B-153689, MAY 28, 1964

B-153689: May 28, 1964

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

WERE ASSIGNED TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY AT BOON ISLAND LIGHT STATION FOR A SHORT PERIOD IN NOVEMBER 1963. SINCE BOON ISLAND LIGHT STATION IS LOCATED ON AN ISOLATED ISLAND ACCESSIBLE ONLY BY HELICOPTER OR BOAT THE EMPLOYEES WERE DEPENDENT ON TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED BY THE COAST GUARD FOR THEIR RETURN FROM THAT TEMPORARY DUTY STATION. ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS PREVENTED THE COAST GUARD HELICOPTER WHICH WAS ASSIGNED TO RETURN THEM TO THE MAINLAND FROM ACCOMPLISHING THAT MISSION UNTIL MONDAY. MUNOZ AND GIOVENNIELLO NOW CLAIM OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR THEIR NORMAL WORKING HOURS ON THE NONWORKDAYS DURING WHICH THEY WERE WAITING FOR TRANSPORTATION FROM BOON ISLAND LIGHT STATION AND HOLIDAY COMPENSATION FOR NOVEMBER 11.

B-153689, MAY 28, 1964

TO MISS C. C. GORDON, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, UNITED STATES COAST GUARD:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 3, 1964, YOUR REFERENCE FP-4, BY WHICH YOU REQUEST OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY A VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION TO 2 CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD FOR TIME THEY SPENT AWAITING TRANSPORTATION FROM AN ISOLATED ISLAND AFTER COMPLETING TEMPORARY DUTY THERE.

MR. LOUIS MUNOZ AND MR. ROCCO GLOVANNIELLO, WAGE BOARD EMPLOYEES OF THE COAST GUARD STATIONED IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, WERE ASSIGNED TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY AT BOON ISLAND LIGHT STATION FOR A SHORT PERIOD IN NOVEMBER 1963. SINCE BOON ISLAND LIGHT STATION IS LOCATED ON AN ISOLATED ISLAND ACCESSIBLE ONLY BY HELICOPTER OR BOAT THE EMPLOYEES WERE DEPENDENT ON TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED BY THE COAST GUARD FOR THEIR RETURN FROM THAT TEMPORARY DUTY STATION. UPON COMPLETION OF THE WORK REQUIRED AT 10 A.M. ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, THEY REQUESTED TRANSPORTATION BACK TO THE MAINLAND. ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS PREVENTED THE COAST GUARD HELICOPTER WHICH WAS ASSIGNED TO RETURN THEM TO THE MAINLAND FROM ACCOMPLISHING THAT MISSION UNTIL MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11. THE EMPLOYEES REACHED THEIR HOMES AT 4:30 P.M. ON THAT DAY.

MESSRS. MUNOZ AND GIOVENNIELLO NOW CLAIM OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR THEIR NORMAL WORKING HOURS ON THE NONWORKDAYS DURING WHICH THEY WERE WAITING FOR TRANSPORTATION FROM BOON ISLAND LIGHT STATION AND HOLIDAY COMPENSATION FOR NOVEMBER 11, DURING WHICH THEY TRAVELED TO THEIR HOMES. SINCE THEY HAVE BEEN PAID 3 HOURS OVERTIME FOR SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, FOR WORK ACTUALLY PERFORMED, AND STRAIGHT-TIME PAY FOR NOVEMBER 11, THEIR CLAIMS ARE FOR 5 HOURS OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR NOVEMBER 9, 8 HOURS OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR NOVEMBER 10, AND AN ADDITIONAL 8 HOURS AT THE STRAIGHT-TIME RATE FOR NOVEMBER 11.

