B-172359, APR 9, 1971, 50 COMP GEN 726

B-172359: Apr 9, 1971

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OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - SEVERANCE PAY - ELIGIBILITY - "DEFINITE TIME LIMITATION" EMPLOYEES EXECUTIVE SECRETARIES OF LOCAL SELECTIVE SERVICE BOARDS WHO ARE GIVEN CAREER OR CAREER-CONDITIONAL APPOINTMENTS WITH A 10-YEAR TIME LIMITATION. HOLD POSITIONS OF A PERMANENT CONTINUING NATURE AND THEIR APPOINTMENTS ARE CONSIDERED TO BE IN THE COMPETITIVE SERVICE. REQUESTING A DECISION FROM OUR OFFICE WHETHER EMPLOYEES OF LOCAL SELECTIVE SERVICE BOARDS MAY BE CONSIDERED ELIGIBLE FOR SEVERANCE PAY ALTHOUGH THEY ARE SERVING UNDER APPOINTMENTS HAVING A 10-YEAR TIME LIMITATION. A FORMER EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF A LOCAL BOARD WHOSE CLAIM IS INDICATIVE OF THE ISSUE RAISED. YOU SAY THAT EXECUTIVE SECRETARIES OF LOCAL BOARDS ARE GIVEN CAREER OR CAREER-CONDITIONAL APPOINTMENTS WITH A 10-YEAR TIME LIMITATION.

B-172359, APR 9, 1971, 50 COMP GEN 726

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - SEVERANCE PAY - ELIGIBILITY - "DEFINITE TIME LIMITATION" EMPLOYEES EXECUTIVE SECRETARIES OF LOCAL SELECTIVE SERVICE BOARDS WHO ARE GIVEN CAREER OR CAREER-CONDITIONAL APPOINTMENTS WITH A 10-YEAR TIME LIMITATION, SUBJECT TO REAPPOINTMENT FOR ANOTHER 10-YEAR TERM, SEPARATION, OR REASSIGNMENT TO ANOTHER POSITION PURSUANT TO 50 U.S.C. APP. 460(B)(4), HOLD POSITIONS OF A PERMANENT CONTINUING NATURE AND THEIR APPOINTMENTS ARE CONSIDERED TO BE IN THE COMPETITIVE SERVICE, MAKING THEM ELIGIBLE UPON THE TERMINATION OF THEIR EMPLOYMENT TO THE SEVERANCE PAY PROVIDED UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5595(A)(2) FOR THE TEMPORARY RELIEF OF EMPLOYEES SEPARATED FROM THE FEDERAL SERVICE SINCE THE EXCLUSION OF EMPLOYEES SERVING UNDER AN APPOINTMENT WITH A "DEFINITE TIME LIMITATION" FROM ENTITLEMENT TO SEVERANCE PAY DOES NOT APPLY TO THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARIES.

TO THE DIRECTOR, SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM, APRIL 9, 1971:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 24, 1971, WITH ENCLOSURE, REQUESTING A DECISION FROM OUR OFFICE WHETHER EMPLOYEES OF LOCAL SELECTIVE SERVICE BOARDS MAY BE CONSIDERED ELIGIBLE FOR SEVERANCE PAY ALTHOUGH THEY ARE SERVING UNDER APPOINTMENTS HAVING A 10-YEAR TIME LIMITATION. YOU SUBMIT THE PERSONNEL FILE OF MRS. JOYCE R. LAWSON, A FORMER EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF A LOCAL BOARD WHOSE CLAIM IS INDICATIVE OF THE ISSUE RAISED.

YOU SAY THAT EXECUTIVE SECRETARIES OF LOCAL BOARDS ARE GIVEN CAREER OR CAREER-CONDITIONAL APPOINTMENTS WITH A 10-YEAR TIME LIMITATION. UPON COMPLETION OF THE 10-YEAR TERM AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE REAPPOINTED TO AN ADDITIONAL 10-YEAR TERM, OR BE SEPARATED, OR REASSIGNED TO ANOTHER POSITION. THESE EMPLOYEES ARE, HOWEVER, IN TENURE GROUPS I AND II AND, IF SEPARATED PRIOR TO THE TERMINATION OF THE 10-YEAR TERM ARE SUBJECT TO ADVERSE ACTION PROCEDURES. IT IS BECAUSE THE POSITIONS ARE OF A PERMANENT CONTINUING NATURE THAT THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM AND THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION CONSIDER THESE APPOINTMENTS TO BE IN THE COMPETITIVE SERVICE.

50 U.S.C.A. APP. 460(B)(4) OF THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM PROVIDES IN PART:

*** THAT AN EMPLOYEE OF A LOCAL BOARD HAVING SUPERVISORY DUTIES WITH RESPECT TO OTHER EMPLOYEES OF ONE OR MORE LOCAL BOARDS SHALL BE DESIGNATED AS THE "EXECUTIVE SECRETARY" OF THE LOCAL BOARD OR BOARDS: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE TERM OF EMPLOYMENT OF SUCH "EXECUTIVE SECRETARY" IN SUCH POSITION SHALL IN NO CASE EXCEED TEN YEARS EXCEPT WHEN REAPPOINTED;

AS STATED BY YOU THE PURPOSE OF SEVERANCE PAY IS TO PROVIDE TEMPORARY RELIEF FOR EMPLOYEES WHO, THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN, BECOME SEPARATED FROM THE FEDERAL SERVICE. WITH RESPECT TO ENTITLEMENT TO SEVERANCE PAY 5 U.S.C. 5595(A)(2) PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT THE SECTION SHALL NOT INCLUDE:

(II) AN EMPLOYEE SERVING UNDER AN APPOINTMENT WITH A DEFINITE TIME LIMITATION, EXCEPT ONE SO APPOINTED FOR FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT WITHOUT A BREAK IN SERVICE OF MORE THAN 3 DAYS FOLLOWING SERVICE UNDER AN APPOINTMENT WITHOUT TIME LIMITATION;

NEITHER THE STATUTE NOR THE REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION DEFINE THE TERM "DEFINITE TIME LIMITATION." HOWEVER, WE NOTE THAT SUCH REGULATIONS (5 CFR 550.704(B)(4)(III)) DO INDICATE THAT A PERSON SERVING UNDER AN INDEFINITE APPOINTMENT IN AN AGENCY DUE TO EXPIRE BY OPERATION OF LAW OR EXECUTIVE ORDER AFTER A PERIOD IN EXCESS OF 5 YEARS WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR SEVERANCE PAY; ALSO, WE NOTE THAT THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION IS OF THE VIEW THAT EMPLOYEES SERVING UNDER 10 YEAR APPOINTMENTS SUCH AS HERE ARE ELIGIBLE FOR SEVERANCE PAY. WE SEE NO REASON TO DISAGREE WITH THAT VIEW.

ACCORDINGLY, SEVERANCE PAY MAY BE AUTHORIZED TO EMPLOYEES SERVING UNDER 10-YEAR APPOINTMENTS AS DESCRIBED HEREIN IF OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE. THE PERSONNEL FILE ON MRS. LAWSON IS RETURNED.