B-20500, OCTOBER 2, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 285

B-20500: Oct 2, 1941

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IS FOR DETERMINATION ON THE BASIS OF SERVICE RENDERED DURING THE LAST PRECEDING 18 OR 30 MONTHS. THE AMOUNT OF THE INCREASE IS TO BE DETERMINED BY THE RATES APPLICABLE TO THE PARTICULAR GRADE IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS SERVING AT THE TIME HE BECOMES ELIGIBLE FOR THE INCREASE. AN EMPLOYEE WAS PROMOTED FROM CAF-3 AT $1. HE HAS RECEIVED AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION" DURING THE PAST 18 MONTHS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT AND IS NOT ENTITLED TO A WITHIN-GRADE INCREASE ON OCTOBER 1. 1941: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 11. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO PUBLIC LAW 200. WHO HAVE NOT ATTAINED THE MAXIMUM RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR THE GRADE IN WHICH THEIR POSITIONS ARE RESPECTIVELY ALLOCATED.

B-20500, OCTOBER 2, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 285

COMPENSATION - WITHIN-GRADE PROMOTIONS - ELIGIBILITY PERIOD; RESTORATION OF GRADE AND SALARY AFTER DEMOTION AS "EQUIVALENT INCREASE" ELIGIBILITY FOR PROMOTION AS OF OCTOBER 1, 1941, WHEN THE FIRST WITHIN- GRADE COMPENSATION INCREASES BECOME EFFECTIVE UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1941, IS FOR DETERMINATION ON THE BASIS OF SERVICE RENDERED DURING THE LAST PRECEDING 18 OR 30 MONTHS, AS THE CASE MAY BE, AND THE AMOUNT OF THE INCREASE IS TO BE DETERMINED BY THE RATES APPLICABLE TO THE PARTICULAR GRADE IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS SERVING AT THE TIME HE BECOMES ELIGIBLE FOR THE INCREASE. IF DURING THE 18 MONTHS' PERIOD PRECEDING THE EFFECTIVE DATE--- OCTOBER 1, 1941--- OF THE FIRST WITHIN-GRADE COMPENSATION INCREASES UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1941, AN EMPLOYEE WAS PROMOTED FROM CAF-3 AT $1,620 PER ANNUM TO CAF-4 AT $1,800, REDUCED TO CAF-3 AT $1,620, AND THEN AGAIN PROMOTED TO CAF-4 AT $1,800, HE HAS RECEIVED AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION" DURING THE PAST 18 MONTHS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT AND IS NOT ENTITLED TO A WITHIN-GRADE INCREASE ON OCTOBER 1, 1941, AND THE 18 MONTHS' PERIOD NECESSARY FOR ELIGIBILITY TO A FURTHER PROMOTION UNDER THE ACT MUST BEGIN TO RUN FROM THE DATE OF THE LAST PROMOTION TO CAF-4 AT $1,800.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, OCTOBER 2, 1941:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 11, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO PUBLIC LAW 200, 77TH CONGRESS, WHICH FURTHER AMENDS THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 AS AMENDED, AND PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"/B) ALL EMPLOYEES COMPENSATED ON A PER ANNUM BASIS, AND OCCUPYING PERMANENT POSITIONS WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE COMPENSATION SCHEDULES FIXED BY THIS ACT, WHO HAVE NOT ATTAINED THE MAXIMUM RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR THE GRADE IN WHICH THEIR POSITIONS ARE RESPECTIVELY ALLOCATED, SHALL BE ADVANCED IN COMPENSATION SUCCESSIVELY TO THE NEXT HIGHER RATE WITHIN THE GRADE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT QUARTER, FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF: (1) EACH EIGHTEEN MONTHS OF SERVICE IF SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE IN GRADES IN WHICH THE COMPENSATION INCREMENTS ARE $60 OR $100, OR (2) EACH THIRTY MONTHS OF SERVICE IF SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE IN GRADES IN WHICH THE COMPENSATION INCREMENTS ARE $200 OR $250, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:

"/1) THAT NO EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION FROM ANY CAUSE WAS RECEIVED DURING SUCH PERIOD, EXCEPT INCREASE MADE PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (F) OF THIS SECTION; * * *"

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

1. AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE PROMOTED FROM CAF-3 AT $1,620 PER ANNUM TO CAF-4 AT $1,800 PER ANNUM, REDUCED TO CAF-3 AT $1,620 PER ANNUM TO ANOTHER POSITION AND THEN AGAIN PROMOTED FROM CAF-3 AT $1,620 PER ANNUM TO CAF-4 AT $1,800 PER ANNUM. IS THE DEPARTMENT REQUIRED TO COMPUTE THE EIGHTEEN-MONTH PERIOD OF SERVICE FROM THE FIRST PROMOTION OR FROM THE LAST PROMOTION?

BY THE TERMS OF SECTION 2 OF THE ACT REFERRED TO THE PRESIDENT IS AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE REGULATIONS FOR ADMINISTERING SAID SECTION. EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8882 OF SEPTEMBER 3, 1941, ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS AUTHORITY, CONTAINS A PROVISION AS FOLLOWS:

(D) "EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION" SHALL MEAN ANY INCREASE OR INCREASES WHICH IN TOTAL ARE EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN THE COMPENSATION INCREMENT IN THE LOWEST GRADE IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE HAS SERVED DURING THE TIME PERIOD OF EIGHTEEN OR THIRTY MONTHS, AS THE CASE MAY BE.

