B-51402, AUGUST 13, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 181

B-51402: Aug 13, 1945

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ANY EXPENSES INCURRED TO COMPLY WITH SUCH STATE LAW IN CONNECTION WITH FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT ARE NOT PROPERLY CHARGEABLE AGAINST FEDERAL FUNDS. 1945: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 31. THERE IS FORWARDED VOUCHER COVERING SIX PHOTOSTATS PAYABLE IN THE AMOUNT OF $2.70 IN FAVOR OF THE HUDSON BLUE PRINT COMPANY OF NEWARK. DATED 12/14/44 WHICH ARE REQUIRED ADMINISTRATIVELY. WERE PURCHASED IN CONNECTION WITH THE EMPLOYMENT OF MARIA SPANZELLI IN THE NEW JERSEY OFFICE OF THE WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION OF THE U.S. THE EMPLOYEE PRESENTS THE WORKING PAPERS TO HIS EMPLOYER WHO IN TURN IS REQUIRED TO OBTAIN A WORKING PERMIT COVERING THE EMPLOYEE HIRED. ADVISES THAT SINCE THE PROCUREMENT OF PHOTOSTATIC COPIES IS AN ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENT SHE DID NOT FEEL THAT SUCH EXPENSE WAS A PROPER ONE AS FAR AS THE EMPLOYEE WAS CONCERNED.

B-51402, AUGUST 13, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 181

MINORS - STATE LABOR LAW AS AFFECTING FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT A STATE LAW REQUIRING THAT MINORS SECURE WORKING PAPERS AS A CONDITION TO EMPLOYMENT DOES NOT AFFECT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN THE EXERCISE OF ITS SOVEREIGN RIGHTS IN THE EMPLOYMENT OF NECESSARY PERSONNEL, AND ANY EXPENSES INCURRED TO COMPLY WITH SUCH STATE LAW IN CONNECTION WITH FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT ARE NOT PROPERLY CHARGEABLE AGAINST FEDERAL FUNDS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO SEYMOUR SWIMMER, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, AUGUST 13, 1945:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 31, 1945 (BM:MGP: MB,) AS FOLLOWS:

PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, 55 STAT. 876, THERE IS FORWARDED VOUCHER COVERING SIX PHOTOSTATS PAYABLE IN THE AMOUNT OF $2.70 IN FAVOR OF THE HUDSON BLUE PRINT COMPANY OF NEWARK, NEW JERSEY.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT THESE PHOTOSTATS OF EMPLOYMENT CERTIFICATE NO. 55156 AND PERMIT NO. 1744-A, DATED 12/14/44 WHICH ARE REQUIRED ADMINISTRATIVELY, WERE PURCHASED IN CONNECTION WITH THE EMPLOYMENT OF MARIA SPANZELLI IN THE NEW JERSEY OFFICE OF THE WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

CONFIRMING PURCHASE ORDER NO. WH-2596 (45) COPY ATTACHED STATES:

"THE NEW JERSEY STATE LAW REQUIRES THAT MINORS SECURE WORKING PAPERS, THE EMPLOYEE PRESENTS THE WORKING PAPERS TO HIS EMPLOYER WHO IN TURN IS REQUIRED TO OBTAIN A WORKING PERMIT COVERING THE EMPLOYEE HIRED. THIS WORKING PERMIT MUST BE POSTED IN THE ESTABLISHMENT DURING THE EMPLOYMENT OF THE MINOR. THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ADMINISTRATIVELY REQUIRES THAT CERTIFIED OR PHOTOSTATIC COPIES OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED WORKING PAPERS AND PERMIT BE SUBMITTED BY OUR OFFICES FOR THEIR FILES. MISS DANISH, THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT IN THE NEW YORK OFFICE, ADVISES THAT SINCE THE PROCUREMENT OF PHOTOSTATIC COPIES IS AN ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENT SHE DID NOT FEEL THAT SUCH EXPENSE WAS A PROPER ONE AS FAR AS THE EMPLOYEE WAS CONCERNED, AND THEREFORE AUTHORIZED THE PURCHASE OF THE PHOTOSTATS IN THE OPEN MARKET.'

AS STATED ABOVE THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REQUIRES THAT CERTIFIED OR PHOTOSTATIC COPIES OF THE WORKING PAPERS BE SUPPLIED FOR FILING PURPOSES. IF CERTIFIED COPIES ARE PRODUCED NO DIRECT EXPENSE TO EITHER THE GOVERNMENT OR THE EMPLOYEE RESULTS SINCE THERE IS A DESIGNATED PERSON AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES TO PERFORM THE REQUIRED CERTIFICATION.

REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THESE DIVISIONS AND AVAILABLE APPROPRIATIONS DO NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE FOR EXPENDITURES OF THIS TYPE. FURTHERMORE, SINCE THE EMPLOYMENT CERTIFICATE AND PERMIT APPEAR TO BE PREREQUISITE TO EMPLOYMENT, A DOUBT ARISES AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE EXPENSE SHOULD BE VIEWED AS PERSONAL.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE YOUR DECISION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THIS CLAIM IS A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

THE PHOTOSTATIC COPIES IN QUESTION APPARENTLY WERE PROCURED IN THE MISTAKEN BELIEF THAT IT WAS NECESSARY FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO COMPLY WITH THE STATE LAW IN THE EMPLOYMENT OF MINORS. HOWEVER, SUCH IS NOT THE CASE AS STATE LAWS CANNOT BE HELD TO AFFECT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN THE EXERCISE OF ITS SOVEREIGN RIGHTS IN THE EMPLOYMENT OF NECESSARY PERSONNEL WHETHER THEY BE MINORS OR ADULTS. 17 COMP. DEC. 274; 21 ID. 311. COMPARE 24 COMP. DEC. 540. ACCORDINGLY, AS THERE APPEARS NO FEDERAL REQUIREMENT THAT A MINOR MUST PRESENT EVIDENCE OF HIS COMPLIANCE WITH THE STATE LAW IN ORDER TO OBTAIN EMPLOYMENT IN THE FEDERAL SERVICE, THE COST OF CERTIFIED COPIES OF WORKING PAPERS REQUIRED UNDER THE STATE LAWS IS NOT A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST FEDERAL FUNDS. COMPARE 15 COMP. GEN. 433.

THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.