WE HAVE HELD THAT WAGE BOARD EMPLOYEES MAY BE COMPENSATED AT OVERTIME RATES WHEN ACTUALLY TRAVELING DURING NORMAL DUTY HOURS ON NONWORKDAYS, OR WHEN IN A TRAVEL STATUS AT A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION DURING SUCH HOURS WHEN HE PERFORMS NO WORK OR TRAVEL, ONLY IF SPECIFIC PROVISION HAS BEEN MADE FOR SUCH PAYMENT ON THE BASIS OF A SIMILAR PRACTICE BEING IN FORCE IN PRIVATE INDUSTRY. 27 COMP. GEN. 613. UNITED STATES COAST GUARD CIVILIAN PERSONNEL MEMORANDUM NO. 8-50, MARCH 20, 1950, WAS ISSUED TO AUTHORIZE OVERTIME PAYMENTS PERMITTED BY THAT DECISION. PARAGRAPH 2 (C) (2) OF THAT REGULATION PROVIDES:

"/2) OUTSIDE BASIC WORKWEEK--- NOT ENGAGED IN LABOR.--- FOR TRAVEL TIME ON DAYS OUTSIDE THE BASIC WORKWEEK (WEEKLY TOUR OF DUTY), WHEN NOT ENGAGED IN LABOR, WHILE EN ROUTE FROM DUTY STATION TO POINT OF DESTINATION AND RETURN TO DUTY STATION, A WAGE BOARD EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO PAY AT THE OVERTIME RATE FOR NOT TO EXCEED 8 HOURS IN ANY ONE DAY (THE NUMBER OF HOURS HE ORDINARILY WOULD WORK), PROVIDED HE HAS BEEN IN A PAY STATUS FOR 40 HOURS DURING THE BASIC WORKWEEK. NO PAY IS DUE WHEN NEITHER TRAVEL NOR WORK IS PERFORMED WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS OUTSIDE THE BASIC WORKWEEK.'

THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED WERE WAITING FOR TRANSPORTATION AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION DURING NORMAL WORK HOURS ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY AND THEY CLAIM 13 HOURS OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR THOSE DAYS. WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE LANGUAGE OF THE QUOTED REGULATION IS BROAD ENOUGH TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED IN THIS CASE. LIKEWISE, WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY REGULATION OF YOUR AGENCY AUTHORIZING HOLIDAY PREMIUM PAY WHILE TRAVELING. MOREOVER, IT HAS NOT BEEN SHOWN THAT IT IS THE PRACTICE OF PRIVATE INDUSTRY TO PAY OVERTIME COMPENSATION AND/OR HOLIDAY COMPENSATION IN CIRCUMSTANCES SIMILAR TO THOSE HERE INVOLVED.

IN THAT CONNECTION WE NOTE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE PROPOSED A REGULATION AS FOLLOWS:

"C. AN EMPLOYEE AT A PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY WHO IS PREVENTED FROM BEGINNING TRAVEL, UPON COMPLETION OF DUTY ASSIGNMENT, BECAUSE OF JUSTIFIABLE CONDITIONS BEYOND HIS CONTROL AND IS COMPELLED TO REMAIN AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY POINT ON A SCHEDULED WORK DAY OR A NON-WORK DAY AWAITING AVAILABILITY OF TRANSPORTATION SHOULD BE IN PAY STATUS AS THOUGH TRAVELING. THIS MEANS PAY STATUS FOR THE PERIOD OF INVOLUNTARY DELAY ON A SCHEDULED WORK DAY OR NON-WORK DAY FALLING WITHIN THE CLOCK HOURS CORRESPONDING TO THOSE OF A REGULARLY SCHEDULED WORK DAY. THE JUSTIFIABLE CONDITIONS WOULD BE INCLEMENT WEATHER AND UNSAFE OR JUSTIFIABLE CONDITIONS WOULD BE INCLEMENT WEATHER AND UNSAFE OR IMPASSABLE SURFACE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES COULD NOT OPERATE * * *"

IN OUR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 9, 1962, B-147849, COPY ENCLOSED, WE INFORMED THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE THAT WE WOULD NOT OBJECT TO THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH A REGULATION, AND OTHER PROPOSED REGULATIONS,PROVIDED IT SHOULD BE DETERMINED TO BE CONSISTENT WITH PREVAILING COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL PRACTICE. WE DO NOT FIND THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE HAS AS YET SPECIFICALLY SO REGULATED.