B-62569, DECEMBER 20, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 431

B-62569: Dec 20, 1946

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ARE EXCUSED FROM DUTY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9810. SO AS TO ENTITLE OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES WHO ARE REQUIRED TO PERFORM DUTY ON THAT HALF-DAY. THE COMPENSATORY TIME OFF FROM DUTY WHICH IS AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 202 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945. ARE EXCUSED FROM DUTY PURSUANT TO EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9810. 1946: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 18. AS FOLLOWS: YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9810 OF DECEMBER 12. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS: "1. BECAUSE IT WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE TO EXCUSE MANY FEDERAL EMPLOYEES WHO ARE ENGAGED IN VITAL SERVICES FROM DUTY ON DECEMBER 24. THE COMMISSION HAS BEEN REQUESTED TO SECURE YOUR VIEWS ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: (1) WILL EMPLOYEES WHO ARE NOT EXCUSED FROM DUTY FOR ONE-HALF DAY ON DECEMBER 24.

B-62569, DECEMBER 20, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 431

COMPENSATION; COMPENSATORY TIME - HOLIDAYS - HALF-DAY ON DECEMBER 24, 1946 THE HALF-DAY ON DECEMBER 24, 1946, FOR WHICH EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS, ARE EXCUSED FROM DUTY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9810, CONSTITUTES A ,HOLIDAY" WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 302 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, AS AMENDED, SO AS TO ENTITLE OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES WHO ARE REQUIRED TO PERFORM DUTY ON THAT HALF-DAY--- EITHER BY ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTION OR STATUTORY REQUIREMENT--- TO THE DOUBLE TIME HOLIDAY COMPENSATION AUTHORIZED BY SAID SECTION FOR SUCH DUTY. THE COMPENSATORY TIME OFF FROM DUTY WHICH IS AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 202 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, AS AMENDED,"IN LIEU OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR IRREGULAR OR OCCASIONAL DUTY IN EXCESS OF FORTY HOURS IN ANY REGULARLY SCHEDULED ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEK" MAY NOT BE GRANTED TO EMPLOYEES IN LIEU OF THE DOUBLE-TIME HOLIDAY COMPENSATION PAYABLE UNDER SECTION 302 OF THE ACT, AS AMENDED, ON ACCOUNT OF DUTY REQUIRED TO BE PERFORMED ON THE HALF-DAY ON DECEMBER 24, 1946, FOR WHICH EMPLOYEES, WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS, ARE EXCUSED FROM DUTY PURSUANT TO EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9810.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, DECEMBER 20, 1946:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 18, 1946, AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9810 OF DECEMBER 12, 1946, EXCUSING FEDERAL EMPLOYEES FROM DUTY ONE-HALF DAY ON DECEMBER 24, 1946, AS FOLLOWS:

"BY VIRTUE OF THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:

"1. THE SEVERAL EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS, AND OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, INCLUDING THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE AND THE NAVY YARD AND NAVAL STATIONS, SHALL BE CLOSED ONE-HALF DAY ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24, 1946, THE DAY PRECEDING CHRISTMAS DAY; AND ALL EMPLOYEES IN THE FEDERAL SERVICE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND IN THE FIELD SERVICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS, AND OTHER AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT, EXCEPT THOSE WHO MAY FOR SPECIAL PUBLIC REASONS BE EXCLUDED FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ORDER BY THE HEADS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE DEPARTMENTS, ESTABLISHMENTS, OR AGENCIES, OR THOSE WHOSE ABSENCE FROM DUTY WOULD BE INCONSISTENT WITH THE PROVISIONS OF EXISTING LAW, SHALL BE EXCUSED FROM DUTY FOR ONE-HALF DAY ON DECEMBER 24, 1946.

"2.THIS ORDER SHALL BE PUBLISHED IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER.'

BECAUSE IT WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE TO EXCUSE MANY FEDERAL EMPLOYEES WHO ARE ENGAGED IN VITAL SERVICES FROM DUTY ON DECEMBER 24, 1946, THE COMMISSION HAS BEEN REQUESTED TO SECURE YOUR VIEWS ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

(1) WILL EMPLOYEES WHO ARE NOT EXCUSED FROM DUTY FOR ONE-HALF DAY ON DECEMBER 24, BE ENTITLED TO HOLIDAY PAY FOR FOUR HOURS ON THAT DAY AT TWICE THEIR REGULAR RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION UNDER SECTION 11 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' PAY ACT OF 1946?

(2) IN LIEU OF SUCH HOLIDAY COMPENSATION, MAY SUCH EMPLOYEES BE GRANTED COMPENSATORY TIME OFF FOR FOUR HOURS ON SOME OTHER DAY WHEN THEIR SERVICES CAN BE SPARED?

