B-34749, MAY 29, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 1057

B-34749: May 29, 1943

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RIGHTS OF POSTAL EMPLOYEES REQUIRED TO WORK ON HOLIDAYS POSTAL EMPLOYEES WHO ARE REQUIRED BY A GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER TO WORK ON HOLIDAYS MAY NOT BE PAID OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR SUCH WORK. IN LIEU OF COMPENSATORY TIME AUTHORIZED AND REQUIRED BY 39 U.S.C. 118 TO BE GRANTED POSTAL EMPLOYEES WHO ARE REQUIRED TO WORK ON ANY HOLIDAY EXCEPT CHRISTMAS. NOR IS THERE ANY AUTHORITY TO DENY POSTAL EMPLOYEES THEIR STATUTORY RIGHT TO COMPENSATORY TIME FOR WORK ON SUCH HOLIDAYS. 1943: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 26. WILL NOT BE OBSERVED AS HOLIDAYS. USUAL POSTAL SERVICE WILL BE PROVIDED AND COMPENSATORY TIME FOR WORK ON THESE DAYS WILL NOT BE AUTHORIZED.'. THIS ORDER WAS ISSUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DESIRE OF THE PRESIDENT TO MAINTAIN MAXIMUM OUTPUT IN GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE WAR PERIOD.

B-34749, MAY 29, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 1057

RIGHTS OF POSTAL EMPLOYEES REQUIRED TO WORK ON HOLIDAYS POSTAL EMPLOYEES WHO ARE REQUIRED BY A GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER TO WORK ON HOLIDAYS MAY NOT BE PAID OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR SUCH WORK, IN LIEU OF COMPENSATORY TIME AUTHORIZED AND REQUIRED BY 39 U.S.C. 118 TO BE GRANTED POSTAL EMPLOYEES WHO ARE REQUIRED TO WORK ON ANY HOLIDAY EXCEPT CHRISTMAS; NOR IS THERE ANY AUTHORITY TO DENY POSTAL EMPLOYEES THEIR STATUTORY RIGHT TO COMPENSATORY TIME FOR WORK ON SUCH HOLIDAYS. PRESIDENTIAL OR ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS REQUIRING WORK ON LEGAL HOLIDAYS DURING THE WAR EMERGENCY DO NOT AND CANNOT CHANGE THE STATUS OF SUCH HOLIDAYS FOR THE PURPOSE OF APPLYING STATUTES AND REGULATIONS HAVING THE FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW GRANTING RIGHTS AND BENEFITS ON THE BASIS OF THE HOLIDAYS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, MAY 29, 1943:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 26, 1943, AS FOLLOWS:

UNDER DATE OF MAY 8, 1943, I ISSUED AN ORDER ( NO. 21216) TO THE POSTAL SERVICE AS FOLLOWS:

"IN VIEW OF THE PRESENT CONDITIONS, MAY 31, 1943, AND JULY 5, 1943, WILL NOT BE OBSERVED AS HOLIDAYS. USUAL POSTAL SERVICE WILL BE PROVIDED AND COMPENSATORY TIME FOR WORK ON THESE DAYS WILL NOT BE AUTHORIZED.'

THIS ORDER WAS ISSUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DESIRE OF THE PRESIDENT TO MAINTAIN MAXIMUM OUTPUT IN GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE WAR PERIOD. FOR YOUR INFORMATION IN THIS CONNECTION, THERE IS ENCLOSED A COPY OF A COMMUNICATION FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT BEARING UPON THE MATTER. REFERENCE IS ALSO MADE TO PARAGRAPH 3, SECTION 437, POSTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS, EDITION 1940.

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER POSTAL FIELD EMPLOYEES WHO PERFORM SERVICE ON MAY 31, 1943 AND JULY 5, 1943, MAY BE PAID FOR OVERTIME UPON THE THEORY THAT THESE DAYS ARE CUSTOMARILY REGARDED AS HOLIDAYS.

AS IT IS DESIRED TO ISSUE INSTRUCTIONS TO DISBURSING OFFICERS IN THE NEAR FUTURE, IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF A DECISION MAY BE HAD AT AN EARLY DATE.

SECTION 118, TITLE 39, U.S. CODE, PROVIDES:

COMPENSATORY TIME TO FOREMEN, SPECIAL CLERKS, CARRIERS, WATCHMEN, MESSENGERS, OR LABORERS, AT FIRST- AND SECOND-CLASS OFFICES FOR WORK ON SUNDAYS OR HOLIDAYS; OVERTIME IN LIEU THEREOF.

