B-51619, AUGUST 20, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 205

B-51619: Aug 20, 1945

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

THERE IS NO AUTHORITY UNDER THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945 FOR AVERAGING THE OVERTIME HOURS WORKED DURING A CYCLE IN ORDER TO PAY THE SAME AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION FOR EACH WEEK. 1945: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 4. THERE ARE CASES WHERE PORT PATROL OFFICERS OF THE CUSTOMS SERVICE ARE ASSIGNED TO A DIFFERENT TOUR OF DUTY EACH 2 WEEKS WITH THE RESULT THAT IN EACH 4-WEEKS' PERIOD THEY WORK 56 HOURS THE FIRST WEEK. YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED WHETHER THE PAY ROLLS COVERING THE SERVICES OF THESE OFFICERS SHALL BE PREPARED ALTERNATELY ON THE BASIS OF 104 HOURS AND 88 HOURS PER BIWEEKLY PAY PERIOD. IF SUCH PAY ROLLS ARE PREPARED ON THE ALTERNATE BASIS COVERING THE HOURS OF WORK ACTUALLY PERFORMED DURING THE RESPECTIVE PAY PERIODS.

B-51619, AUGUST 20, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 205

FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945 - OVERTIME COMPENSATION COMPUTATIONS INVOLVING WORKWEEKS OF VARYING LENGTHS IN THE CASE OF EMPLOYEES WITH WORKWEEKS VARYING IN LENGTH FROM WEEK TO WEEK, EACH TOUR OF DUTY RECURRING IN 4-WEEK CYCLES, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY UNDER THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945 FOR AVERAGING THE OVERTIME HOURS WORKED DURING A CYCLE IN ORDER TO PAY THE SAME AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION FOR EACH WEEK; INSTEAD, EACH WEEK MUST BE REGARDED AS A SEPARATE AND DISTINCT UNIT, AND PAY ROLLS PREPARED ON THE BASIS OF THE ACTUAL NUMBER OF HOURS WORKED DURING THE BIWEEKLY PERIOD COVERED THEREBY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, AUGUST 20, 1945:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 4, 1945, REFERENCE 142.64, AS FOLLOWS:

A QUESTION HAS ARISEN IN CONNECTION WITH THE PREPARATION OF PAY ROLLS COVERING THE SALARIES OF CERTAIN CUSTOMS EMPLOYEES AS A RESULT OF THE INAUGURATION OF BIWEEKLY PAY PERIODS UNDER SECTION 604 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945.

THERE ARE CASES WHERE PORT PATROL OFFICERS OF THE CUSTOMS SERVICE ARE ASSIGNED TO A DIFFERENT TOUR OF DUTY EACH 2 WEEKS WITH THE RESULT THAT IN EACH 4-WEEKS' PERIOD THEY WORK 56 HOURS THE FIRST WEEK, 48 HOURS THE SECOND WEEK, 40 HOURS THE THIRD WEEK, AND 48 HOURS THE FOURTH WEEK TO COMPLETE THE CYCLE. THIS ROTATION OF SHIFTS RESULTS IN AN AVERAGE WORKWEEK OF 48 HOURS FOR EACH OFFICER.

SECTION 301 (B) (2) OF THE REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION UNDER THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945 ( EXECUTIVE ORDER 9578) PROVIDES, IN PART:

" * * * THE LENGTH OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEK, FOR THE PURPOSE OF THESE REGULATIONS, SHALL BE THE TOTAL NUMBER OF REGULARLY SCHEDULED HOURS OF DUTY PER WEEK (OR IN ROTATING-SHIFT SYSTEMS, THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF REGULARLY SCHEDULED HOURS OF DUTY PER WEEK FOR THE CYCLE.)" ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

UNDER THESE REGULATIONS, IT APPEARS THAT THE BASIC ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEK OF THE CONCERNED EMPLOYEES MAY BE CONSIDERED AS 40 HOURS, PLUS 8 HOURS OF OVERTIME WORK.

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED WHETHER THE PAY ROLLS COVERING THE SERVICES OF THESE OFFICERS SHALL BE PREPARED ALTERNATELY ON THE BASIS OF 104 HOURS AND 88 HOURS PER BIWEEKLY PAY PERIOD, OR WHETHER THE HOURS OF OVERTIME WORK SHALL BE AVERAGED OVER THE 4 WEEKS TO MAKE 96 HOUR PAY PERIODS. IF SUCH PAY ROLLS ARE PREPARED ON THE ALTERNATE BASIS COVERING THE HOURS OF WORK ACTUALLY PERFORMED DURING THE RESPECTIVE PAY PERIODS, THE PERIODIC PREPARATION OF PAY ROLL CHANGE SLIPS, STANDARD FORM 1126, AS PRESCRIBED BY GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 102, DATED DECEMBER 7, 1944, WILL BE BURDENSOME DUE TO THE CONSTANT CHANGE IN THE WEEKLY HOURS OF WORK.

