B-35141, JUNE 25, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 1130

B-35141: Jun 25, 1943

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1943: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 15. AS FOLLOWS: YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED WITH RESPECT TO THE PROPER RATE OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE TO PART-TIME CHARWOMEN IN THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING. POSITIONS OF PART-TIME CHARWOMEN IN THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING ARE SUBJECT TO THE COMPENSATION SCHEDULES OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923. THEY WERE COMPENSATED AT THE RATE OF 50 CENTS AN HOUR. THE HOURS OF THESE PART-TIME CHARWOMEN WERE ADJUSTED TO 20 HOURS A WEEK. THE RATE OF PAY FOR EMPLOYEES IN THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING SUBJECT TO SECTION 23 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935 (48 STAT. 522) WAS ADJUSTED TO MAKE THEIR AGGREGATE COMPENSATION FOR A 40 HOUR WEEK EQUAL TO THE COMPENSATION THEY PREVIOUSLY RECEIVED FOR A 48 HOUR WEEK.

B-35141, JUNE 25, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 1130

COMPENSATION - RATES - PART-TIME CHARWOMEN - BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING THE BASIC SALARY RATE OF $0.65 PER HOUR REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1942, TO BE PAID PART-TIME CHARWOMEN MAY NOT BE ADJUSTED SO AS TO MAINTAIN FOR PART-TIME CHARWOMEN EMPLOYED BY THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AN PRINTING THE SALARY DIFFERENTIAL PREVIOUSLY EXISTING BETWEEN THEIR SALARIES AND THE SALARIES FOR THE SAME WORK IN OTHER BRANCHES OF THE GOVERNMENT BY REASON OF THE OPERATION OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1936, SAVING EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU FROM LOSS OF WEEKLY EARNINGS RESULTING FROM THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A 40-HOUR WORKWEEK UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, JUNE 25, 1943:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 15, 1943, AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED WITH RESPECT TO THE PROPER RATE OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE TO PART-TIME CHARWOMEN IN THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING.

POSITIONS OF PART-TIME CHARWOMEN IN THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING ARE SUBJECT TO THE COMPENSATION SCHEDULES OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED. PRIOR TO MARCH 28, 1934, PART TIME CHARWOMEN IN THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING WORKED 24 HOURS A WEEK, CONSISTING OF 6 DAYS OF 4 HOURS EACH. THEY WERE COMPENSATED AT THE RATE OF 50 CENTS AN HOUR, THEIR WEEKLY EARNINGS BEING $12.00.

THE HOURS OF THESE PART-TIME CHARWOMEN WERE ADJUSTED TO 20 HOURS A WEEK, CONSISTING OF 5 DAYS OF 4 HOURS EACH, BEGINNING WITH MARCH 28, 1934, THE DATE ON WHICH THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING WENT ON A REGULAR WORKWEEK OF 40 HOURS FOR ALL EMPLOYEES. AT THAT TIME, THE RATE OF PAY FOR EMPLOYEES IN THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING SUBJECT TO SECTION 23 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935 (48 STAT. 522) WAS ADJUSTED TO MAKE THEIR AGGREGATE COMPENSATION FOR A 40 HOUR WEEK EQUAL TO THE COMPENSATION THEY PREVIOUSLY RECEIVED FOR A 48 HOUR WEEK. THE PAY OF PART-TIME CHARWOMEN, BEING SUBJECT TO THE COMPENSATION SCHEDULES OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, WAS NOT SO ADJUSTED AT THAT TIME.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 817 - 74TH CONGRESS (49 STAT. 1969), AMENDING SECTION 23 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935, THE RATE OF PAY FOR PART-TIME CHARWOMEN WAS INCREASED TO MAKE THEIR AGGREGATE COMPENSATION FOR A 20-HOUR WEEK EQUAL TO WHAT IT HAD BEEN FOR A 24-HOUR WEEK. IN OTHER WORDS, THE RATE OF PAY FOR PART TIME CHARWOMEN WAS INCREASED FROM 50 CENTS AN HOUR TO 60 CENTS AN HOUR. AS A RESULT OF THIS ADJUSTMENT, THE RATE OF PAY FOR PART-TIME CHARWOMEN IN THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING BECAME 20 PERCENT HIGHER THAN THE RATE OF PAY FOR PART-TIME CHARWOMEN IN OTHER FEDERAL DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED.

EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1942, THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 694 - 77TH CONGRESS, FURTHER AMENDING SECTION 13 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, CHANGED THE RATE OF PAY FOR PART-TIME CHARWOMEN FROM 50 CENTS AN HOUR TO 65 CENTS AN HOUR. YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER PART-TIME CHARWOMEN IN THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING SHOULD HAVE BEEN PAID SINCE AUGUST 1, 1942, AT THE RATE OF 65 CENTS AN HOUR, OR AT THE RATE OF 78 CENTS AN HOUR. THE LATTER RATE REPRESENTS A 20 PERCENT INCREASE OVER 65 CENTS AN HOUR, OR THE AMOUNT OF THE DIFFERENTIAL EXISTING BETWEEN THE RATE OF PAY FOR PART-TIME CHARWOMEN IN THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING AND THE RATE OF PAY FOR PART TIME CHARWOMEN IN OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES ON JULY 31, 1942.

