B-72972, MARCH 8, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 499

B-72972: Mar 8, 1948

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COMPENSATION - WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENTS - TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES CONVERTED TO PERMANENT STATUS - EFFECTIVE DATE A TEMPORARY EMPLOYEE WHOSE POSITION WAS CONVERTED TO A PERMANENT STATUS ON THE FIRST DAY OF A PAY PERIOD AFTER HE SATISFIED THE LENGTH OF-SERVICE REQUIREMENTS AND OTHER CONDITIONS OF SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945. IS ENTITLED TO THE BENEFIT OF A WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENT EFFECTIVE THE SAME DATE AS THE CONVERSION. ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION MAY BE TAKEN TO PROCESS SUCH PROMOTIONS RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE TO THE DATE OF ACQUISITION OF PERMANENT STATUS IF SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE STILL ON THE ROLLS. 1948: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 15. PROVIDED ALL OTHER CONDITIONS OF ELIGIBILITY ARE MET.

B-72972, MARCH 8, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 499

COMPENSATION - WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENTS - TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES CONVERTED TO PERMANENT STATUS - EFFECTIVE DATE A TEMPORARY EMPLOYEE WHOSE POSITION WAS CONVERTED TO A PERMANENT STATUS ON THE FIRST DAY OF A PAY PERIOD AFTER HE SATISFIED THE LENGTH OF-SERVICE REQUIREMENTS AND OTHER CONDITIONS OF SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, AUTHORIZING WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENTS FOR PERMANENT EMPLOYEES AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF THE NECESSARY PREREQUISITES, IS ENTITLED TO THE BENEFIT OF A WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENT EFFECTIVE THE SAME DATE AS THE CONVERSION, RATHER THAN AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FOLLOWING PAY PERIOD. 21 COMP. GEN. 313, AMPLIFIED. IN THE CASE OF TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES WHO ACQUIRED PERMANENT STATUS ON THE FIRST DAY OF A PAY PERIOD AFTER THEY SATISFIED ALL THE OTHER ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENTS UNDER SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, BUT WHO DID NOT RECEIVE SUCH ADVANCEMENTS SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH THE ACQUISITION OF PERMANENT STATUS, ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION MAY BE TAKEN TO PROCESS SUCH PROMOTIONS RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE TO THE DATE OF ACQUISITION OF PERMANENT STATUS IF SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE STILL ON THE ROLLS; HOWEVER, ANY CLAIMS OF FORMER EMPLOYEES FOR SUCH COMPENSATION ADJUSTMENTS WOULD BE FOR SETTLEMENT BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, MARCH 8, 1948:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 15, 1948, AS FOLLOWS:

THE COMMISSION RESPECTFULLY REQUESTS YOUR ADVICE AS TO THE LEGALITY OF PROCESSING WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENTS, PROVIDED ALL OTHER CONDITIONS OF ELIGIBILITY ARE MET, SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH CONVERSIONS FROM TEMPORARY TO PERMANENT STATUS AT THE BEGINNING OF A PAY PERIOD.

UPON MEETING THE REQUIREMENT FOR ACQUISITION OF A COMPETITIVE STATUS UNDER CIVIL SERVICE RULE III ( CHAPTER Z1-217, FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL), EMPLOYEES MAY BE CONVERTED TO COMPETITIVE STATUS AS OF THE DATE OF THE COMMISSION'S CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL OF THE ACTION, OR ANY DATE IMMEDIATELY THEREAFTER. AN AGENCY MAY EFFECT A CONVERSION WITHIN A PAY PERIOD OR AT THE BEGINNING OF AN PAY PERIOD. IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH A UNIFORM EFFECTIVE DATE FOR INTRA-AGENCY PERSONNEL ACTIONS AND TO COMPLY WITH LEGAL REQUIREMENTS, MANY AGENCIES EFFECT CHANGES IN STATUS ACTIONS AT THE BEGINNING OF A PAY PERIOD.

SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, 59 STAT. 299, PROVIDES:

"/B) ALL EMPLOYEES COMPENSATED ON A PER ANNUM BASIS, AND OCCUPYING PERMANENT POSITIONS WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE COMPENSATION SCHEDULES FIXED BY THIS ACT, WHO HAVE NOT ATTAINED THE MAXIMUM RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR THE GRADE IN WHICH THEIR POSITIONS ARE RESPECTIVELY ALLOCATED, SHALL BE ADVANCED IN COMPENSATION SUCCESSIVELY TO THE NEXT HIGHER RATE WITHIN THE GRADE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF (1) EACH TWELVE MONTHS OF SERVICE IF SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE IN GRADES IN WHICH THE COMPENSATION INCREMENTS ARE LESS THAN $200, OR (2) EACH EIGHTEEN MONTHS OF SERVICE IF SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE IN GRADES IN WHICH THE COMPENSATION INCREMENTS ARE $200 OR MORE, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS: * * *.'

IN 21 COMP. GEN. 313, 315, DATED OCTOBER 11, 1941, IT WAS HELD THAT "THE WORDS "OCCUPYING PERMANENT POSITIONS WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE COMPENSATION SCHEDULES FIXED BY THIS ACT," * * * HAVE RELATION TO THE BEGINNING OF ANY QUARTER, THAT IS, THE TIME THAT AN EMPLOYEE BECOMES ELIGIBLE FOR A WITHIN- GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT UNDER THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE STATUTE. IN OTHER WORDS, AN EMPLOYEE MUST AT SUCH TIME OCCUPY A PERMANENT POSITION WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS THAT TERM HAS BEEN DEFINED IN THE REGULATIONS. THE DEFINITIONS OF THE TERMS "PERMANENT POSITIONS" AND "POSITIONS WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE COMPENSATION SCHEDULES FIXED BY THIS ACT" * * * THUS HAVE RELATION TO THE POSITION HELD AT THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER AN EMPLOYEE BECOMES ELIGIBLE FOR THE WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT.'

