B-26704, JUNE 30, 1942, 21 COMP. GEN. 1148

B-26704: Jun 30, 1942

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" IS APPLICABLE TO JURY FEES RECEIVED BY A POSTAL EMPLOYEE WHO PERFORMED JURY SERVICE IN A STATE COURT DURING A "LAY-OFF" PERIOD. WAS NOT OTHERWISE REIMBURSED FOR EXPENDITURES FROM PERSONAL FUNDS FOR TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE TO ANSWER THE JURY SUMMONS. 1942: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 12. AS FOLLOWS: THIS DEPARTMENT HAS RECEIVED A LETTER OF PROTEST FROM A RAILWAY POSTAL CLERK WHO WAS CALLED TO PERFORM JURY SERVICE IN A STATE COURT AT SHERMAN. IN RENDERING SUCH SERVICE IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HIM TO TRAVEL FROM DENISON TO SHERMAN. THIS AMOUNT WAS DEDUCTED FROM HIS SALARY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 46 OF THE POSTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS. IN VIEW OF THE PROTEST RECEIVED YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED WHETHER THE RULE WITH RESPECT TO THE SET-OFF OF PER DIEM COMPENSATION AGAINST SALARY MAY NOT BE MODIFIED TO THE EXTENT OF COMPENSATING THIS CLERK IN THE AMOUNT OF HIS ACTUAL EXPENDITURES.

B-26704, JUNE 30, 1942, 21 COMP. GEN. 1148

POSTAL EMPLOYEES - JURY SERVICE IN STATE COURTS - CREDITING OF JURY FEES TO COMPENSATION THE REQUIREMENT IN SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1940, THAT JURY FEES RECEIVED BY A FEDERAL EMPLOYEE FROM A STATE COURT "BE CREDITED AGAINST THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE BY THE UNITED STATES," IS APPLICABLE TO JURY FEES RECEIVED BY A POSTAL EMPLOYEE WHO PERFORMED JURY SERVICE IN A STATE COURT DURING A "LAY-OFF" PERIOD, DURING WHICH HE RECEIVED REGULAR COMPENSATION, AND WHO, IN VIEW OF THE STATE LAW, WAS NOT OTHERWISE REIMBURSED FOR EXPENDITURES FROM PERSONAL FUNDS FOR TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE TO ANSWER THE JURY SUMMONS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, JUNE 30, 1942:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 12, 1942, AS FOLLOWS:

THIS DEPARTMENT HAS RECEIVED A LETTER OF PROTEST FROM A RAILWAY POSTAL CLERK WHO WAS CALLED TO PERFORM JURY SERVICE IN A STATE COURT AT SHERMAN, TEXAS, DURING A LAY-OFF PERIOD. IN RENDERING SUCH SERVICE IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HIM TO TRAVEL FROM DENISON TO SHERMAN, TEXAS, AS A RESULT OF WHICH HE INCURRED TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE COSTS. HE RECEIVED $3 A DAY FOR JURY SERVICE, AND THIS AMOUNT WAS DEDUCTED FROM HIS SALARY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 46 OF THE POSTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS.

SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE STATE OF TEXAS DOES NOT PAY TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE COSTS IN ADDITION TO PER DIEM COMPENSATION FOR JURY SERVICE IN STATE COURTS, THE ACTION OF THE DEPARTMENT IN SETTING OFF THE AMOUNT OF PER DIEM COMPENSATION RECEIVED BY THE CLERK AGAINST HIS SALARY (IN ACCORDANCE WITH PRIOR DECISIONS OF YOUR OFFICE) HAS HAD THE RESULT OF PENALIZING THIS CLERK BY REQUIRING HIM TO EXPEND MONEY FOR TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE OUT OF HIS OWN POCKET.

IN VIEW OF THE PROTEST RECEIVED YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED WHETHER THE RULE WITH RESPECT TO THE SET-OFF OF PER DIEM COMPENSATION AGAINST SALARY MAY NOT BE MODIFIED TO THE EXTENT OF COMPENSATING THIS CLERK IN THE AMOUNT OF HIS ACTUAL EXPENDITURES.

IN A LETTER DATED MARCH 10, 1941, ONE OF THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED WAS AS FOLLOWS:

* * * A DECISION IS ALSO REQUESTED WHETHER EMPLOYEES OF THE POSTAL SERVICE WHO ARE SUMMONED FOR JURY DUTY IN A STATE COURT AND WHO ARE REQUIRED TO LEAVE THEIR DOMICILE AND TRAVEL TO SOME OTHER CITY WHERE THE COURT IS BEING HELD, MAY RETAIN THE WHOLE OR PART OF THEIR JURY FEE, IF NOT OTHERWISE REIMBURSED BY THE COURT, TO COVER THEIR ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SUCH JURY SERVICE.

WITH REFERENCE TO SAID QUESTION THE DECISION OF MARCH 24, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 550-551, HELD AS FOLLOWS:

THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1940, 54 STAT. 689, DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ANY AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES OR ANY OTHER ALLOWANCE TO A FEDERAL EMPLOYEE INCIDENT TO HIS SERVICE AS A JURYMAN IN EITHER A FEDERAL OR A STATE COURT. * * *

THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT INCIDENT TO SERVICE AS JURORS IN A STATE COURT WOULD NOT BE PAYABLE BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. IT IS ASSUMED THAT IN SUCH CASES THE EXPENSES WOULD BE PAID BY THE STATE. REFERRING TO THE CONCLUDING SENTENCE OF YOUR LETTER, SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1940, CLEARLY REQUIRES THAT THE JURY FEES RECEIVED FROM A STATE COURT "SHALL BE CREDITED AGAINST THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE BY THE UNITED STATES.' SEE 20 COMP. GEN. 279. COMPARE 20 ID. 209. ACCORDINGLY, THE QUESTION IN THE CONCLUDING SENTENCE OF YOUR LETTER IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.

THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1940, 54 STAT. 689, DOES NOT PERMIT OF A CONCLUSION DIFFERENT FROM THAT STATED IN THE QUOTED DECISION BASED ON THE FACT THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS CALLED TO JURY SERVICE BY A STATE COURT DURING A LAY-OFF PERIOD (DURING WHICH HE RECEIVED REGULAR COMPENSATION- - B-19454, DATED AUGUST 27, 1941) OR ON THE FACT THE EMPLOYEE PROTESTS THE NECESSITY OF EXPENDING PERSONAL FUNDS FOR TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES EN ROUTE TO ANSWER A JURY SUMMONS FROM A STATE COURT UNDER THE LAWS OF WHICH STATE NO REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES IS AUTHORIZED. THERE IS NO OBLIGATION UPON THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT IN THAT REGARD SIMPLY BECAUSE THE JUROR MAY BE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT. IF NOT PAID BY A STATE COURT, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD REGARD SUCH EXPENSES AS AN EXPENDITURE INCIDENT TO HIS DUTY AS A CITIZEN. ACCORDINGLY, THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.