B-160454, JAN. 19, 1967

B-160454: Jan 19, 1967

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WITH A PROPOSED ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION WHICH PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS: "EMPLOYEES WILL RECEIVE COMPENSATION FOR SCHEDULED STANDBY SERVICES. HE WILL NOT RECEIVE COMPENSATION IF THERE IS A SPECIFIC NEED FOR SUCH STANDBY SERVICES DURING THE PERIOD OF ABSENCE. IT IS PROPOSED TO ALLOW COMPENSATION FOR THE PERIOD OF SUCH ABSENCE IF WEATHER CONDITIONS WERE SUCH THAT THE STANDBY DUTY WAS NOT NECESSARY.'. THE EMPLOYEES ARE DESCRIBED IN YOUR LETTER AS FALLING INTO TWO CATEGORIES AS FOLLOWS: "TYPE A - ON STANDBY DUTY 5 A.M. IS PAID TO EMPLOYEES WITH TYPE A AND TYPE B TOURS OF DUTY UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5545 (C) (1). WE UNDERSTAND THAT EMPLOYEES WITH TYPE A TOURS OF DUTY WERE EXCUSED FROM WORK ON HOLIDAYS DURING THE 1966 IRRIGATION SEASON WHEN THE WORK LOAD PERMITTED AND.

B-160454, JAN. 19, 1967

TO AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 22, 1966, REFERENCE 5-360, ACKNOWLEDGED DECEMBER 20, 1966, PRESENTS FOR OUR CONSIDERATION THE QUESTION WHETHER CERTAIN CLASSES OF EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION RECEIVING STANDBY COMPENSATION UNDER SECTION 401 (1) OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, AS AMENDED, 7 U.S.C. 926 (NOW 5 U.S.C. 5545 (C) (1) (, PROPERLY MAY BE EXCUSED FROM DUTY ON HOLIDAYS WITHOUT A CHARGE TO LEAVE.

IN 42 COMP. GEN. 436, 438, WE CONCURRED, SUBJECT TO THE CONDITIONS STATED IN THAT DECISION, WITH A PROPOSED ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION WHICH PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

"EMPLOYEES WILL RECEIVE COMPENSATION FOR SCHEDULED STANDBY SERVICES, REGARDLESS OF THE DEGREE OF NEED FOR SUCH SERVICES WHICH FLUCTUATE FROM DAY TO DAY DURING THE CALENDAR PERIOD IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE'S WORK SCHEDULE INCLUDES SCHEDULED STANDBY. HOWEVER, WHEN AN EMPLOYEE ABSENTS HIMSELF FOR PERSONAL REASONS (SICKNESS, ETC.) FROM REGULARLY SCHEDULED STANDBY DUTY, HE WILL NOT RECEIVE COMPENSATION IF THERE IS A SPECIFIC NEED FOR SUCH STANDBY SERVICES DURING THE PERIOD OF ABSENCE. FURTHER, IT IS PROPOSED TO ALLOW COMPENSATION FOR THE PERIOD OF SUCH ABSENCE IF WEATHER CONDITIONS WERE SUCH THAT THE STANDBY DUTY WAS NOT NECESSARY.'

THE EMPLOYEES ARE DESCRIBED IN YOUR LETTER AS FALLING INTO TWO CATEGORIES AS FOLLOWS:

"TYPE A - ON STANDBY DUTY 5 A.M. TO 7 P.M. TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY DURING IRRIGATION SEASON.

"TYPE B - REGULAR TOUR OF DUTY 8 A.M. TO 5 P.M. MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY WITH NOON TO 1 P.M. LUNCH PERIOD, AND, IN ADDITION, STANDBY DUTY ONE DAY A WEEK (MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY) FROM 5 P.M. TO 8 A.M. THE FOLLOWING MORNING, AND ONE WEEKEND A MONTH FROM 5 P.M. FRIDAY TO 8 A.M. MONDAY.'

WE UNDERSTAND THAT A PREMIUM OF 5 PERCENT AND 25 PERCENT, RESPECTIVELY, IS PAID TO EMPLOYEES WITH TYPE A AND TYPE B TOURS OF DUTY UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5545 (C) (1), FORMERLY SECTION 401 (1) OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, AND SECTION 550.144 OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION'S REGULATIONS, COVERING REGULARLY SCHEDULED STANDBY DUTY PAY. ALSO, WE UNDERSTAND THAT EMPLOYEES WITH TYPE A TOURS OF DUTY WERE EXCUSED FROM WORK ON HOLIDAYS DURING THE 1966 IRRIGATION SEASON WHEN THE WORK LOAD PERMITTED AND, IN MOST CASES, EMPLOYEES WITH TYPE B TOURS OF DUTY WERE ALLOWED TO BE OFF DUTY DURING THE 8 A.M. TO 5 P.M. PORTION OF THE TOUR OF DUTY ON HOLIDAYS.

