B-179626, FEB 12, 1974, 53 COMP GEN 582

B-179626: Feb 12, 1974

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

WAS A PROPER EXERCISE OF ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY SINCE THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION HAS NOT ISSUED GENERAL REGULATIONS COVERING THE GRANT OF ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE AND. WHICH ARE DISCUSSED IN THE APPLICABLE FPM SUPPLEMENT. HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR DETERMINING THE SITUATIONS IN WHICH EXCUSING EMPLOYEES FROM WORK WITHOUT CHARGE TO LEAVE IS APPROPRIATE. BURKHALTER WAS ENGAGED IN CLEANING AND CONTACTING AGENCIES TO REPAIR DAMAGES TO HIS HOME IN ROSEVILLE. THIS MATTER IS DISCUSSED IN FPM SUPPLEMENT 990-2. WHICH WERE ISSUED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF 5 U.S.C. 6104 ARE CONTAINED IN 5 CFR 610.301 ET SEQ. HOURLY OR PIECEWORK EMPLOYEE FROM WORKING MAY BE ISSUED FOR ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING REASONS: (A) NORMAL OPERATIONS OF AN ESTABLISHMENT ARE INTERRUPTED BY EVENTS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF MANAGEMENT OR EMPLOYEES.

B-179626, FEB 12, 1974, 53 COMP GEN 582

LEAVES OF ABSENCE - ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE - ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THE RETROACTIVE GRANT OF 8 HOURS ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE TO AN EMPLOYEE BY A LOCAL COMMANDER OF AN AIR FORCE BASE FOR THE TIME HE SPENT IN CLEANING AND ARRANGING FOR THE REPAIR OF THE DAMAGES TO HIS HOME, THAT RESULTED FROM AN AMMUNITION TRAIN EXPLOSION, WAS A PROPER EXERCISE OF ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY SINCE THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION HAS NOT ISSUED GENERAL REGULATIONS COVERING THE GRANT OF ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE AND, THEREFORE, EACH AGENCY, UNDER THE GENERAL GUIDANCE OF THE DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL, WHICH ARE DISCUSSED IN THE APPLICABLE FPM SUPPLEMENT, HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR DETERMINING THE SITUATIONS IN WHICH EXCUSING EMPLOYEES FROM WORK WITHOUT CHARGE TO LEAVE IS APPROPRIATE.

TO O. MEDLIN, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, FEBRUARY 12, 1974:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 29, 1973, WHICH QUESTIONED THE AUTHORITY OF THE LOCAL COMMANDER OF MCCLELLAN AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA, TO GRANT RETROACTIVELY, UNDER THE APPLICABLE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AND AIR FORCE REGULATIONS, 8 HOURS OF ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE TO MR. DRUE BURKHALTER, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE AIR FORCE AT MCCLELLAN AFB. DURING THIS PERIOD MR. BURKHALTER WAS ENGAGED IN CLEANING AND CONTACTING AGENCIES TO REPAIR DAMAGES TO HIS HOME IN ROSEVILLE, CALIFORNIA, WHICH BECAME NECESSARY AS A RESULT OF THE EXPLOSION OF AN AMMUNITION TRAIN WHICH DAMAGED NUMEROUS DWELLINGS IN THE COMMUNITY.

THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION HAS ISSUED NO GENERAL REGULATIONS ON THE SUBJECT OF GRANTING EXCUSED ABSENCE TO EMPLOYEES WITHOUT CHARGE TO LEAVE (COMMONLY CALLED ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE); HOWEVER, THIS MATTER IS DISCUSSED IN FPM SUPPLEMENT 990-2, BOOK 630, SUBCHAPTER S11. FURTHER, REGULATIONS ON THIS SUBJECT WHICH APPLY ONLY TO DAILY, HOURLY AND PIECEWORK EMPLOYEES, E.G. WAGE BOARD EMPLOYEES, WHICH WERE ISSUED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF 5 U.S.C. 6104 ARE CONTAINED IN 5 CFR 610.301 ET SEQ. IN GENERAL, THOSE REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT AN ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER RELIEVING OR PREVENTING A DAILY, HOURLY OR PIECEWORK EMPLOYEE FROM WORKING MAY BE ISSUED FOR ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

(A) NORMAL OPERATIONS OF AN ESTABLISHMENT ARE INTERRUPTED BY EVENTS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF MANAGEMENT OR EMPLOYEES;

(B) FOR MANAGERIAL REASONS, THE CLOSING OF AN ESTABLISHMENT OR PORTIONS THEREOF IS REQUIRED FOR SHORT PERIODS;

(C) IT IS IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST TO RELIEVE EMPLOYEES FROM WORK TO PARTICIPATE IN CIVIL ACTIVITIES WHICH THE GOVERNMENT IS INTERESTED IN ENCOURAGING; OR

(D) THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE SUCH THAT AN ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER UNDER PARAGRAPH (A), (B), OR (C) OF THIS SECTION IS NOT APPROPRIATE AND THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY UNDER ITS REGULATIONS EXCUSES, OR IS AUTHORIZED TO EXCUSE, WITHOUT CHARGE TO LEAVE OR LOSS OF PAY, EMPLOYEES PAID ON AN ANNUAL BASIS.

