B-160635, FEBRUARY 6, 1967, 46 COMP. GEN. 660

B-160635: Feb 6, 1967

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COMPENSATION - OVERTIME - PREMIUM PAY - EMPLOYEES IN MOSLEM COUNTRIES OVERSEAS EMPLOYEES WHO REGULARLY WORK ON SUNDAY IN A COUNTRY THAT OBSERVES FRIDAY AS ITS DAY OF REST AND WORSHIP AND WHO HAVE FRIDAY AND SATURDAY OFF FROM DUTY ARE NEVERTHELESS ENTITLED TO PREMIUM PAY FOR WORK ON SUNDAY UNDER SECTION 405 (C) OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1966. ENTITLEMENT TO SUCH PREMIUM PAY IS NOT AFFECTED BY THE CUSTOMS OF THE COUNTRY IN WHICH THE SERVICE IS PERFORMED. 1967: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 23. YOU STATE THAT THE FOUR EMPLOYEES ARE STATIONED IN SUDAN. THEIR REGULAR TOUR OF DUTY IS 40 HOURS. ADDED A NEW SECTION 302 TO THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945 (NOW 5 U.S.C. 5545) AS FOLLOWS: ANY REGULARLY SCHEDULED EIGHT-HOUR PERIOD OF SERVICE WHICH IS NOT OVERTIME WORK AS DEFINED IN SECTION 201 OF THIS ACT ANY PART OF WHICH IS PERFORMED WITHIN THE PERIOD COMMENCING AT MIDNIGHT SATURDAY AND ENDING AT MIDNIGHT SUNDAY SHALL BE COMPENSATED FOR THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF SERVICE AT THE RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION OF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE PERFORMING SUCH WORK PLUS PREMIUM COMPENSATION AT A RATE EQUAL TO 25 PERCENTUM OF HIS RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION.

B-160635, FEBRUARY 6, 1967, 46 COMP. GEN. 660

COMPENSATION - OVERTIME - PREMIUM PAY - EMPLOYEES IN MOSLEM COUNTRIES OVERSEAS EMPLOYEES WHO REGULARLY WORK ON SUNDAY IN A COUNTRY THAT OBSERVES FRIDAY AS ITS DAY OF REST AND WORSHIP AND WHO HAVE FRIDAY AND SATURDAY OFF FROM DUTY ARE NEVERTHELESS ENTITLED TO PREMIUM PAY FOR WORK ON SUNDAY UNDER SECTION 405 (C) OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1966, 5 U.S.C. 5545, WHICH SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED PREMIUM PAY FOR ANY REGULARLY SCHEDULED WORK PERFORMED BETWEEN MIDNIGHT SATURDAY AND MIDNIGHT SUNDAY, AND ENTITLEMENT TO SUCH PREMIUM PAY IS NOT AFFECTED BY THE CUSTOMS OF THE COUNTRY IN WHICH THE SERVICE IS PERFORMED.

TO T. R. MCVEY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, FEBRUARY 6, 1967:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 23, 1966, YOUR FILE 34 21, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER REPRESENTING PREMIUM COMPENSATION FOR WORK PERFORMED ON SUNDAY BY HERBERT L. FRIEL, JOHN W. HEWETT, S. PAPASTEFANOU AND A. LEONARD SMITH. WE UNDERSTAND THAT EACH OF THE EMPLOYEES HOLDS A POSITION WITH THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS UNDER THE GENERAL SCHEDULE AS SET FORTH IN 5 U.S.C. 532.

YOU STATE THAT THE FOUR EMPLOYEES ARE STATIONED IN SUDAN, A MOSLEM COUNTRY THAT OBSERVES FRIDAY AS ITS DAY OF REST AND WORSHIP. THEIR REGULAR TOUR OF DUTY IS 40 HOURS, BEGINNING ON SUNDAY (A NORMAL SUDANESE WORKING DAY) AND ENDING ON THURSDAY, WITH FRIDAY AND SATURDAY OFF.

SECTION 405 (C) OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1966, APPROVED JULY 18, 1966, PUBLIC LAW 89-504, 80 STAT. 297, ADDED A NEW SECTION 302 TO THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945 (NOW 5 U.S.C. 5545) AS FOLLOWS:

ANY REGULARLY SCHEDULED EIGHT-HOUR PERIOD OF SERVICE WHICH IS NOT OVERTIME WORK AS DEFINED IN SECTION 201 OF THIS ACT ANY PART OF WHICH IS PERFORMED WITHIN THE PERIOD COMMENCING AT MIDNIGHT SATURDAY AND ENDING AT MIDNIGHT SUNDAY SHALL BE COMPENSATED FOR THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF SERVICE AT THE RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION OF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE PERFORMING SUCH WORK PLUS PREMIUM COMPENSATION AT A RATE EQUAL TO 25 PERCENTUM OF HIS RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION.

YOUR OPINION IS THAT THESE EMPLOYEES ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE PREMIUM RATE FOR THEIR NORMALLY SCHEDULED SUNDAY WORK BECAUSE THE INTENT OF THE LAW WAS TO PAY ONLY WHEN THEY WERE REQUIRED TO WORK ON THE DAY USUALLY SET ASIDE FOR REST AND WORSHIP. SINCE EVERYONE WORKS ON SUNDAY IN SUDAN, YOU STATE THAT SUNDAY HAS "LOST ITS SIGNIFICANCE AS A DAY FOR REST AND WORSHIP" AND THAT, THEREFORE, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR PAYING PREMIUM RATE.

THE WORDING OF THE STATUTE IS CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOS. UNDER ITS SPECIFIC TERMS PREMIUM PAY MUST BE PAID FOR ANY REGULARLY SCHEDULED 8 HOUR PERIOD OF SERVICE WHICH IS NOT OVERTIME WORK IF ANY PART OF SUCH SERVICE IS PERFORMED IN THE 24-HOUR PERIOD BETWEEN MIDNIGHT ON THE CALENDAR DAY SATURDAY AND MIDNIGHT ON THE CALENDAR DAY SUNDAY. ENTITLEMENT UNDER THE STATUTE IS UNAFFECTED BY THE COUNTRY IN WHICH THE SERVICES ARE PERFORMED. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE STATUTE WOULD NOT AUTHORIZE SUNDAY PREMIUM PAY FOR REGULARLY SCHEDULED WORK UNLESS PART OF SUCH WORK IS PERFORMED BETWEEN MIDNIGHT SATURADY AND MIDNIGHT SUNDAY.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH SHOULD BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.