B-62160, DECEMBER 13, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 413

B-62160: Dec 13, 1946

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IN THE CASE OF EMPLOYEES WHO OTHERWISE ARE ENTITLED. WHO ARE EXCUSED BY THE COURT FOR PERIODS IN EXCESS OF ONE DAY DURING THE TERM OF SERVICE. 1946: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 22. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR DECISION TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL DATED OCTOBER 1. "THE "TERM" OF JURY SERVICE FOR WHICH A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO COURT OF (OR) JURY LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITH PAY UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 29. DOES NOT INCLUDE PERIODS DURING WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS EXCUSED OR DISCHARGED BY THE COURT EITHER FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD SUBJECT TO CALL BY THE COURT OR FOR A DEFINITE PERIOD IN EXCESS OF ONE DAY.'. WHICH DATES WERE CERTIFIED BY THE JURY CLERK OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT HE DID NOT SERVE ON FRIDAY.

B-62160, DECEMBER 13, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 413

LEAVES OF ABSENCE - JURY SERVICE - RETURN TO DUTY REQUIREMENTS; ETC. AN EMPLOYEE OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO ABSENCE WITH PAY PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1940, ON ACCOUNT OF JURY SERVICE MAY, WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION, BE INFORMED THAT, IF EXCUSED FROM JURY DUTY FOR ONE DAY OR EVEN A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION THEREOF, HE WOULD BE EXPECTED TO RETURN TO DUTY OR SUFFER A CHARGE AGAINST HIS ANNUAL LEAVE TO THE EXTENT THAT HE FAILED TO RETURN TO DUTY, IN A CASE WHERE SUCH RETURN WOULD NOT WORK A HARDSHIP ON THE EMPLOYEE BECAUSE OF THE DISTANCE OF THE COURT FROM HIS RESIDENCE OR PLACE OF DUTY, OR IN THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE ENGAGED ON NIGHT WORK. COMP. GEN. 181, AMPLIFIED. IN THE CASE OF EMPLOYEES WHO OTHERWISE ARE ENTITLED, ON ACCOUNT OF JURY SERVICE, TO LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITH PAY UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1940, AND WHO ARE EXCUSED BY THE COURT FOR PERIODS IN EXCESS OF ONE DAY DURING THE TERM OF SERVICE, SUCH AS FROM FRIDAY TO MONDAY, OR FROM SATURDAY TO TUESDAY, COURT LEAVE OF ABSENCE MAY NOT BE GRANTED FOR ANY DAY WITHIN SUCH PERIODS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE PUBLIC PRINTER, DECEMBER 13, 1946:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 22, 1946, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR DECISION TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL DATED OCTOBER 1, 1940, 20 C.G. 181, REGARDING LEAVE OF ABSENCE FOR JURY SERVICE. THE SYNOPSIS OF THE DECISION READS AS FOLLOWS.

"THE "TERM" OF JURY SERVICE FOR WHICH A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO COURT OF (OR) JURY LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITH PAY UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1940, DOES NOT INCLUDE PERIODS DURING WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS EXCUSED OR DISCHARGED BY THE COURT EITHER FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD SUBJECT TO CALL BY THE COURT OR FOR A DEFINITE PERIOD IN EXCESS OF ONE DAY.'

THE QUESTION HAS ARISEN AS TO THE PROPER APPLICATION OF THIS DECISION TO THE FOLLOWING CASES.

1. AN EMPLOYEE SERVED AS A JUROR ON THE FOLLOWING DATES DURING THE MONTH OF OCTOBER, 1946, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, AND 31, WHICH DATES WERE CERTIFIED BY THE JURY CLERK OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT HE DID NOT SERVE ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25, FOR THE REASON THAT HE WAS TOLD BY THE COURT AT THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS OCTOBER 24, THAT HE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO SERVE ON OCTOBER 25, BUT REPORT AT THE USUAL HOUR ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 28. ACCORDINGLY AND IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE ABOVE DECISION, IS THE EMPLOYEE ENTITLED TO COURT LEAVE FOR FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25, BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT HE WAS EXCUSED FOR A DEFINITE PERIOD NOT IN EXCESS OF ONE DAY?

2.AN EMPLOYEE SERVED AS A JUROR ON THE TUESDAYS AND FRIDAYS DURING THE MONTH OF OCTOBER. HE WAS EXCUSED AT CLOSE OF BUSINESS ON EACH FRIDAY AND NOT REQUIRED TO RETURN UNTIL THE FOLLOWING TUESDAY, AND THEREAFTER EXCUSED UNTIL THE FOLLOWING FRIDAY. WOULD EMPLOYEE BE ENTITLED TO COURT LEAVE FOR THE MONDAYS DURING THE MONTH OF OCTOBER, NAMELY 7, 14, 21, AND 28, FOR THE REASON THE PERIOD OF TIME THAT HE WAS EXCUSED WAS NOT IN EXCESS OF ONE DAY?

3. WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS ON JURY OR COURT DUTY AND IS EXCUSED BEFORE THE CLOSE OF THE DAY OF HIS REGULAR TOUR OF DUTY, IS HE REQUIRED TO RETURN FOR THE BALANCE OF THAT DAY TO HIS OFFICIAL POST OF DUTY?

AN EARLY REPLY WILL BE APPRECIATED.

THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1940, 54 STAT. 689, PROVIDES:

THAT THE COMPENSATION OF ANY EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES OR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHO MAY BE CALLED UPON FOR JURY SERVICE IN ANY STATE COURT OR COURT OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL NOT BE DIMINISHED DURING THE TERM OF SUCH JURY SERVICE BY REASON OF SUCH ABSENCE, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 3, NOR SHALL SUCH PERIOD OF SERVICE BE DEDUCTED FROM THE TIME ALLOWED FOR ANY LEAVE OF ABSENCE AUTHORIZED BY LAW.

SEC. 2. ANY EMPLOYEE SPECIFIED IN SECTION 1 WHO MAY BE CALLED UPON FOR JURY SERVICE IN ANY COURT OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL NOT RECEIVE ANY COMPENSATION FOR SUCH SERVICE.

SEC. 3. THERE SHALL BE CREDITED AGAINST THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE BY THE UNITED STATES TO ANY EMPLOYEE SPECIFIED IN SECTION 1 FOR SUCH PERIOD AS SUCH EMPLOYEE MAY BE ABSENT ON ACCOUNT OF JURY SERVICE IN THE COURT OF ANY STATE ANY AMOUNTS WHICH SUCH EMPLOYEE MAY RECEIVE FROM SUCH STATE ON ACCOUNT OF SUCH JURY SERVICE.

IN 20 COMP. GEN. 181, REFERRED TO BY YOU, IT WAS HELD, AT PAGE 182, AS FOLLOWS:

WHERE AN EMPLOYEE IS SUMMONED FOR JURY DUTY FOR AN EXTENDED TERM AND IS EXCUSED OR DISCHARGED BY THE COURT DURING SUCH TERM FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD SUBJECT TO CALL BY THE COURT OR FOR A DEFINITE PERIOD IN EXCESS OF 1 DAY, THE "TERM" OF SUCH JURY SERVICE MENTIONED IN THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1940, FOR WHICH THE STATUTE AUTHORIZES THE GRANTING OF LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITH PAY, IS REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN CURTAILED OR REDUCED BY THE COURT TO THE EXTENT OF THE DAYS FOR WHICH THE COURT HAS EXCUSED OR DISCHARGED THE EMPLOYEE FROM JURY SERVICE, AND FOR SUCH DAYS COURT OR JURY LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITH PAY IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

WHILE A JUROR, DURING THE TERM OF THE COURT FOR WHICH HE IS REQUIRED TO SERVE, IS SUBJECT TO BE CALLED BY THE COURT ON ANY COURT DAY FOR JURY SERVICE, AS A PRACTICAL MATTER THE SERVICES REQUIRED OF JURORS ARE UNDERSTOOD TO VARY GREATLY, DEPENDENT UPON THE PARTICULAR COURT AND THE PROCEDURES FOLLOWED BY SUCH COURT. FOR INSTANCE, SOME COURTS HOLD JURY TRIALS ONLY ONE DAY A WEEK; SOME TWO DAYS A WEEK; AND OTHERS, FOUR OR FIVE DAYS A WEEK. HOWEVER, IN ALL OF THE COURTS, IF A PARTICULAR CASE CANNOT BE COMPLETED ON THE ASSIGNED DAYS GENERALLY THE JURORS ARE REQUIRED TO CONTINUE TO SERVE UPON SUCCEEDING DAYS UNTIL COMPLETION OF THE CASE. FEW, IF ANY, OF THE COURTS ARE JURORS REQUIRED TO SERVE CONTINUOUSLY FIVE DAYS A WEEK. IN EXCEPTIONAL CASES, WHERE A JUROR IS EXCUSED FOR ONLY ONE DAY OR LESS, IT CONCEIVABLY MIGHT BE A HARDSHIP FOR SUCH JUROR, IF A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE, TO RETURN TO DUTY AS, FOR INSTANCE, WHERE THE PLACE OF HOLDING COURT IS FAR REMOVED FROM PLACE OF RESIDENCE OR WHERE HIS OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT DUTIES ARE FOR PERFORMANCE, OR WHERE AN EMPLOYEE IS ENGAGED ON NIGHT WORK AND WOULD THUS BE DEPRIVED OF HIS REST. IT WAS WITH THE THOUGHT OF AVOIDING SUCH HARDSHIPS THAT THE RULE STATED IN 20 COMP. GEN. 181 WAS ADOPTED. THERE WAS, HOWEVER, NO INTENTION IN SAID DECISION OF INCREASING THE ANNUAL LEAVE BENEFITS GRANTED BY STATUTE TO SUCH EMPLOYEES.

ACCORDINGLY, IN CASES WHERE NO HARDSHIP WOULD RESULT, IT WOULD BE WITHIN ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION TO INFORM A PROSPECTIVE JUROR THAT, IF EXCUSED FROM JURY DUTY FOR ONE DAY OR EVEN A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION THEREOF, HE WOULD BE EXPECTED TO RETURN TO DUTY OR SUFFER A CHARGE AGAINST HIS ANNUAL LEAVE TO THE EXTENT THAT HE FAILED SO TO DO. QUESTION 3 IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

REFERRING TO QUESTION 1, SINCE THE EMPLOYEE WAS EXCUSED FROM OCTOBER 24 TO 28, 1946--- THE INTERVENING PERIOD EXCEEDING ONE DAY--- THE EMPLOYEE WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO COURT LEAVE FOR ANY DAY IN THAT PERIOD. ALSO, WITH RESPECT TO QUESTION 2, SINCE THE EMPLOYEE WAS EXCUSED FOR PERIODS IN EXCESS OF ONE DAY HE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO COURT LEAVE FOR ANY INTERVENING DAY. IN OTHER WORDS, QUESTIONS 1 AND 2 ARE ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.