B-72858, APRIL 5, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 594

B-72858: Apr 5, 1948

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - RESTORATION WITH INCREASE IN COMPENSATION AT NEW STATION AFTER FURLOUGH THE RECALL OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE TO DUTY FROM A FURLOUGH STATUS AT A NEWLY DESIGNATED STATION FOR PERMANENT DUTY AT AN INCREASE IN SALARY IS TO BE REGARDED AS A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 1 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2. THERE WAS TRANSMITTED HERE FOR CONSIDERATION YOUR REQUEST OF OCTOBER 31. FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON TWO VOUCHERS THEREWITH TRANSMITTED COVERING THE TRAVELING EXPENSES AND EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MANFORD LOWE AND WILLIAM C. CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES WHO WERE RETURNED TO DUTY FROM A FURLOUGH STATUS AT LOCATIONS OTHER THAN THEIR OLD OFFICIAL STATIONS.

B-72858, APRIL 5, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 594

TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS; TRAVELING EXPENSES - RESTORATION WITH INCREASE IN COMPENSATION AT NEW STATION AFTER FURLOUGH THE RECALL OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE TO DUTY FROM A FURLOUGH STATUS AT A NEWLY DESIGNATED STATION FOR PERMANENT DUTY AT AN INCREASE IN SALARY IS TO BE REGARDED AS A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 1 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, SO THAT TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND DEPENDENTS AS WELL AS THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO THE NEWLY DESIGNATED STATION. 14 COMP. GEN. 871, AND 17 ID. 183, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO COL. B. B. TALLEY, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, APRIL 5, 1948:

BY INDORSEMENT FROM THE OFFICE, CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, DATED JANUARY 12, 1948 (FILE REFERENCE, ENGFA 201 CIV POLLOCK, WILLIAM C. X CIV LOWE, MANFORD), THERE WAS TRANSMITTED HERE FOR CONSIDERATION YOUR REQUEST OF OCTOBER 31, 1947, REFERENCE OVLVF, FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON TWO VOUCHERS THEREWITH TRANSMITTED COVERING THE TRAVELING EXPENSES AND EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MANFORD LOWE AND WILLIAM C. POLLOCK, CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES WHO WERE RETURNED TO DUTY FROM A FURLOUGH STATUS AT LOCATIONS OTHER THAN THEIR OLD OFFICIAL STATIONS.

IT APPEARS THAT THE FIRST-NAMED EMPLOYEE WAS FURLOUGHED ON JANUARY 7, 1947, FROM HIS POSITION AT LOCK AND DAM NO. 5, GREEN RIVER, NAKER, KENTUCKY, AND RESTORED TO A DUTY STATUS ON JUNE 30, 1947, FOR DUTY AT LOCK AND DAM NO. 49, UNIONTOWN, KENTUCKY, IN THE SAME GRADE BUT AT A HIGHER SALARY RATE WHICH REPRESENTED A PERIODIC WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT. BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DATED JUNE 25, 1947, MR. LOWE'S TRAVEL, INCLUDING TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, WAS AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY, HIS HOME, TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION, LOCK AND DAM NO. 49, UNIONTOWN, KENTUCKY. IT IS STATED THAT THE DISTANCES FROM OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY, THE PLACE WHERE THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ORIGINATED, TO THE EMPLOYEE'S PRESENT HEADQUARTERS, IS LESS THAN THE DISTANCE FROM THE OLD STATION TO THE NEW.

THE CIRCUMSTANCES WITH RESPECT TO THE TRANSFER OF THE SECOND EMPLOYEE, MR. WILLIAM C. POLLOCK, ARE SUBSTANTIALLY IDENTICAL WITH THE TRANSFER OF MR. LOWE IN THAT MR. POLLOCK WAS RECALLED TO DUTY FROM A FURLOUGH STATUS ON MAY 19, 1947, FOR DUTY AT LOCK AND DAM NO. 50, OHIO RIVER, AND WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORT HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND DEPENDENTS FROM HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. HOWEVER, IN ADDITION TO AN INCREASE IN SALARY MR. POLLOCK RECEIVED AN INCREASE IN GRADE, I.E., FROM CPC-4 TO CPC-5.

THE DECISIONS REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, 14 COMP. GEN. 871, 17 COMP. GEN. 183, HELD, IN EFFECT, THAT EMPLOYEES REEMPLOYED AT INCREASED SALARY RATES WHILE IN A FURLOUGH STATUS ARE TO BE CONSIDERED AS NEW APPOINTEES, THUS REQUIRING FURLOUGH STATUS ARE TO BE CONSIDERED AS NEW APPOINTEES, THUS REQUIRING THEM TO BEAR THEIR OWN EXPENSES IN REPORTING TO THEIR NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS. THOSE DECISIONS TURNED PRIMARILY UPON THE POINT THAT THE PURPORTED TRANSFERS INVOLVED INCREASES IN SALARY, BUT IT WAS LATER HELD THAT CHANGES IN GRADE OR SALARY WERE NOT TO BE REGARDED AS A BAR TO A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE APPLICABLE STATUTES. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 874, 1108, 1117; 18 ID. 188; 25 ID. 786, AT PAGE 787.

THE COURTS HAVE CONSTRUED THE TERM "FURLOUGH" AS USED IN PRIVATE INDUSTRY AS NOT BEING A DISCHARGE BUT A FORM OF LAY-OFF, WITH CONSEQUENCES QUITE DIFFERENT FROM TERMINATION OF THE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP; AND IT IS RECOGNIZED THAT CERTAIN BENEFITS CONTINUED TO ACCRUE TO AN EMPLOYEE IN A FURLOUGH STATUS. SEE FISHGOLD V. SULLIVAN DRY DOCK AND REPAIR CORP. ET AL., 328 U.S. 275; LABOR BOARDS V. WATERMAN S.S. CO., 309 U.S. 206.

THE SAME MAY BE SAID TO APPLY TO THE USE OF THE WORD "FURLOUGH" IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE. IT IS NOT A DISMISSAL FROM THE SERVICE BUT CREATES A STATUS IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE RECALLED TO WORK AT ANY TIME DURING SUCH PERIOD AND IN THE INTERIM RETAINS CERTAIN BENEFITS OF LEAVE AND REEMPLOYMENT WHICH OTHERWISE WOULD NOT ACCRUE IF AN OUTRIGHT DISMISSAL FROM THE SERVICE WAS INVOLVED. IN THAT CONNECTION, IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED BY THIS OFFICE THAT TRANSFERS OF OFFICIAL STATIONS OF EMPLOYEES IN CARRYING OUT THE RETENTION AND REPLACEMENT PROGRAM AS REQUIRED BY LAW AND REGULATIONS IN CONNECTIONS IN CONNECTION WITH REDUCTIONS IN FORCE, ARE NOT TRANSFERS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEES AND MAY BE AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. SEE 26 COMP. GEN. 684.

ACCORDINGLY, IT REASONABLY MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT THE RECALL OF THE TWO EMPLOYEES TO DUTY FROM A FURLOUGH STATUS AT NEWLY DESIGNATED STATIONS FOR PERMANENT DUTY UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED IS TO BE REGARDED AS A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 806, AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND DEPENDENTS AS WELL AS THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING, PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHERS IS AUTHORIZED IF THEY BE OTHERWISE CORRECT.