B-55295, FEBRUARY 4, 1946, 25 COMP. GEN. 575

B-55295: Feb 4, 1946

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COMPENSATION - THIRTY-FIRST DAY OF MONTH - TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIERS TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIERS SERVING FOR LESS THAN A FULL PAY PERIOD DURING THE ABSENCE OF A REGULAR CARRIER ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY WHO ARE COMPENSATED FOR SUCH SERVICES PURSUANT TO SECTION 17 (F) OF THE POSTAL SERVICE PAY STATUTE OF JULY 6. "AT THE SAME RATE PAID THE REGULAR CARRIER" ARE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES RENDERED ON THE 31ST DAY OF A MONTH. 1946: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 17. EACH AND EVERY MONTH IS HELD TO CONSIST OF THIRTY DAYS AND THE THIRTY-FIRST DAY OF ANY CALENDAR MONTH IS EXCLUDED FROM THE COMPUTATION. THE STATUTES UNDER WHICH RURAL ROUTES ARE ESTABLISHED AND OPERATED REQUIRE THAT SERVICE BE RENDERED THREE DAYS EACH WEEK ON TRI-WEEKLY ROUTES AND SIX DAYS EACH WEEK ON ALL OTHER ROUTES.

B-55295, FEBRUARY 4, 1946, 25 COMP. GEN. 575

COMPENSATION - THIRTY-FIRST DAY OF MONTH - TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIERS TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIERS SERVING FOR LESS THAN A FULL PAY PERIOD DURING THE ABSENCE OF A REGULAR CARRIER ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY WHO ARE COMPENSATED FOR SUCH SERVICES PURSUANT TO SECTION 17 (F) OF THE POSTAL SERVICE PAY STATUTE OF JULY 6, 1945,"AT THE SAME RATE PAID THE REGULAR CARRIER" ARE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES RENDERED ON THE 31ST DAY OF A MONTH, NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 OF SAID ACT EXCLUDING THE 31ST DAY OF A MONTH FROM THE COMPUTATION OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE TO REGULARLY EMPLOYED POSTAL SERVICE PERSONNEL. 20 COMP. DEC. 165, AND 11 COMP. GEN. 105, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, FEBRUARY 4, 1946:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 17, 1946, REFERENCE 50, AS FOLLOWS:

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SEC. 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 134, ANY PERSON ENTERING THE POSTAL SERVICE DURING A 31-DAY MONTH AND SERVING UNTIL THE END THEREOF SHALL BE ENTITLED TO PAY FOR THAT MONTH FROM THE DATE OF ENTRY TO THE THIRTIETH DAY OF SAID MONTH. IN COMPUTING TIME FOR SERVICES RENDERED DURING A FRACTIONAL PART OF A MONTH, EACH AND EVERY MONTH IS HELD TO CONSIST OF THIRTY DAYS AND THE THIRTY-FIRST DAY OF ANY CALENDAR MONTH IS EXCLUDED FROM THE COMPUTATION.

SECTION 17, PARAGRAPH (F,) OF PUBLIC LAW 134 SPECIFIES THAT A TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIER SERVING A ROUTE IN PLACE OF A REGULAR CARRIER ABSENT WITHOUT PAY SHALL BE PAID AT THE SAME RATE PAID THE REGULAR CARRIER, SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS INCLUDED EXCEPT AT THE BEGINNING OR END OF THE PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT.

THE STATUTES UNDER WHICH RURAL ROUTES ARE ESTABLISHED AND OPERATED REQUIRE THAT SERVICE BE RENDERED THREE DAYS EACH WEEK ON TRI-WEEKLY ROUTES AND SIX DAYS EACH WEEK ON ALL OTHER ROUTES. WHEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE SUCH THAT THE REGULAR CARRIER IS NOT AVAILABLE AND IS NOT ON LEAVE WITH PAY UNDER CONDITIONS WHICH WOULD WARRANT THE EMPLOYMENT OF THE SUBSTITUTE, IT IS NECESSARY THAT A TEMPORARY CARRIER BE EMPLOYED TO PERFORM SERVICE.

IT HAS BEEN NECESSARY TO ALLOW POSTMASTERS A LIMITED DEGREE OF DISCRETION IN THE EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONS TO RENDER SERVICE DURING THE TEMPORARY ABSENCE OF RURAL CARRIERS ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY, PARTICULARLY, IN THOSE CASES IN WHICH THE ABSENCE IS UNAVOIDABLE OR UNEXPECTED. IT IS EVIDENT THAT NUMEROUS CASES WILL ARISE, AS THEY HAVE IN THE PAST, IN WHICH RURAL CARRIERS WILL BE ABSENT ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY ON THE THIRTY-FIRST DAY OF A CALENDAR MONTH UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH WILL NOT JUSTIFY DEDUCTIONS FROM SALARY BECAUSE OF UNAUTHORIZED ABSENCE; SUCH AS INSTANCES IN WHICH CARRIERS WITHOUT ACCRUED LEAVE ARE UNABLE TO SERVE THEIR ROUTES BECAUSE OF ILLNESS. SIMILAR INSTANCES WILL OCCUR IN WHICH PERIODS OF LEAVE WITHOUT PAY WILL BE BEGUN OR TERMINATED ON THE THIRTY-FIRST DAY OF A CALENDAR MONTH, AND ONE SUCH INSTANCE HAS OCCURRED IN WHICH THE ABSENCE OF THE REGULAR CARRIER CONSISTED OF THE THIRTY-FIRST DAY OF THE MONTH ONLY.

TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIERS ARE NOT FORMALLY APPOINTED UNLESS THE PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT IS FOR 90 DAYS OR MORE OR THE APPOINTEE IS TO SERVE A ROUTE FOR WHICH THERE IS NO REGULAR CARRIER. UNDER ANY OTHER CIRCUMSTANCE, THE LOCAL POSTMASTER MERELY EMPLOYS A TEMPORARY CARRIER TO SERVE IN THE ABSENCE OF THE REGULAR CARRIER ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY.

CONSIDERATION OF PRACTICAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES INDICATES THAT TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIERS SHOULD BE PAID FOR SERVICE ON THE THIRTY-FIRST DAY OF A CALENDAR MONTH WHEN THE PERIOD OF CONTINUOUS EMPLOYMENT IS LESS THAN A FULL PAY PERIOD. THEREFORE, YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER A TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIER, SERVING IN THE ABSENCE OF A REGULAR CARRIER ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY, MAY BE PAID SALARY AND ALLOWANCES FOR SERVICES RENDERED ON THE THIRTY-FIRST DAY OF ANY CALENDAR MONTH OCCURRING AT THE BEGINNING, END OR WITHIN A PERIOD OF CONTINUOUS EMPLOYMENT CONSTITUTING LESS THAN A FULL PAY PERIOD OF 15 DAYS.

SECTION 7 OF THE POSTAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT, APPROVED JULY 6, 1945 PUBLIC LAW 134, 59 STAT. 436, PROVIDES:

SEC. 7. WHERE THE COMPENSATION OF ANY POSTMASTER, OTHER OFFICER, OR EMPLOYEE IS ON AN ANNUAL BASIS, THE FOLLOWING RULES FOR DIVISION OF TIME AND COMPUTATION OF PAY FOR SERVICES RENDERED ARE ESTABLISHED:

ANNUAL COMPENSATION SHALL BE DIVIDED INTO TWELVE EQUAL INSTALLMENTS, ONE OF WHICH SHALL BE THE PAY FOR EACH CALENDAR MONTH AND ONE-HALF OF EACH SUCH INSTALLMENT SHALL BE PAID ON THE SIXTEENTH DAY OF THE MONTH AND THE FIRST DAY OF THE FOLLOWING MONTH, OR AS SOON THEREAFTER AS PRACTICABLE. FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING SUCH COMPENSATION AND FOR COMPUTING TIME FOR SERVICES RENDERED DURING A FRACTIONAL PART OF A MONTH, IN CONNECTION WITH ANNUAL COMPENSATION, EACH AND EVERY MONTH SHALL BE HELD TO CONSIST OF THIRTY DAYS, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE ACTUAL NUMBER OF DAYS IN ANY CALENDAR MONTH, THUS EXCLUDING THE THIRTY-FIRST DAY OF ANY CALENDAR MONTH FROM THE COMPUTATION AND TREATING FEBRUARY AS IF IT ACTUALLY HAD THIRTY DAYS. ANY PERSON ENTERING THE POSTAL SERVICE DURING A THIRTY-ONE/DAY MONTH AND SERVING UNTIL THE END THEREOF SHALL BE ENTITLED TO PAY FOR THAT MONTH FROM THE DATE OF ENTRY TO THE THIRTIETH DAY OF SAID MONTH, BOTH DAYS INCLUSIVE; AND ANY PERSON ENTERING SAID SERVICE DURING THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY AND SERVING UNTIL THE END THEREOF SHALL BE ENTITLED TO ONE MONTH'S PAY, LESS AS MANY THIRTIETHS THEREOF AS THERE WERE DAYS ELAPSED PRIOR TO DATE OF ENTRY. FOR EACH DAY'S UNAUTHORIZED ABSENCE ON THE THIRTY-FIRST DAY OF ANY CALENDAR MONTH ONE DAY'S PAY SHALL BE FORFEITED.

