B-170250(1), OCT. 23, 1970

B-170250(1): Oct 23, 1970

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WHERE THE ONLY SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS FOR THE GRANTING OF HOME LEAVE ARE THAT EMPLOYEE MUST HAVE COMPLETED A BASIC SERVICE PERIOD OF 24 CONTINUOUS MONTHS ABROAD AND THAT HE RETURN AFTER HOME LEAVE TO ANOTHER OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT. WHICH IS FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE GOVERNMENT WHEN IT HAS EXPENDED MONIES FOR TRAVEL. WHEN THE EMPLOYEE INTENDS PERSONALLY TO BEAR THE EXPENSES INVOLVED SUCH A REQUIREMENT IS IMPROPER AND AN APPROPRIATE SUBSTITUTION OF HOME LEAVE FOR ANNUAL LEAVE SHOULD BE MADE. MEEDS WAS DENIED HOME LEAVE BECAUSE HE REFUSED TO SIGN A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 6305 AN EMPLOYEE GENERALLY IS ENTITLED TO HOME LEAVE AFTER SERVING OVERSEAS FOR A REQUIRED PERIOD.

B-170250(1), OCT. 23, 1970

HOME LEAVE - TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT DECISION TO DIRECTOR OF CIVILIAN PERSONNEL, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, UPHOLDING CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE'S RIGHT TO HOME LEAVE IN LIGHT OF HIS REFUSAL TO SIGN A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT. WHERE THE ONLY SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS FOR THE GRANTING OF HOME LEAVE ARE THAT EMPLOYEE MUST HAVE COMPLETED A BASIC SERVICE PERIOD OF 24 CONTINUOUS MONTHS ABROAD AND THAT HE RETURN AFTER HOME LEAVE TO ANOTHER OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT, THE GOVERNMENT'S INSISTENCE THAT THE EMPLOYEE SIGN A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT, WHICH IS FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE GOVERNMENT WHEN IT HAS EXPENDED MONIES FOR TRAVEL, WHEN THE EMPLOYEE INTENDS PERSONALLY TO BEAR THE EXPENSES INVOLVED SUCH A REQUIREMENT IS IMPROPER AND AN APPROPRIATE SUBSTITUTION OF HOME LEAVE FOR ANNUAL LEAVE SHOULD BE MADE.

TO MR. CHARLES F. MULLALY

THIS REFERS TO LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 29, 1970, FROM MR. WALTER F. MEYER, CHIEF, PROCEDURES AND REGULATIONS DIVISION IN REPLY TO OUR LETTER OF JULY 8, 1970, CONCERNING THE RIGHT TO HOME LEAVE OF MR. DARNOLD S. MEEDS, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY STATIONED IN THE PANAMA CANAL ZONE.

THE LETTER FROM MR. MEYER STATES THAT MR. MEEDS WAS DENIED HOME LEAVE BECAUSE HE REFUSED TO SIGN A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 6305 AN EMPLOYEE GENERALLY IS ENTITLED TO HOME LEAVE AFTER SERVING OVERSEAS FOR A REQUIRED PERIOD. THE SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS LAID DOWN FOR THE GRANTING OF HOME LEAVE ARE THAT THE EMPLOYEE MUST HAVE COMPLETED A BASIC SERVICE PERIOD OF 24 CONTINUOUS MONTHS ABROAD AND THAT HE RETURN AFTER HOME LEAVE TO ANOTHER OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT. SEE PARAGRAPH S6-7, BOOK 630 FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL SUPPLEMENT 990-2. WE FIND NOTHING IN THE LAW OR REGULATIONS REQUIRING AN EMPLOYEE TO SIGN A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT TO BE ENTITLED TO HOME LEAVE.

AS WE STATED IN OUR LETTER OF JULY 8, 1970, THE TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT IS PRIMARILY FOR PROTECTION OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT WHERE IT HAS EXPENDED MONIES FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO AN EMPLOYEE'S HOME LEAVE. PRIOR TO DEPARTING ON HOME LEAVE THE EMPLOYEE IN THE INSTANT CASE HAD SIGNED A STATEMENT OF AGREEMENT TO SERVE AN ADDITIONAL TOUR OF DUTY IN THE CANAL ZONE OR ANOTHER OVERSEAS POST, AND HE OFFERED TO SIGN ANY AGREEMENT PERTINENT TO HIS CASE. HE REFUSED TO SIGN A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT HE INTENDED TO PERSONALLY BEAR THE EXPENSES INVOLVED AND, THEREFORE, DID NOT BELIEVE SUCH AGREEMENT TO BE APPROPRIATE.

THE TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT MR. MEEDS WAS REQUESTED TO SIGN PROVIDED THAT IN THE EVENT OF FAILURE TO SERVE A SPECIFIED TIME OVERSEAS UPON RETURN FROM HOME LEAVE, HE WOULD LOSE HIS RIGHT TO RETURN TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. SINCE SUCH RIGHT HAD ALREADY BEEN EARNED AND NO ADDITIONAL EXPENSES WERE INVOLVED, AND SINCE HOME LEAVE ITSELF IS NEVER FORFEITED WHERE REFUND OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND LOSS OF RETURN RIGHTS ARE EFFECTED UNDER A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT, WE CONCUR WITH MR. MEEDS THAT THE TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT WAS INAPPROPRIATE.

WHILE WE RECOGNIZE THAT THE GRANTING OF HOME LEAVE IS BASICALLY FOR AGENCY DETERMINATION, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE FAILURE TO HAVE GRANTED HOME LEAVE IN MR. MEEDS' CASE WAS FUNDAMENTALLY DISCRIMINATORY UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. THEREFORE, AND IN VIEW OF THE APPARENT CONFUSION AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS IN THE MATTER, WE ARE OF THE VIEW THAT APPROPRIATE SUBSTITUTION OF HOME LEAVE FOR ANNUAL LEAVE SHOULD BE MADE. A COPY OF THIS LETTER IS BEING FORWARDED TO MR. MEEDS.