IF YOU FIND THAT PART-TIME CHARWOMEN IN THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING SHOULD HAVE BEEN COMPENSATED AT THE RATE OF 65 CENTS AN HOUR SINCE AUGUST 1, 1942, YOUR ADVICE IS REQUESTED AS TO WHAT ADJUSTMENTS WILL BE NECESSARY WITH RESPECT TO SALARY PAYMENTS MADE AT THE RATE OF 78 CENTS AN HOUR, ON AND SUBSEQUENT TO AUGUST 1, 1942, TO SUCH EMPLOYEES WHO ARE STILL IN THE SERVICE OF THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING, AS WELL AS TO SUCH EMPLOYEES WHO ARE NO LONGER IN THE SERVICE OF THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING.

THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1936, 49 STAT. 1969, PROVIDED:

THAT SECTION 23 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1935, IS AMENDED BY ADDING AT THE END THEREOF THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH:

"WHERE THE ADJUSTMENT OF REGULAR HOURS OF DUTY OF EMPLOYEES SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE PRECEDING PARAGRAPH REQUIRES THE ADJUSTMENT OF REGULAR HOURS OF DUTY OF ANY EMPLOYEE WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, THE AGGREGATE WEEKLY EARNINGS OF SUCH EMPLOYEE WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED FOR FULL-TIME SERVICE SHALL NOT BE LESS BY REASON OF SUCH ADJUSTMENT THAN HIS AGGREGATE WEEKLY EARNINGS FOR FULL-TIME SERVICE PRIOR TO MARCH 28, 1934. FULL-TIME SERVICE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL NOT BE LESS THAN FORTY HOURS PER WEEK. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS PARAGRAPH, AUTHORITY IS HEREBY GRANTED TO ADJUST THE HOURLY RATES OF COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, TO SUCH EXTENT AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO MAKE THE AGGREGATE COMPENSATION FOR A FORTY-HOUR WEEKEQUAL TO THE COMPENSATION FOR A FULL TIME WEEK PRIOR TO MARCH 28, 1934.'

SEC. 2. THIS ACT SHALL TAKE EFFECT AS OF THE ST DAY OF THE FIRST CALENDAR MONTH FOLLOWING THE DATE OF ITS ENACTMENT.

SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1942, 56 STAT. 733, AMENDS SECTION 13 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, SO AS TO CHANGE THE SALARY SCHEDULES FOR CERTAIN GRADES IN THE CRAFTS, PROTECTIVE AND CUSTODIAL SERVICE, INCLUDING A PROVISION UNDER GRADE 2 "THAT CHARWOMEN WORKING PART TIME BE PAID AT THE RATE OF 65 CENTS AN HOUR, AND HEAD CHARWOMEN AT THE RATE OF 70 CENTS AN HOUR.'

THE 1936 STATUTE ABOVE QUOTED MERELY SAVED THE EMPLOYEES HERE INVOLVED FROM LOSS IN WEEKLY EARNINGS OF THEIR BASIC COMPENSATION BY REASON OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR REDUCTION IN HOURS OF WORK PER WEEK NECESSITATED BY THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A 40-HOUR WORKWEEK UNDER THE ACT OF 1934, 48 STAT. 522, FOR EMPLOYEES AT THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING IN THE SEVERAL TRADES AND OCCUPATIONS, WHICH SAVING WAS REQUIRED BY THE LAW TO BE COMPUTED ON THE BASIC SALARY RATES FIXED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS OF MARCH 28, 1934. CF. 22 COMP. GEN. 615, 617. THERE WAS NO PURPOSE OR INTENT BY THE ACT TO MAINTAIN A PERMANENT DIFFERENTIAL BETWEEN BASIC SALARIES IN THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING AND SALARIES FOR THE SAME WORK IN OTHER BRANCHES OF THE SERVICE.

SO FAR AS HERE MATERIAL, THE EFFECT OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1942, WAS TO INCREASE THE BASIC SALARY OF THE PART-TIME CHARWOMEN AT THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING FROM 60 CENTS TO 65 CENTS PER HOUR. THERE IS NO PURPOSE OR INTENTION IN EITHER STATUTE TO AUTHORIZE ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1936, ON THE SALARY RATES WHICH SINCE HAVE BEEN INCREASED BY STATUTE ABOVE THE MARCH 28, 1934, LEVEL. ACCORDINGLY, THE LEGAL SALARY RATE, ON AND AFTER AUGUST 1, 1942, FOR THE EMPLOYEES HERE INVOLVED IS 65 CENTS PER HOUR, NOT 78 CENTS PER HOUR.

IF SUCH EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN PAID AT THE RATE OF 78 CENTS PER HOUR ON AND AFTER AUGUST 1, 1942, AS MIGHT BE INFERRED FROM YOUR LETTER, THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO RAISE A CHARGE AGAINST EACH OF THEM, INCLUDING BOTH THOSE IN AND OUT OF SERVICE, FOR THE AMOUNT OF THE OVERPAYMENT AND TO INSTITUTE COLLECTION PROCEEDINGS. OF COURSE, SHOULD A DISALLOWANCE BE MADE IN THE AUDIT OF THE INVOLVED DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNT BECAUSE OF SUCH OVERPAYMENTS THERE WOULD EXIST AUTHORITY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MAY 26, 1936, 49 STAT. 1374, TO WITHHOLD CURRENT SALARY PAYMENTS OF THE EMPLOYEES NOW IN THE SERVICE IN SUCH INSTALLMENT AMOUNTS AS MAY BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO LIQUIDATE THE OVERPAYMENT WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME. UNCOLLECTIBLE INDEBTEDNESS OF EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE BEEN SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION.