B-36519, SEPTEMBER 1, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 160

B-36519: Sep 1, 1943

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WHICH IS TO BE CLASSIFIED FOR THE FIRST TIME. THE RATE MAY BE THAT OF SUCH SALARY STEP IN THE CLASSIFIED GRADE TO WHICH THE POSITION IS ALLOCATED AS WILL CAUSE NO LOSS. IN TOTAL COMPENSATION WHEN THE GROSS COMPENSATION (INCLUSIVE OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION) AUTHORIZED FOR THE UNCLASSIFIED POSITION IS COMPARED WITH THE GROSS COMPENSATION (BASIC PLUS OVERTIME OR ADDITIONAL WARTIME COMPENSATION) AUTHORIZED FOR THE UNCLASSIFIED POSITION FOR THE SAME PERIOD OF TIME. 19 COMP. 1943: I HAVE YOUR UNDATED LETTER. AS FOLLOWS: THE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYS A LARGE NUMBER OF JANITORS AND OTHER MAINTENANCE AND CUSTODIAL PERSONNEL WHO HAVE. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT DETERMINATION IN THIS MATTER WILL AFFECT THE VALIDITY OF MANY PAYROLL VOUCHERS.

B-36519, SEPTEMBER 1, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 160

CLASSIFICATION - INITIAL SALARY RATES UPON CLASSIFICATION OF UNCLASSIFIED POSITION - EFFECT OF OVERTIME OR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION IN FIXING UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT THE INITIAL SALARY RATE OF AN EMPLOYEE OCCUPYING AN UNCLASSIFIED POSITION WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE 40- HOUR WEEK STATUTE OF MARCH 28, 1934, WHICH IS TO BE CLASSIFIED FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE RATE MAY BE THAT OF SUCH SALARY STEP IN THE CLASSIFIED GRADE TO WHICH THE POSITION IS ALLOCATED AS WILL CAUSE NO LOSS, OR AS LITTLE LOSS AS POSSIBLE, IN TOTAL COMPENSATION WHEN THE GROSS COMPENSATION (INCLUSIVE OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION) AUTHORIZED FOR THE UNCLASSIFIED POSITION IS COMPARED WITH THE GROSS COMPENSATION (BASIC PLUS OVERTIME OR ADDITIONAL WARTIME COMPENSATION) AUTHORIZED FOR THE UNCLASSIFIED POSITION FOR THE SAME PERIOD OF TIME. 19 COMP. GEN. 20, AMPLIFIED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, SEPTEMBER 1, 1943:

I HAVE YOUR UNDATED LETTER, RECEIVED HERE AUGUST 20, 1943, AS FOLLOWS:

THE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYS A LARGE NUMBER OF JANITORS AND OTHER MAINTENANCE AND CUSTODIAL PERSONNEL WHO HAVE, IN THE PAST, BEEN PAID ON AN HOURLY BASIS. RECENT ANALYSIS OF THE WORK PERFORMED BY THIS PERSONNEL, HOWEVER, HAS INDICATED THAT A SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER OF THE POSITIONS INVOLVED SHOULD BE CLASSIFIED IN THE CRAFTS, PROTECTIVE AND CUSTODIAL SERVICE AS DEFINED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED. ACCORDINGLY, ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN TO ALLOCATE THE POSITIONS AND TO PAY THE EMPLOYEES ON A PER ANNUM BASIS. IN THE LATTER CONNECTION, HOWEVER, THE PROBLEM HAS BEEN ENCOUNTERED AS TO THE PROPER BASE SALARY TO BE SET FOR THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT DETERMINATION IN THIS MATTER WILL AFFECT THE VALIDITY OF MANY PAYROLL VOUCHERS, THE DEPARTMENT REQUESTS YOUR DECISION ON THE QUESTIONS HEREIN PRESENTED.