WHEN THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE REQUIRE THE EMPLOYMENT ON SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS OF FOREMEN, SPECIAL CLERKS, CLERKS, CARRIERS, WATCHMEN, MESSENGERS, OR LABORERS AT FIRST- AND SECOND-CLASS POST OFFICES THEY SHALL BE ALLOWED COMPENSATORY TIME ON ONE DAY WITHIN SIX DAYS NEXT SUCCEEDING THE SUNDAY, EXCEPT THE LAST THREE SUNDAYS IN THE CALENDAR YEAR, AND ON ONE DAY WITHIN THIRTY DAYS NEXT SUCCEEDING THE HOLIDAY AND THE LAST THREE SUNDAYS IN THE YEAR ON WHICH SERVICE IS PERFORMED: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MAY, IF THE EXIGENCIES OF THE SERVICE REQUIRE IT, AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF OVERTIME FOR SERVICE ON THE LAST THREE SUNDAYS IN THE CALENDAR YEAR OR ON CHRISTMAS DAY IN LIEU OF COMPENSATORY TIME. MAR. 3, 1917, CH. 162, SECTION 1, 39 STAT. 1062; FEB. 28, 1925, CH. 368, SECTION 4, 43 STAT. 1059.) SEE ALSO SECTION 464, POSTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS, 1940.

PARAGRAPHS 1 AND 3 OF SECTION 437, POSTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS, 1940, AS AMENDED, PROVIDE:

437. * * * HOLIDAYS (IN THE POSTAL SERVICE) SHALL BE NEW YEAR'S DAY ( JANUARY 1); WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY ( FEBRUARY 22); MEMORIAL DAY ( MAY 30); INDEPENDENCE DAY ( JULY 4); THE FIRST MONDAY IN SEPTEMBER, KNOWN AS LABOR DAY; ARMISTICE DAY ( NOVEMBER 11); THANKSGIVING DAY (FOURTH THURSDAY OF NOVEMBER); AND CHRISTMAS ( DECEMBER 25). ALL DAYS, OTHER THAN THE HOLIDAYS ENUMERATED HEREIN, SET ASIDE BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AS HOLIDAYS TO BE OBSERVED BY THE OTHER DEPARTMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS APPLICABLE TO THE POSTAL SERVICE IN THE SAME MANNER AND TO THE SAME EXTENT AS THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS. (39 U.S.C. (1940 ED.) 119; 5 U.S.C. (1940 ED.) 87B SUPP. I.)

3. WHEN ANY OF THE HOLIDAYS MENTIONED IN THE PRECEDING PARAGRAPHS FALL ON SUNDAY, THE FOLLOWING MONDAY MAY BE OBSERVED, UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIALLY PROVIDED BY PROPER AUTHORITY. REFERRING TO THIS PARAGRAPH 3, SEE, ALSO, 39 U.S.C. 119, AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 1076, DATED MAY 22, 1909, QUOTED IN 21 COMP. GEN. 901, AT PAGE 902.

IT IS FOR NOTING THAT THE ABOVE-QUOTED STATUTE (39 U.S.C. 118) AUTHORIZES AND REQUIRES THE GRANTING OF COMPENSATORY TIME TO POSTAL EMPLOYEES FOR WORK ON A HOLIDAY, BUT DOES NOT AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION TO THEM FOR WORK PERFORMED ON ANY HOLIDAY EXCEPT CHRISTMAS DAY; NEITHER DOES THE STATUTE VEST IN THE POSTMASTER GENERAL ANY DISCRETION TO SUBSTITUTE OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR COMPENSATORY TIME FOR WORK PERFORMED BY POSTAL EMPLOYEES ON ANY HOLIDAY EXCEPT CHRISTMAS. COMPARE THE PROVISIONS OF 39 U.S.C. 832 (40 HOUR WEEK STATUTE FOR POSTAL EMPLOYEES), VESTING IN THE POSTMASTER GENERAL A DISCRETION TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION IN LIEU OF GRANTING COMPENSATORY TIME FOR WORK PERFORMED ON SATURDAYS.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THERE EXISTS NO AUTHORITY TO DENY POSTAL EMPLOYEES COMPENSATORY TIME OFF FROM DUTY FOR WORK REQUIRED ON MONDAYS, MAY 31, AND JULY 5, 1943, ON ONE DAY WITHIN 30 DAYS NEXT SUCCEEDING SUCH HOLIDAYS, WHICH IS A STATUTORY RIGHT VESTED IN THE EMPLOYEES. NEITHER IS THERE ANY AUTHORITY OF LAW TO PAY THE EMPLOYEES OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR WORK PERFORMED ON THE SAID HOLIDAYS. PRESIDENTIAL OR ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS REQUIRING WORK ON LEGAL HOLIDAYS DURING THE WAR EMERGENCY DO NOT AND CANNOT CHANGE THE STATUS OF SUCH HOLIDAYS FOR THE PURPOSE OF APPLYING STATUTES AND REGULATIONS HAVING THE FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW GRANTING RIGHTS AND BENEFITS ON THE BASIS OF THE HOLIDAYS. COMPARE 21 COMP. GEN. 901.