THE FIRST INSTANCE, THE QUESTION IS ASKED WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS DEMOTED FROM GS-16 TO GS-15 AFTER JUNE 17, 1956, BUT BEFORE THE RECENT AMENDMENT, AND WHO MEETS ALL THE OTHER CONDITIONS PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 507 (A) AS AMENDED, BECAME ENTITLED AS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE RECENT AMENDMENT TO THE TWO-YEAR BENEFIT PROVIDED BY THE SECTION.

IN THE SECOND INSTANCE, THE QUESTION IS WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS DOWNGRADED FROM GS-7 TO GS-4 AFTER JUNE 17, 1956, BUT BEFORE THE RECENT AMENDMENT, WHO IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE DOWNGRADING HAD SERVED ONE YEAR IN GS-7, AND IMMEDIATELY BEFORE THAT TEN YEARS IN GS-5, AND WHO MEETS ALL THE OTHER CONDITIONS, BECAME ENTITLED AS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE RECENT AMENDMENT TO THE TWO-YEAR BENEFIT PROVIDED BY SECTION 507 (A) AS AMENDED.

SECTION 507 (A), AS AMENDED BY SECTION 605 QUOTED ABOVE, STILL CONTAINS THE LANGUAGE "SHALL BE ENTITLED, AS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH REDUCTION IN GRADE OR AS OF THE FIRST DAY OF THE FIRST PAY PERIOD WHICH BEGINS AFTER THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THIS AMENDMENT, WHICHEVER IS LATER.' THE DATE OF ENACTMENT REFERRED TO THEREIN IS AUGUST 23, 1958.

S.REPT.NO. 2120, 87TH CONG., 2D SESS. 25, CONTAINS A STATEMENT ON SECTION 605 WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

THIS SECTION AMENDS SECTION 507 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT WHICH PROVIDES FOR THE RETENTION OF SALARY WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS DEMOTED TO A LOWER GRADE. THE AMENDMENT IN PARAGRAPH (1) MAKES PROVISIONS OF THE SECTION APPLICABLE IN ALL GRADES OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. THE AMENDMENT IN PARAGRAPH (2) IS A MINOR CHANGE IN LANGUAGE WHICH WILL PERMIT SALARY RETENTION IN SOME CASES NOT NOW PERMITTED.

A SIMILAR STATEMENT IS CONTAINED IN H.REPT. NO. 2525, 87TH CONG., 2D SESS. 62.

IN ADDITION, ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE AMENDMENTS MADE TO SECTION 507 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED (72 STAT. 830; PUBLIC LAW 85 -737; 5 U.S.C. 1107), BY SECTION 101 OF PUBLIC LAW 87-270, 75 STAT. 567. THE CONGRESS BY SPECIFIC LANGUAGE MADE CERTAIN OF THE AMENDMENTS EFFECTIVE AUGUST 23, 1958, WHICH WAS THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF PUBLIC LAW 85-737, AND THE REMAINING AMENDMENTS EFFECTIVE ON THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THE ACT.

SINCE THERE IS NO LANGUAGE IN SECTION 605 SPECIFYING A RETROACTIVE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE AMENDMENTS HERE INVOLVED, THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 610, 76 STAT. 850, 5 U.S.C. 1105 NOTE, WHICH READ "EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY PROVIDED IN THIS TITLE, THE PROVISIONS OF THIS TITLE SHALL BECOME EFFECTIVE ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE FIRST DAY PERIOD WHICH BEGINS ON OR AFTER THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THIS ACT," ARE FOR APPLICATION MAKING THE AMENDMENTS EFFECTIVE PROSPECTIVELY.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING WE CONCLUDE THAT SECTION 507 (A) AS AMENDED BY SECTION 605 OF THE FEDERAL SALARY REFORM ACT OF 1962, APPLIES ONLY TO THOSE REDUCTIONS IN GRADE OCCURRING ON OR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE THEREOF, GENERALLY OCTOBER 14, 1962, UPON THE MEETING OF THE OTHER SPECIFIC CONDITIONS OF SECTION 507 (A) BY EMPLOYEES. THEREFORE, YOUR QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.