Comments on Entitlement to Hazardous Duty Pay

B-203456(BJ): Dec 3, 1981

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GAO was asked about the entitlement of certain Naval employees to hazardous duty pay and whether the Navy was in error in its denial of hazardous duty pay to the employees. The accessability of a work site was severely limited due to the closing of a road. The Navy reported that the necessary repairs would be completed in November 1981. Federal regulations require an agency to pay the hazard pay differential to an employee who is assigned to and performs any irregular or intermittent duty specified in the regulations when that duty is not usually involved in carrying out the duties of his position. The authority to determine whether the assigned duties of an employee involve situations for which a differential is authorized is vested primarily in the agency concerned. GAO will not substitute its judgment for that of agency officials unless it finds clear and convincing evidence that the agency was wrong or that its actions were arbitrary and capricious. GAO states that the employees' collective bargaining agreement would allow for negotiation on the issue of hazardous duty pay. The unions involved might also consider filing a grievance on the matter or could submit a claim or submit a joint request for a decision to GAO.