SECTIONS 201 AND 604 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, APPROVED JUNE 30, 1945, 59 STAT. 296, 303, PUBLIC LAW 106, PROVIDE, IN MATERIAL PART:

SEC. 201. OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES TO WHOM THIS TITLE APPLIES SHALL, IN ADDITION TO THEIR BASIC COMPENSATION, BE COMPENSATED FOR ALL HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT, OFFICIALLY ORDERED OR APPROVED, IN EXCESS OF FORTY HOURS IN ANY ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEK, AT OVERTIME RATES AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 604. (A) IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF THE HEADS OF THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS AND AGENCIES IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, INCLUDING GOVERNMENT-OWNED OR CONTROLLED CORPORATIONS, AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT, TO ESTABLISH AS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ACT, FOR ALL FULL-TIME OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES IN THEIR RESPECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS, IN THE DEPARTMENTAL AND THE FIELD SERVICES, A BASIC ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEK OF FORTY HOURS, AND TO REQUIRE THAT THE HOURS OF WORK IN SUCH WORKWEEK BE PERFORMED WITHIN A PERIOD OF NOT MORE THAN SIX OF ANY SEVEN CONSECUTIVE DAYS.

(D) (1) HEREAFTER, FOR ALL PAY COMPUTATION PURPOSES AFFECTING OFFICER OR EMPLOYEES IN OR UNDER THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, THE JUDICIAL BRANCH, OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT, BASIC PER ANNUM RATES OF COMPENSATION ESTABLISHED BY OR PURSUANT TO LAW SHALL BE REGARDED AS PAYMENT FOR EMPLOYMENT DURING FIFTY-TWO BASIC ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEKS OF FORTY HOURS. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

THOSE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE CLEARLY CONTEMPLATE THAT EACH WEEK OF THE YEAR SHALL BE REGARDED AS A SEPARATE AND DISTINCT UNIT FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING OVERTIME COMPENSATION. THE STATUTE DOES NOT PROVIDE--- EITHER SPECIFICALLY, OR BY IMPLICATION--- FOR THE AVERAGING OF HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT IN A NUMBER OF WEEKS COMPRISING A CYCLE DUE TO A ROTATING SHIFT SYSTEM, FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING A FIXED AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION FOR EACH WEEK OF THE CYCLE, AS PROPOSED. SEE DECISION OF AUGUST 8, 1945, B-51325, 25 COMP. GEN. 161, TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR. ALSO, REFERENCE IS MADE TO DECISION OF JULY 5, 1945, B-50756, 25 COMP. GEN. 14, TO THE CHIEF JUDGE OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, NEGATIVING THE AVERAGING OF THE HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT OF DIFFERENT EMPLOYEES WORKING IRREGULARLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING A FIXED AMOUNT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR ALL EMPLOYEES EACH WEEK. IN THIS INSTANCE, IF AN EMPLOYEE OF THE CLASS INVOLVED IS IN A NONPAY STATUS IN ONE WEEK OF THE CYCLE FOR WHICH OVERTIME SERVICE WOULD BE SUBSTITUTED TO "FILL IN" THE 40-HOUR BASIC WORKWEEK, THE REGULARITY OF THE HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT DURING THE CYCLE CEASES TO EXIST AND THE AVERAGING OF SUCH HOURS FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING OVERTIME COMPENSATION WOULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED. THEREFORE, IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS OFFICE THAT THAT PORTION OF THE QUOTED CIVIL SERVICE REGULATION IN PARENTHESES, PROVIDING FOR THE AVERAGING OF TIME, IS NOT IN ACCORD WITH THE NEW PAY STATUTE; ACCORDINGLY, THE CONCLUSION STATED IN THE FORTH PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER MAY NOT BE ACQUIESCED IN. HENCE, PAY ROLLS FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE CLASS REFERRED TO SHOULD BE PREPARED ALTERNATELY UPON THE BASIS OF 104 AND 88 HOURS PER BIWEEKLY PAY PERIOD.

REFERRING TO THE LAST SENTENCE OF YOUR LETTER, THERE IS AUTHORIZED HEREBY AN EXCEPTION FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 102, DATED DECEMBER 7, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 962, FOR PERIODIC PREPARATION OF PAY ROLL CHANGE SLIPS, STANDARD FORM 1126, SO FAR AS CONCERNS EMPLOYEES OF THE CLASS HERE INVOLVED.