B-151957, JUL. 31, 1963

B-151957: Jul 31, 1963

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

YOU SAY THAT THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA EMPLOYS EXTERNS WHO ARE FOURTH YEAR MEDICAL STUDENTS AND WHO MUST PERFORM CERTAIN MEDICAL SERVICES UNDER THE DIRECTION AND SUPERVISION OF A MEDICAL FFICER. THAT MEDICAL OFFICERS ARE REQUIRED TO BE AVAILABLE AND SUBJECT TO CALLS BY THE EXTERNS. WHICH ARE HANDLED BY THE MEDICAL OFFICERS (DAY OR NIGHT) VIA THE TELEPHONE OR BY PERSONAL VISITS. WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE HOURS SPENT BY THE MEDICAL OFFICERS IN ANSWERING CALLS FROM THE EXTERNS ARE EXPECTED IN MANY INSTANCES TO EXCEED THE PROPOSED TEN HOURS OF STANDBY TIME AND THAT CHECKS WILL BE MADE AT INTERVALS TO SEE THAT THE SITUATION HAS NOT MATERIALLY CHANGED. REFERENCE IS MADE IN YOUR LETTER TO THE REGULATIONS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION PERTAINING TO COMPENSATION FOR PERIODS OF DUTY IN EXCESS OF 40 HOURS A WEEK.

B-151957, JUL. 31, 1963

TO BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

YOUR LETTER OF JULY 2, 1963, REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER IT WOULD BE PROPER TO ESTABLISH A BASIC WORKWEEK FOR CERTAIN MEDICAL OFFICERS CONSISTING OF AN ASSIGNED NUMBER OF HOURS OF DUTY AT THEIR REGULAR STATION (USUALLY 30 HOURS) WITH THE BALANCE OF THE HOURS (10) IN THEIR NORMAL 40- HOUR WEEKLY TOUR OF DUTY TO BE PERFORMED IN A STANDBY STATUS AT THEIR HOMES OR PRIVATE OFFICES.

YOU SAY THAT THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA EMPLOYS EXTERNS WHO ARE FOURTH YEAR MEDICAL STUDENTS AND WHO MUST PERFORM CERTAIN MEDICAL SERVICES UNDER THE DIRECTION AND SUPERVISION OF A MEDICAL FFICER; THAT MEDICAL OFFICERS ARE REQUIRED TO BE AVAILABLE AND SUBJECT TO CALLS BY THE EXTERNS, WHICH ARE HANDLED BY THE MEDICAL OFFICERS (DAY OR NIGHT) VIA THE TELEPHONE OR BY PERSONAL VISITS; AND THAT UNDER THE PROPOSED TOURS OF DUTY THE MEDICAL OFFICERS WOULD NOT BE PERMITTED TO PERFORM ANY PERSONAL MEDICAL SERVICES (APPARENTLY TO PRIVATE PATIENTS) DURING THE PERIODS OF STANDBY DUTY.

WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE HOURS SPENT BY THE MEDICAL OFFICERS IN ANSWERING CALLS FROM THE EXTERNS ARE EXPECTED IN MANY INSTANCES TO EXCEED THE PROPOSED TEN HOURS OF STANDBY TIME AND THAT CHECKS WILL BE MADE AT INTERVALS TO SEE THAT THE SITUATION HAS NOT MATERIALLY CHANGED.

REFERENCE IS MADE IN YOUR LETTER TO THE REGULATIONS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION PERTAINING TO COMPENSATION FOR PERIODS OF DUTY IN EXCESS OF 40 HOURS A WEEK, A SUBSTANTIAL PART OF WHICH CONSISTS OF REMAINING IN A STANDBY STATUS RATHER THAN PERFORMING WORK. THOSE REGULATIONS (SECTION 25.253) INDICATE THAT AN EMPLOYEE'S LIVING QUARTERS MAY BE DESIGNATED AS HIS DUTY STATION FOR THE PERIOD OF STANDBY TIME PROVIDED HIS WHEREABOUTS IS NARROWLY LIMITED AND HIS ACTIVITIES ARE SUBSTANTIALLY RESTRICTED. HOWEVER, SUCH REGULATIONS SPECIFICALLY STATE THAT THE "LIMITATION ON AN EMPLOYEE'S WHEREABOUTS AND ACTIVITIES IS DISTINGUISHED FROM THE LIMITATION PLACED ON AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS SUBJECT TO CALL OUTSIDE HIS REGULAR HOURS OF DUTY BUT MAY LEAVE HIS QUARTERS, PROVIDED HE ARRANGES FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO RESPOND TO CALLS OR LEAVES A TELEPHONE NUMBER BY WHICH HE CAN BE REACHED SHOULD HIS SERVICES BE REQUIRED.'

WHILE THE ABOVE REGULATIONS PERTAIN TO PREMIUM COMPENSATION FOR HOURS IN EXCESS OF 40 HOURS PER WEEK, A SUBSTANTIAL PART OF WHICH CONSISTS OF REMAINING IN A STANDBY STATUS, WE BELIEVE THE SITUATION HERE IS NOT DISSIMILAR IN PRINCIPLE. IN VIEW THEREOF, AS WELL AS THE SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES RELATING TO THE MEDICAL OFFICERS HERE IN QUESTION, WE SEE NO OBJECTION TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF TOURS OF DUTY FOR SUCH OFFICERS IN THE MANNER RELATED HEREIN.