B-159827, AUG. 17, 1966

B-159827: Aug 17, 1966

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ELECTED EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COVERAGE AND WAS PLACED IN A LEAVE WITHOUT PAY STATUS. IT WAS RECOMMENDED THAT HE APPLY FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT AND HE WAS ADVISED THAT HE HAD AN OPTION TO SEEK BENEFITS EITHER FROM THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION OR THE BUREAU OF EMPLOYEES'COMPENSATION. THE APPLICATION WAS APPROVED BY THE COMMISSION ON APRIL 8. GYR WAS SEPARATED FROM THE ROLLS ON APRIL 16. YOU SAY THAT WHEN AN APPLICATION FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT IS APPROVED. IT IS THE POLICY OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE TO DEFER SEPARATION UNTIL SICK LEAVE IS EXHAUSTED AS AUTHORIZED BY CHAPTER 831 1. THIS POLICY WAS NOT FOLLOWED IN THE CASE OF MR. YOU SAY THAT YOU ARE UNABLE TO EXPLAIN THIS DEPARTURE FROM YOUR ESTABLISHED POLICY.

B-159827, AUG. 17, 1966

TO PUBLIC PRINTER, U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 2, 1966, WHEREIN YOU REQUEST A DECISION WHETHER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SEPARATION OF AN EMPLOYEE INVOLUNTARILY RETIRED FOR DISABILITY MAY BE CHANGED TO PERMIT PAYMENT FOR UNUSED SICK LEAVE UNDER THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES.

ON APRIL 30, 1963, MR. ERNEST H. GYR, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, SUFFERED A JOB-INCURRED INJURY, ELECTED EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COVERAGE AND WAS PLACED IN A LEAVE WITHOUT PAY STATUS. AFTER A PROLONGED ABSENCE, IT BECAME APPARENT THAT HE MIGHT NEVER BE ABLE TO RETURN TO WORK. IT WAS RECOMMENDED THAT HE APPLY FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT AND HE WAS ADVISED THAT HE HAD AN OPTION TO SEEK BENEFITS EITHER FROM THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION OR THE BUREAU OF EMPLOYEES'COMPENSATION. HE DID NOT ACT ON THIS ADVICE AND ON NOVEMBER 17, 1964, THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE FILED A DISABILITY RETIREMENT APPLICATION ON HIS BEHALF WITH THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. THE APPLICATION WAS APPROVED BY THE COMMISSION ON APRIL 8, 1965, MR. GYR WAS SEPARATED FROM THE ROLLS ON APRIL 16, 1965, AND HIS ANNUITY COMMENCED ON APRIL 17, 1965. AT THE TIME OF SEPARATION MR. GYR HAD A SICK LEAVE BALANCE OF 640 HOURS TO HIS CREDIT.

YOU SAY THAT WHEN AN APPLICATION FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT IS APPROVED, IT IS THE POLICY OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE TO DEFER SEPARATION UNTIL SICK LEAVE IS EXHAUSTED AS AUTHORIZED BY CHAPTER 831 1, S10-11A, FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL. HOWEVER, THIS POLICY WAS NOT FOLLOWED IN THE CASE OF MR. GYR. ALSO, YOU SAY THAT YOU ARE UNABLE TO EXPLAIN THIS DEPARTURE FROM YOUR ESTABLISHED POLICY, THAT THERE WAS NO INTENTION TO REQUIRE A FORFEITURE OF SICK LEAVE AND, THEREFORE, IT MUST BE ATTRIBUTED TO ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR.

SINCE IT IS THE ESTABLISHED POLICY OF YOUR OFFICE TO GRANT ALL OF THE SICK LEAVE TO AN EMPLOYEE'S CREDIT BEFORE HE IS SEPARATED FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT, ANY SEPARATION WHICH FAILS TO PROVIDE FOR SUCH LEAVE WOULD APPEAR TO BE INEFFECTIVE. THEREFORE, IF THE ACQUIESCENCE OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION IS OBTAINED AND PROPER ADJUSTMENTS ARE MADE IN THE RETIREMENT ACCOUNT WE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE RESTORATION OF THE EMPLOYEE TO THE ROLLS FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPENSATING HIM FOR THE SICK LEAVE IN QUESTION.