B-158569, MAR. 9, 1966

B-158569: Mar 9, 1966

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NEWMAN'S SALARY WAS REDUCED FROM PFS-6. WAS INCREASED TO $7. THE EMPLOYEE WORKED 25 HOURS OVERTIME AND WAS PAID $131.97. IT WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DETERMINED THAT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN PAID $115 COMPUTED ON THE SALARY RATE HE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED EXCEPT FOR SALARY PROTECTION. THAT IS. THE OVERPAYMENT OF $16.97 WAS COLLECTED FROM THE EMPLOYEE. YOU SAY THAT THE COLLECTION WAS MADE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3573/B) (1) OF TITLE 39 OF THE U.S.C. PERTAINING TO THE SALARY PROTECTION FOR POSTAL FIELD SERVICE EMPLOYEES PROVIDES IN PART THAT: "/C) THE RATE OF BASIC SALARY TO WHICH SUCH EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED * * * WITH RESPECT TO EACH REDUCTION IN SALARY STANDING TO WHICH THIS SECTION APPLIES SHALL BE * * * "/A) THE AMOUNT OF THE EXISTING RATE OF BASIC SALARY OF THE EMPLOYEE IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE REDUCTION IN SALARY STANDING (INCLUDING EACH INCREASE PROVIDED BY LAW IN SUCH RATE) * * *" UNDER SECTION 3560/C).

B-158569, MAR. 9, 1966

TO AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER BUREAU OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 18, 1966, REQUESTING OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER FOR $16.97 IN FAVOR OF MR. WOODROW W. NEWMAN, CINCINNATI, OHIO, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.

THE INFORMATION FURNISHED SHOWS THAT ON JULY 3, 1965, MR. NEWMAN'S SALARY WAS REDUCED FROM PFS-6, STEP 8, $7,065 PER ANNUM, TO PFS-4, STEP 8, $7,065 PER ANNUM, WITH SALARY PROTECTION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUB.L. 87-270, APPROVED SEPTEMBER 21, 1961. UNDER PUB.L. 89-301, APPROVED OCTOBER 29, 1965, THE RATE OF SALARY FOR PFS-6, STEP 8, WAS INCREASED TO $7,320 PER ANNUM.

DURING THE PAY PERIOD NOVEMBER 20, 1965, THROUGH DECEMBER 3, 1965, THE EMPLOYEE WORKED 25 HOURS OVERTIME AND WAS PAID $131.97, COMPUTED ON HIS PROTECTED RATE OF $7,320 PER ANNUM. IT WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DETERMINED THAT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN PAID $115 COMPUTED ON THE SALARY RATE HE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED EXCEPT FOR SALARY PROTECTION, THAT IS, $6,378 PER ANNUM, AND THE OVERPAYMENT OF $16.97 WAS COLLECTED FROM THE EMPLOYEE.

YOU SAY THAT THE COLLECTION WAS MADE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3573/B) (1) OF TITLE 39 OF THE U.S.C. AS AMENDED BY SECTION 5/B) OF PUB.L. 89-301, WHICH PROVIDES THAT EACH EMPLOYEE IN OR BELOW SALARY LEVEL PFS-7 SHALL BE PAID FOR OVERTIME WORK AT THE RATE OF 150 PERCENTUM OF THE HOURLY RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION FOR HIS LEVEL AND STEP COMPUTED BY DIVIDING THE SCHEDULED ANNUAL RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION BY TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHTY.

SECTION 201 OF PUB.L. 87-270 AMENDING PARAGRAPH 3560 OF TITLE 39 OF THE U.S.C. PERTAINING TO THE SALARY PROTECTION FOR POSTAL FIELD SERVICE EMPLOYEES PROVIDES IN PART THAT:

"/C) THE RATE OF BASIC SALARY TO WHICH SUCH EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED * * * WITH RESPECT TO EACH REDUCTION IN SALARY STANDING TO WHICH THIS SECTION APPLIES SHALL BE * * *

"/A) THE AMOUNT OF THE EXISTING RATE OF BASIC SALARY OF THE EMPLOYEE IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE REDUCTION IN SALARY STANDING (INCLUDING EACH INCREASE PROVIDED BY LAW IN SUCH RATE) * * *"

UNDER SECTION 3560/C), QUOTED ABOVE, THE SAVED SALARY RATE IS THE EMPLOYEE'S BASIC COMPENSATION FOR THE PERIOD OF SALARY RETENTION EXCEPT FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES--- NOT RELATING TO OVERTIME--- SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR IN SUBSECTION (E) THEREOF. WE ARE NOT REQUIRED TO CONSTRUE THE LANGUAGE ,BASIC COMPENSATION FOR HIS LEVEL AND STEP" APPEARING IN SECTION 3573/B) (1) IN A RESTRICTIVE SENSE SO AS TO REDUCE THE BASIC COMPENSATION AS OTHERWISE DEFINED IN SECTION 3560/C). UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES WE CONSIDER THAT FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING OVERTIME IN SAVED PAY CASES THE LANGUAGE "BASIC COMPENSATION FOR HIS LEVEL AND STEP" IS MERELY DESCRIPTIVE REFERRING ONLY TO THE SCHEDULED LEVEL AND STEP WHICH FORMS THE BASIS FOR THE COMPENSATION RATE TO WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED--IN THE INSTANT CASE PFS-6, STEP 8.

THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.