IT APPEARS CLEAR FROM THE TERMS OF SECTION 7 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 AS AMENDED BY SECTION 2 OF THE ACT HERE INVOLVED, AND FROM THE ABOVE- QUOTED PROVISION OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, THAT ELIGIBILITY FOR PROMOTION AS OF OCTOBER 1, 1941--- WHEN THE FIRST INCREASES UNDER THE ACT BECOME EFFECTIVE--- IS FOR DETERMINATION ON THE BASIS OF SERVICE RENDERED DURING THE LAST PRECEDING 18 OR 30 MONTHS, AS THE CASE MAY BE, AND THAT THE INCREASE SHALL BE ON THE BASIS OF THE RATE OF COMPENSATION APPLICABLE TO THE PARTICULAR GRADE IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS SERVING AT THE TIME HE BECOMES ELIGIBLE FOR THE INCREASE. IN THIS CONNECTION ATTENTION IS INVITED TO SUBSECTION (E) OF THE SAID SECTION 7 AS AMENDED BY SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1941, 55 STAT. 614, READING AS FOLLOWS:

(E) EMPLOYEES ELIGIBLE UNDER SUBSECTION (B) FOR COMPENSATION ADVANCEMENT BY REASON OF SERVICE IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS AMENDMENT SHALL BE ADVANCED TO THE NEXT HIGHER RATE OF COMPENSATION WITHIN THE GRADE TO WHICH THEIR POSITIONS ARE RESPECTIVELY ALLOCATED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT QUARTER IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS AMENDMENT.

THUS, IN THE CASE PRESENTED IN YOUR LETTER, THE EMPLOYEE'S ELIGIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT IN SALARY UNDER THE ACT MUST BE MEASURED BY THE LAST 18 MONTHS OF SERVICE PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1, 1941; AND IF HE BE ENTITLED TO ANY ADVANCEMENT IT MUST BE AN ADVANCEMENT IN THE CAF-4 GRADE AT $1,800 TO WHICH HE IS ASSIGNED AS OF THAT DATE. IT WILL THUS BE NOTED THAT THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION PRESENTED DEPENDS SOMEWHAT UPON THE DATES OF THE CHANGES IN SALARY OR THE LENGTH OF THE VARIOUS PERIODS DURING WHICH HE RECEIVED THE DIFFERENT RATES OF SALARY.

IF THE LAST PROMOTION TO $1,800 IN CAF-4 OCCURRED ON OR PRIOR TO APRIL 1, 1940, THE EMPLOYEE CLEARLY WOULD BE ENTITLED TO A PROMOTION UNDER THE ACT AS OF OCTOBER 1, 1941, IF OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE. ON THE OTHER HAND, IF HE WAS RECEIVING $1,620 IN CAF-3 ON APRIL 1, 1940, IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT SINCE HE IS NOW RECEIVING $1,800 IN CAF-4 HE MUST BE REGARDED AS HAVING RECEIVED AN ,EQUIVALENT INCREASE" DURING THE PAST 18 MONTHS--- AN INCREASE OF $60 OR MORE FOR AN EMPLOYEE IN CAF-3 AT $1,620 OR IN CAF-4 AT $1,800 CONSTITUTING AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 7 (B) (1) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 AS AMENDED BY SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1941. IF ALL THE SALARY RATE CHANGES AS OUTLINED IN YOUR LETTER OCCURRED WITHIN THE 18 MONTHS' PERIOD PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1, 1941--- THAT IS, IF THE EMPLOYEE WAS RECEIVING $1,620 IN CAF-3 ON APRIL 1, 1940, WAS THEREAFTER INCREASED TO CAF-4 AT $1,800, WAS THEN REDUCED TO CAF-3 AT $1,620 AND THEN AGAIN PROMOTED TO CAF-4 AT $1,800--- IT IS CLEAR THAT HIS COMPENSATION HAS BEEN INCREASED DURING THE PAST 18 MONTHS. IN SUCH A CASE THE 18 MONTHS' PERIOD NECESSARY FOR ELIGIBILITY TO FURTHER PROMOTION UNDER THE ACT MUST BEGIN TO RUN FROM THE DATE OF THE LAST INCREASE TO CAF-4 AT $1,800. THE 18 MONTHS' PERIOD MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS BEGINNING ON THE DATE OF THE FIRST INCREASE TO CAF-4 AT $1,800 BECAUSE AT THE END OF SUCH 18 MONTHS' PERIOD IT COULD NOT BE ACCURATELY STATED THAT NO ,EQUIVALENT INCREASE" HAD BEEN RECEIVED DURING THE PAST 18 MONTHS--- AN INCREASE OF $180 ALREADY HAVING BEEN RECEIVED. THIS CONCLUSION MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS ALTERED BY THE FACT THAT THE SERVICE IN CAF-4 AT $1,800 WAS MERELY INTERRUPTED BY A TEMPORARY INTERVENING PERIOD OF SERVICE IN CAF-3 AT $1,620. THE FACT IS THAT THE REDUCTION RESULTED IN A CHANGE OF SALARY STATUS AND IT IS ONLY BY VIRTUE OF A SUBSEQUENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION THAT THE EMPLOYEE NOW IS SERVING IN CAF-4 AT $1,800. IN SUBSECTION (B) (1) OF SECTION 7 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, IT IS PROVIDED IN CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS TERMS THAT ONE OF THE CONDITIONS OF ELIGIBILITY FOR AN INCREASE UNDER THE ACT IS THAT THE EMPLOYEE SHALL NOT HAVE HAD AN EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION "FROM ANY CAUSE" DURING THE PRECEDING 18 OR 30 MONTHS' PERIOD, AS THE CASE MAY BE. ..END :