AT THE PRESENT TIME, JANITOR POSITIONS WHICH FORMERLY PAID 65 CENTS PER HOUR ARE BEING ALLOCATED AT CPC-3, BASE SALARY $1320 PER ANNUM. THE ANNUAL SALARY OF THESE EMPLOYEES WHILE PAID AT THE HOURLY RATE, COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR DECISION IN 21 COMP. GEN. 165, IS AS OLLOWS:

65 X 8 X 261 EQUALS $1357.20 YOUR DECISION IN 19 COMP. GEN. 20 AND DECISIONS CITED THEREIN INDICATE CLEARLY THAT SALARIES FOR SUCH EMPLOYEES MAY BE FIXED AT ANY SALARY STEP OF THE GRADE TO WHICH ALLOCATED WHICH IS NOT IN EXCESS OF THE RATE OF COMPENSATION PREVIOUSLY RECEIVED. IN THE INSTANT CASE, THEREFORE, YOUR DECISION WOULD REQUIRE THAT THE BASE RATE OF COMPENSATION BE ESTABLISHED AT THE MINIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE ($1320) SINCE THE NEXT SALARY STEP ($1380) IS IN EXCESS OF THE HOURLY WAGE RATE CONVERTED TO AN ANNUAL BASIS ($1357.20).

YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED, HOWEVER, TO THE FACT THAT THE DECISIONS CITED ABOVE WERE RENDERED PRIOR TO PASSAGE OF GENERAL OVERTIME LEGISLATION FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND THAT THEY ARE NOT SPECIFICALLY IN POINT WITH REFERENCE TO THE PRESENT PROBLEM. THE HOURLY RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR THE EMPLOYEES HERE INVOLVED WAS ESTABLISHED THROUGH THE WAGE BOARD PROCEDURE AND THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934 (48 STAT. 509; 5 U.S.C. 673C), WAS THEREFORE APPLICABLE IN COMPUTING OVERTIME COMPENSATION. THE DEPARTMENT'S REGULATIONS REQUIRE THAT THESE EMPLOYEES WORK ONE OVERTIME DAY EACH WEEK, OR A MINIMUM TOTAL OF FORTY EIGHT HOURS PER WEEK. THE TOTAL ANNUAL OVERTIME FOR THE JANITORS HERE INVOLVED IS AS FOLLOWS:

65 X 8 X 1 1/2 X 52 EQUALS $405.60 THE GROSS ANNUAL COMPENSATION FOR SUCH EMPLOYEES IS:

$1,357.20 PLUS $405.60 EQUALS $1,757.80

IF THE DEPARTMENT IS REQUIRED TO FOLLOW YOUR EARLIER DECISIONS (WHICH WERE RENDERED IN CONNECTION WITH CLASSIFICATION OF POSITIONS WHOSE COMPENSATION WAS ALREADY FIXED ON A PER ANNUM BASIS) THE GROSS SALARY WILL BE AS FOLLOWS:

$1320 (MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE BASE RATE) PLUS $300 (MINIMUM OVERTIME

COMPENSATION PAYABLE UNDER WAR OVERTIME PAY ACT OF 1943)

EQUALS $1620. UNDER THIS METHOD OF COMPUTATION, THE EMPLOYEES CONCERNED WOULD SUFFER A NET LOSS OF $137.80 PER ANNUM THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT'S ACTION IN BRINGING THEIR POSITIONS UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED. YOU WILL READILY APPRECIATE THAT SUCH ACTION WILL NECESSARILY RESULT IN CONFUSION, LOSS OF PERSONNEL AND GENERAL DISRUPTION OF NECESSARY SERVICES AT INSTALLATIONS ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN ESSENTIAL WAR ACTIVITY. THE DEPARTMENT WISHES TO AVOID THIS SITUATION IF AT ALL POSSIBLE.

IN THE LIGHT OF THE ABOVE SITUATION, INFORMATION IS DESIRED AS TO WHETHER BASE PER ANNUM SALARIES FOR POSITIONS BROUGHT UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT MAY BE SET AT A RATE WHICH WILL PERMIT THE GROSS COMPENSATION AFTER CONVERSION TO THE PER ANNUM RATE TO APPROXIMATE (BUT NOT EXCEED) THE GROSS COMPENSATION RECEIVED PRIOR TO CONVERSION. IN THE INSTANT CASE, ESTABLISHMENT OF BASE SALARY AT THE THIRD STEP OF THE CPC-3 GRADE, $1440 PER ANNUM WOULD RESULT IN PAYMENT OF GROSS COMPENSATION OF $1740 PER ANNUM, OR $17.80 LESS THAN THAT PAID PRIOR TO ALLOCATION IN THE GRADED SERVICE. THIS SOLUTION APPEARS TO BE CONSISTENT WITH THE APPARENT INTENT OF YOUR DECISION IN 19 COMP. GEN. 20; THAT IS, THAT EMPLOYEES WHOSE POSITIONS ARE CLASSIFIED FOR THE FIRST TIME SHOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO ACCEPT REDUCTION IN SALARY TO THE MINIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE IF SUCH REDUCTION WOULD EXCEED ONE SALARY STEP. THE DEPARTMENT REQUESTS THAT THIS PRINCIPLE BE APPLIED IN THE PRESENT SITUATION IN ORDER THAT THE "TAKE HOME" PAY OF THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED MAY BE RETAINED AT SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME LEVEL.