SECTION 11 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 218, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, SUPRA, PROVIDES:

THAT PART OF THE FIRST SENTENCE OF SECTION 302 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945 WHICH PRECEDES THE PROVISO IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS: "ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE TO WHOM THIS TITLE APPLIES WHO IS ASSIGNED TO DUTY ON A HOLIDAY DESIGNATED BY FEDERAL STATUTE OR EXECUTIVE ORDER DURING HOURS WHICH FALL WITHIN HIS BASIC ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEK OF FORTY HOURS SHALL BE COMPENSATED FOR NOT TO EXCEED EIGHT HOURS OF SUCH DUTY, EXCLUDING PERIODS WHEN HE IS IN A LEAVE STATUS, IN LIEU OF HIS REGULAR RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION FOR SUCH DUTY, AT THE RATE OF TWICE SUCH REGULAR RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION, IN ADDITION TO ANY EXTRA COMPENSATION FOR NIGHT DUTY PROVIDED BY SECTION 301 OF THIS ACT.'

THE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS SUBMITTED IN YOUR LETTER, SUPRA, ARE DEPENDENT UPON A DETERMINATION WHETHER THE HALF-DAY ON DECEMBER 24, 1946, FOR WHICH EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS, ARE EXCUSED FROM DUTY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9810, CONSTITUTES A "HOLIDAY" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT TERM AS USED IN SECTION 302 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, AS AMENDED, SUPRA.

EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9810, QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, EXPRESSLY PROVIDES THAT THE VARIOUS EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS, AND OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA "SHALL BE CLOSED ONE- HALF DAY ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24, 1946," AND FURTHER PROVIDES, IN EFFECT, THAT ALL EMPLOYEES IN THE FIELD SERVICE, AS WELL AS THOSE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA--- EXCEPTING SUCH EMPLOYEES AS ADMINISTRATIVELY MAY BE REQUIRED TO WORK OR WHOSE ABSENCE WOULD BE INCONSISTENT WITH EXISTING LAW- -- SHALL BE EXCUSED FROM DUTY FOR ONE HALF DAY ON DECEMBER 24, 1946. THAT IS THE USUAL FORM OF SUCH EXECUTIVE ORDERS AND CONSISTENTLY HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED AS CONSTITUTING THE PARTICULAR DAYS, OR PORTIONS OF DAYS, SO DESIGNATED AS HOLIDAYS OR HALF-HOLIDAYS, AS THE CASE MAY BE, WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE TERM "HOLIDAY," AS USED IN VARIOUS FEDERAL STATUTES. SEE 8 COMP. DEC. 1842; 20 COMP. GEN. 411, 414. COMPARE 25 COMP. GEN. 254.

IN THE ABSENCE OF A CLEAR INDICATION ON THE PART OF THE CONGRESS TO THE CONTRARY, IT REASONABLY MAY BE ASSUMED THAT THE TERM "HOLIDAY" AS USED IN SECTION 302 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, AS AMENDED, SUPRA, IS TO BE GIVEN THE MEANING USUALLY AND NORMALLY ASCRIBED THERETO IN THE INTERPRETATION OF FEDERAL STATUTES GENERALLY. HENCE, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT, SO FAR AS CONCERNS FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, THE EFFECT, AS WELL AS THE APPARENT PURPOSE, OF SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9810 IS TO DECLARE A HALF- HOLIDAY ON DECEMBER 24, 1946. CONSEQUENTLY, SUCH EMPLOYEES AS ARE REQUIRED TO PERFORM DUTY ON THAT HALF-DAY--- EITHER BY ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTION OR STATUTORY REQUIREMENT--- IF OTHERWISE WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 302 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, AS AMENDED, ARE, AS THEREIN PROVIDED, ENTITLED TO HOLIDAY COMPENSATION FOR SUCH DUTY. ACCORDINGLY, QUESTION (1) IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

QUESTION (2) IS STATED IN TERMS TOO GENERAL TO PERMIT OF SPECIFIC ANSWER, BUT IT MAY BE STATED THAT, SO FAR AS CONCERNS EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACTS OF 1945 AND 1946, THE ONLY PROVISION PERMITTING THE GRANTING OF COMPENSATORY TIME OFF IS FOUND IN SECTION 202 OF THE 1945 STATUTE, AS AMENDED, 60 STAT. 218. THAT SECTION SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES THAT, IN THE DISCRETION OF THE HEADS OF THE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES, COMPENSATORY TIME OFF FROM DUTY MAY BE GRANTED "IN LIEU OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR IRREGULAR OR OCCASIONAL DUTY EXCESS OF FORTY HOURS IN ANY REGULARLY SCHEDULED ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEK * * *.' HENCE, AS TO SUCH EMPLOYEES, THERE EXISTS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW TO GRANT COMPENSATORY TIME OFF FROM DUTY IN LIEU OF THE HOLIDAY PAY PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 302, AS AMENDED, SUPRA. ..END :