SECTION 17A OF THE SAME ACT, 59 STAT. 455, PROVIDES THAT THE SALARIES OF CARRIERS IN THE RURAL DELIVERY SERVICE SHALL BE "BASED IN PART ON SPECIFIED RATES PER MILE PER ANNUM AND IN PART ON FIXED COMPENSATION PER ANNUM" WHICH WOULD REQUIRE THE COMPENSATION OF REGULAR RURAL CARRIERS TO BE COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 7 OF THE ACT, SUPRA. SECTION 17F OF THAT ACT, 59 STAT. 456, PROVIDES:

A SUBSTITUTE RURAL CARRIER WHO PERFORMS SERVICE FOR A REGULAR CARRIER ABSENT WITH PAY SHALL BE PAID AT THE SAME RATE PAID THE REGULAR CARRIER FOR EACH DAY'S SERVICE, EXCLUSIVE OF SUNDAYS AND UNAUTHORIZED HOLIDAYS. TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIER SERVING A ROUTE IN PLACE OF A REGULAR CARRIER ABSENT WITHOUT PAY SHALL BE PAID AT THE SAME RATE PAID THE REGULAR CARRIER, SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS INCLUDED EXCEPT AT THE BEGINNING OR END OF THE PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT. A TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIER SERVING A ROUTE FOR WHICH THERE IS NO REGULAR CARRIER SHALL BE PAID AT THE RATE OF SALARY PROVIDED FOR A CARRIER OF GRADE 1 FOR THE ROUTE ON WHICH SERVICE IS PERFORMED, INCLUDING SUNDAYS AND AUTHORIZED HOLIDAYS EXCEPT AT THE BEGINNING AND END OF THE PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT. (ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE ABOVE-QUOTED PROVISIONS OF SECTION 17F DO NOT REQUIRE THAT TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIERS BE PAID THE SAME AMOUNT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PAID THE ABSENT CARRIER BUT THAT THEY ARE TO BE PAID "AT THE SAME RATE PAID THE REGULAR CARRIER.'

SECTION 7, SUPRA, IS TO ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES A REENACTMENT, WITH RESPECT TO THE POSTAL SERVICE, OF SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1906, 34 STAT. 763, FORMERLY APPLICABLE TO THE COMPUTATION OF COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES IN THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS, AND ACCORDINGLY, THE DECISIONS ESTABLISHING RULES UNDER THE 1906 STATUTE ARE FOR APPLICATION IN SITUATIONS SIMILAR TO THOSE COVERED BY THE RESPECTIVE DECISIONS. FOR INSTANCE, IN 20 COMP. DEC. 165, IT WAS HELD THAT AN EMPLOYEE ENTERING THE SERVICE ON THE 31ST DAY OF ANY MONTH WAS NOT ENTITLED TO PAY FOR SERVICES RENDERED ON THAT DAY; ALSO, IN 11 COMP. GEN. 105, IT WAS HELD THAT PART-TIME EMPLOYEES WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED ON AN ANNUAL BASIS WERE NOT ENTITLED TO BE PAID FOR SERVICES RENDERED ON THE 31ST DAY OF THE MONTH.

BUT SAID DECISIONS HAVE SPECIAL APPLICATION TO REGULARLY EMPLOYED PERSONS, EITHER FULL TIME OR PART TIME. THE EMPLOYEES HERE INVOLVED ARE NOT UNDERSTOOD TO FALL WITHIN THAT CLASS BUT RATHER WITHIN THE CLASS COVERED IN 11 COMP. GEN. 362, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD AT PAGE 363:

HOWEVER, IF THE EMPLOYEES ARE TEMPORARY, SEASONAL, OR EMERGENCY FIELD EMPLOYEES, WORKING ONLY PART TIME FOR SHORT PERIODS AS DISTINGUISHED FROM EMPLOYEES WHO ARE REGULARLY EMPLOYED PART TIME, THAT IS, A PART OF EACH WORKING DAY, THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, OR FOR SUBSTANTIAL PERIODS, THE SECOND COMPUTATION IN THE QUOTED SUBMISSION WOULD BE PROPER AND THE EMPLOYEE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO PAY FOR ONLY THE TIME ACTUALLY WORKED INCLUDING TIME ON THE 31ST DAY OF THE MONTH. SEE, PARTICULARLY, 11 COMP. GEN. 217.

IN A COMPANION SITUATION IT WAS HELD IN 23 COMP. GEN. 13 (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

INTERMITTENT EMPLOYEES WHO ARE APPOINTED ON A "WHEN ACTUALLY EMPLOYED" BASIS TO POSITIONS ALLOCATED TO SERVICES AND GRADES PURSUANT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AND WHO ARE PAID ON THE BASIS OF HOURLY RATES DERIVED FROM PER ANNUM RATES ARE ENTITLED TO BE PAID FOR SERVICES RENDERED ON SUNDAYS, HOLIDAYS, AND THE 31ST DAY OF A MONTH.

TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIERS OF THE CLASS HERE INVOLVED--- WORKING FOR LESS THAN A FULL PAY PERIOD--- MAY BE LIKENED TO INTERMITTENT, TEMPORARY, SEASONAL, OR EMERGENCY FIELD EMPLOYEES REFERRED TO IN THE TWO IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING DECISIONS. ACCORDINGLY, IN LINE WITH SAID DECISIONS, THE QUESTION SUBMITTED IN THE CLOSING PARAGRAPH OF YOUR SUBMISSION IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

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