YOUR EARLY CONSIDERATION AND DECISION ON THE QUESTION HEREIN PRESENTED WILL BE APPRECIATED IN ORDER THAT PERSONNEL AND CERTIFYING OFFICERS MAY BE PROPERLY ADVISED.

IN THE DECISION OF JULY 7, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 20, TO WHICH YOU REFER, THE FOLLOWING RULES WERE STATED AT PAGE 23:

ACCORDINGLY, IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING DECISIONS, THE RULES FOR FIXING THE INITIAL SALARY RATES UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS AMENDED, OF EMPLOYEES ALREADY OCCUPYING UNCLASSIFIED POSITIONS BROUGHT WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT FOR THE FIRST TIME, MAY BE RESTATED AS FOLLOWS:

(A) WHERE THE SALARY RATE OF THE UNCLASSIFIED POSITION IS WITHIN THE RANGE OF THE SALARIES PRESCRIBED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT FOR THAT GRADE BUT DOES NOT FALL WITHIN ONE OF THE STATUTORY RATES THEREOF, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO INCREASE THE RATE PAID IN THE UNCLASSIFIED POSITION BUT THE INITIAL RATE MAY BE THE NEXT LOWER CLASSIFICATION ACT SALARY RATE IN THE GRADE.

(B) WHERE THE SALARY RATE RECEIVED IN THE UNCLASSIFIED POSITION IS MORE THAN THE MAXIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITION HAS BEEN ALLOCATED, THE INITIAL SALARY RATE MAY BE THE MAXIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITION HAS BEEN ALLOCATED.

(C) WHERE THE SALARY RATE RECEIVED IN THE UNCLASSIFIED POSITION ISLESS THAN THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITION HAS BEEN ALLOCATED, THE INITIAL SALARY RATE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT MUST BE THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITION IS ALLOCATED.

WHILE IT WAS NOT SO STATED IN SAID DECISION, THE COMPARISON OF SALARY RATES OF EMPLOYEES OCCUPYING THE POSITIONS PRIOR TO THE TIME THEY WERE CLASSIFIED AND THE SALARY OF THE EMPLOYEES FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT WAS INTENDED TO BE MADE BETWEEN BASIC SALARY RATES PRIMARILY BECAUSE EMPLOYEES SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT WERE NOT, AT THAT TIME, ENTITLED TO OVERTIME COMPENSATION. HOWEVER, THE PRIMARY PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THE RULE WAS TO AUTHORIZE ADJUSTMENTS IN SALARY RATES UPON THE CLASSIFICATION OF POSITIONS ALREADY OCCUPIED BY EMPLOYEES WITH NO LOSS OF SALARY OR AS LITTLE LOSS OF SALARY AS POSSIBLE TO FIX THE SALARY AT ONE OF THE RATES PRESCRIBED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT SCHEDULE BUT WHICH WOULD NOT GRANT AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION.

IN ORDER TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THE RULES IN THE LIGHT OF EXISTING LEGISLATION WHICH AUTHORIZES PAYMENT TO EMPLOYEES SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF WARTIME ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION ON AN OVERTIME OR PERCENTAGE INCREASE BASIS, IT IS REASONABLE AND PROPER TO MAKE THE COMPARISON IN SALARY RATES BEFORE AND AFTER CLASSIFICATION OF THE POSITIONS BETWEEN THE GROSS AMOUNT AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID, INCLUDING BOTH BASIC AND OVERTIME OR ADDITIONAL WARTIME COMPENSATION, FOR THE SAME PERIOD OF TIME--- IN THE INSTANT CASE 48 HOURS PER WEEK.

ACCORDINGLY, THE PROCEDURE SUGGESTED IN YOUR LETTER IS APPROVED AND THE INITIAL SALARY RATE OF THE EMPLOYEE WHOSE CASE HAS BEEN PRESENTED MAY BE FIXED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AT $1,440 PER ANNUM IN GRADE CPC-3.