UNDER ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICE AND DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE SIMILAR STANDARDS ARE APPLIED TO SALARIED (GENERAL SCHEDULE) EMPLOYEES. AMONG THE VARIOUS PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE GRANTING OF ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED EITHER BY LAW, EXECUTIVE ORDER, EXECUTIVE POLICY, OR DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE, ARE THOSE MENTIONED IN FPM SUPPLEMENT 990-2, BOOK 630, SUBCHAPTER S11. THESE INCLUDE:

(1) REGISTERING AND VOTING

(2) CIVIL DEFENSE ACTIVITIES

(3)PARTICIPATION IN MILITARY FUNERALS

(4) BLOOD DONATIONS

(5) TARDINESS AND BRIEF ABSENCES

(6) TAKING EXAMINATIONS

(7) ATTENDANCE AT CONFERENCES OR CONVENTIONS

(8) REPRESENTING EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATIONS

(9) OFFICE CLOSINGS

PARAGRAPH A OF SUBCHAPTER S11-5 OF BOOK 630 CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING GENERAL INSTRUCTION WITH REGARD TO THE TYPE OF ABSENCE IN QUESTION:

WITH FEW EXCEPTIONS, AGENCIES DETERMINE ADMINISTRATIVELY SITUATIONS IN WHICH THEY WILL EXCUSE EMPLOYEES FROM DUTY WITHOUT CHARGE TO LEAVE AND MAY BY ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION PLACE ANY LIMITATIONS OR RESTRICTIONS THEY FEEL ARE NEEDED. SOME OF THE MORE COMMON SITUATIONS IN WHICH AGENCIES GENERALLY EXCUSE ABSENCE WITHOUT CHARGE TO LEAVE AND IN ADDITION TO THOSE SPECIFICALLY GIVEN ABOVE, ARE COVERED IN THIS SECTION.

THE COPIES OF PERTINENT AIR FORCE AND AFLC REGULATIONS WHICH YOU CITE, AFR 40-602 AND AFLC SUPPLEMENT 1 TO THAT REGULATION, PROVIDE FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE MAY BE GRANTED. UNDER THOSE REGULATIONS THE APPROPRIATE COMMANDER IS AUTHORIZED TO APPROVE SUCH ABSENCES.

SINCE THE COMMISSION HAS NOT ISSUED GENERAL REGULATIONS COVERING THE GRANT OF ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE EACH AGENCY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DETERMINING THOSE SITUATIONS IN WHICH EXCUSING EMPLOYEES FROM WORK WITHOUT CHARGE TO LEAVE IS APPROPRIATE UNDER THE GENERAL GUIDANCE OF THE DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE AS THEY ARE DISCUSSED IN THE APPLICABLE FPM SUPPLEMENT.

ALTHOUGH THE GRANTING OF TIME OFF WITHOUT CHARGE TO LEAVE IN CIRCUMSTANCES SIMILAR TO THOSE IN THIS CASE HAS NOT BEEN THE SUBJECT OF A DECISION OF THIS OFFICE AND IS NOT SPECIFICALLY DISCUSSED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION OR COVERED BY AIR FORCE REGULATIONS THE RESPONSIBLE OFFICIAL OF THE DEPARTMENT DETERMINED THAT SUCH LEAVE SHOULD BE GRANTED IN MR. BURKHALTER'S CASE AND IN THE CASES OF OTHER EMPLOYEES WHO WERE UNABLE TO REPORT TO WORK AS A RESULT OF THE AMMUNITION TRAIN EXPLOSION. SINCE THE SCOPE OF AUTHORITY FOR MAKING SUCH DETERMINATIONS IS NOT CLEARLY DEFINED IN LAW AND REGULATION AND SINCE THE EXCUSED ABSENCE WAS RELATED TO AN EMERGENCY SITUATION SIMILAR TO THOSE COVERED IN THE AIR FORCE REGULATION WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE EXERCISE OF THE COMMANDER'S AUTHORITY TO EXCUSE EMPLOYEES SHOULD BE QUESTIONED IN THIS CASE.

ACCORDINGLY, WE FIND THAT THE CHANGE IN THE LEAVE CHARGED TO MR. BURKHALTER FOR MONDAY, APRIL 30, 1973, FROM ANNUAL TO ADMINISTRATIVE WAS PROPER AND WOULD NOT QUESTION SUCH ACTION IN SIMILAR CASES.