FURTHER, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE EMPLOYEES IDENTIFIED AS TYPE A IN YOUR LETTER ARE IRRIGATION OPERATORS IN GRADES GS-3 AND 4. BECAUSE OF PECULIAR CONDITIONS ON THE IRRIGATION PROJECT WHERE THEY ARE EMPLOYED, IT HAS BEEN IMPOSSIBLE TO ESTABLISH REGULAR HOURS DURING WHICH THESE MEN ARE REQUIRED TO PERFORM ACTUAL WORK. RATHER, IT HAS BEEN NECESSARY TO CONSIDER EACH OPERATOR AS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE OPERATION OF HIS BEAT DURING THE 14-HOUR PERIOD FROM 5 A.M. TO 7 P.M. ON EACH WORKDAY OF HIS ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEK. THE ACTUAL WORKING TIME WHICH AVERAGES LESS THAN 25 HOURS A WEEK IS DETERMINED BY THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS SUPERVISOR FROM THE WATER DELIVERY REQUESTS RECEIVED FROM WATER USERS, THE AMOUNT OF WATER IN THE SYSTEM AND WEATHER CONDITIONS WHICH AFFECT THE DEGREE OF SURVEILLANCE REQUIRED. FOR THE REMAINDER OF HIS RESPONSIBILITY PERIOD THE OPERATOR STANDS BY AT HIS HOME, A GOVERNMENT-OWNED RESIDENCE LOCATED WITHIN THE IRRIGATION SYSTEM AND CONSIDERED HIS POST OF DUTY.

IT IS APPARENT FROM THE ABOVE THAT THE SITUATION IN WHICH TYPE A EMPLOYEES SERVE CLOSELY FOLLOWS EXAMPLE (2) IN SECTION 550.141 (A) OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REGULATIONS AND THAT THE 5 PERCENT PREMIUM PAY PERCENTAGE SEEMS APPROPRIATE. AS INDICATED ABOVE, EMPLOYEES OF TYPE A WERE EXCUSED FROM DUTY ON HOLIDAYS DURING THE 1966 IRRIGATION SEASON WHENEVER THE WORK LOAD PERMITTED. THAT IS, IF ON A PARTICULAR HOLIDAY LITTLE OR NO WATER WAS RUNNING AND NO REQUESTS HAD BEEN RECEIVED FROM WATER USERS, THE SUPERVISOR DETERMINED THE OPERATOR'S SERVICES WERE NOT NEEDED AND RELEASED HIM FROM THE REQUIREMENT OF STANDING BY READY FOR WORK.

APPARENTLY THERE IS NO PRACTICABLE BASIS FOR SEPARATING THE STANDBY DUTY OF THESE EMPLOYEES FROM THEIR ACTUAL WORK. ANNUAL AND SICK LEAVE ACCRUE AND ARE CHARGED ON THE BASIS OF THE CONVERSION PRINCIPLE OUTLINED IN FPM SUPP. 990-2, 630-9, S2-6. AT THE BEGINNING OF THE IRRIGATION SEASON EACH EMPLOYEE'S LEAVE ACCOUNT IS ADJUSTED ACCORDING TO THE RATIO OF THE NORMAL 40-HOUR WORKWEEK TO HIS SPECIAL 70-HOUR TOUR OF DUTY. AT THE END OF THE IRRIGATION SEASON ALL OPERATORS ARE ASSIGNED TO MAINTENANCE CREWS AND THEIR TOTAL LEAVE ACCRUALS ARE CONVERTED BACK TO FIT THE NORMAL 40-HOUR, FIVE-DAY WORKWEEK.

THEREFORE, OUR VIEW IS THAT THE EMPLOYEES OF TYPE A FALL WITHIN THE RATIONALE OF OUR DECISION IN 42 COMP. GEN. 426 AND SUBJECT TO THE CONDITIONS THEREIN MAY BE EXCUSED ON HOLIDAYS OR OTHER DAYS IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DECIDED THAT THEIR SERVICES ARE NOT NEEDED.

REGARDING TYPE B EMPLOYEES WHOM WE UNDERSTAND TO BE THE PRINCIPAL STAFF MEMBERS AT THE ARBUCKLE JOB CORPS CENTER, EACH IN ADDITION TO SERVING A REGULAR MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY TOUR OF DUTY FROM8 A.M. TO 5 P.M. (ACTUAL WORK), SERVES A STANDBY TOUR AS DUTY OFFICER ONE EVENING A WEEK MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY FROM 5 P.M. TO 8 A.M. THE FOLLOWING MORNING AND ONE WEEKEND A MONTH FROM 5 P.M. FRIDAY TO 8 A.M. MONDAY. OTHER ARRANGEMENTS ARE MADE TO PROVIDE THAT A DUTY OFFICER IS PRESENT WHEN A MONTH HAS 5 WEEKENDS.

FOR HOLIDAYS ON WHICH THE CENTER IS CLOSED AND NEITHER THE PRINCIPAL MEMBERS NOR MEMBERS OF THEIR SUPPORTING STAFFS ARE REQUIRED TO BE IN ATTENDANCE DURING THE 8 A.M. TO 5 P.M. TOUR OF DUTY, IT WOULD BE PROPER THAT EACH CLASS BE PAID AT THEIR REGULAR RATES OF BASIC COMPENSATION. TO THE CLASS RECEIVING THE 25 PERCENT ADDITIONAL ANNUAL PAY WHEN THEIR STANDBY SERVICES MIGHT NOT BE REQUIRED AS DUTY OFFICERS, THE REASONING IN 42 COMP. GEN. 426 ALSO WOULD APPEAR TO BE APPLICABLE.

THEREFORE, BOTH TYPE A AND TYPE B EMPLOYEES, WHEN THEIR SERVICES ARE NOT ADMINISTRATIVELY NEEDED FOR STANDBY DUTY, MAY BE EXCUSED WITHOUT A CHARGE TO LEAVE.