IT HAS BEEN OUR INTERPRETATION OF THE PROVISION OF LAW AND THE DECISION CITED ABOVE THAT AN EMPLOYEE NEED ONLY BE OCCUPYING A PERMANENT POSITION AT THE TIME HE RECEIVES A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT, AND THAT HE IS NOT REQUIRED TO BE IN A PERMANENT POSITION PRIOR TO THE "BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD" FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF THE OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF ELIGIBILITY.

PARAGRAPH 1 OF DEPARTMENTAL CIRCULAR NO. 554 ISSUED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION ON APRIL 8, 1946, STATES THAT "THE TIME SPENT IN ANY TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT MAY BE CREDITED TOWARD ONE WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT IF AND WHEN THE EMPLOYEE LATER MEETS THE CONDITIONS OF ELIGIBILITY INCLUDING THE HOLDING OF A "PERMANENT POSITION.'" (BASED ON 21 COMP. GEN. 313, OCTOBER 11, 1941). TO ILLUSTRATE THIS PROVISION, THE COMMISSION GAVE THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLE UNDER PARAGRAPH 3 OF THE CIRCULAR:

"AN EMPLOYEE IS SERVING AS A GRADE CAF-5 CLERK UNDER SECTION 2, TEMPORARY REGULATION VIII APPOINTMENT AT THE MINIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE, $2,320 PER ANNUM. HE IS REACHED ON A COMPETITIVE REGISTER FOR CERTIFICATION TO THE SAME POSITION. HE BEGINS THE STATUS APPOINTMENT AT A SALARY OF $2,320 AND CREDITS THE TIME SERVED UNDER THE SECTION 2 APPOINTMENT TOWARD A WITHIN- GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT. (THAT IS, IF HE HAD SERVED 12 MONTHS UNDER THE SECTION 2 APPOINTMENT AND ALL OTHER CONDITIONS ELIGIBILITY WERE MET HE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO BEGIN HIS STATUS APPOINTMENT IN GRADE CAF-5 AT A SALARY RATE OF $2,430, ONE STEP ABOVE THE MINIMUM).'

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS CIRCULAR, AGENCIES MAY PROCESS CONVERSION ACTIONS AND WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENTS SIMULTANEOUSLY OR AS A DUAL PERSONNEL ACTION WHEREVER THE EMPLOYEE BEING CONVERTED HAS SERVED AT LEAST THE REQUIRED 12 OR 18 MONTHS UNDER A TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT SINCE HIS LAST EQUIVALENT INCREASE, AND PROVIDED ALL OTHER CONDITIONS OF ELIGIBILITY ARE MET. IT IS THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE COMMISSION THAT SOME AGENCIES HAVE BEEN EFFECTING CONVERSION TO COMPETITIVE STATUS AND PERIODIC PAY INCREASES SIMULTANEOUSLY, WHILE OTHER AGENCIES HAVE BEEN PROCESSING PERIODIC PAY INCREASES EFFECTIVE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING CONVERSION TO STATUS WHERE ALL OTHER CONDITIONS OF ELIGIBILITY WERE MET.

IT WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL ADVISE THE COMMISSION OF THE CORRECT EFFECTIVE DATES FOR PERIODIC PAY INCREASES IN THE FOLLOWING CASES, ASSUMING THAT THE PAY PERIODS BEING ON SUNDAY AND THAT ALL OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF ELIGIBILITY ARE MET:

EMPLOYEE A SERVING UNDER A TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT WAS PROMOTED EFFECTIVE JULY 14, 1946, FROM GRADE CAF-2, $1,954 TO GRADE CAF-3, $2,168.28 PER ANNUM. HE ACQUIRED COMPETITIVE STATUS EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 5, 1947, AND A PERIODIC PAY INCREASE WAS PROCESSED EFFECTIVE THE SAME DATE, MAKING HIS SALARY RATE $2,243.52.

EMPLOYEE B SERVING UNDER A TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT WAS PROMOTED EFFECTIVE JULY 14, 1946, FROM GRADE CAF-4, $2,394 PER ANNUM TO GRADE CAF-5, $2,644.80 PER ANNUM. HE WAS TERMINATED EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 20, 1947, DUE TO REDUCTION IN FORCE. HE WAS REEMPLOYED AT THE SECOND STEP OF GRADE CAF- 5, $2,770.20 ON OCTOBER 19, 1947, UNDER A PROBATIONAL APPOINTMENT, HAVING MET ALL THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ACQUISITION OF STATUS. ESTABLISHMENT OF HIS SALARY RATE AT THE SECOND STEP OF THE GRADE WAS BASED ON THE BELIEF THAT HE WAS ENTITLED TO A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT AT THAT TIME.

PLEASE ADVISE ALSO WHAT ACTION, IF ANY, IS TO BE TAKEN BY THE AGENCIES IN THE GREAT NUMBER OF CASES WHICH HAVE ALREADY BEEN PROCESSED UNDER EITHER METHOD.

YOUR INTERPRETATION OF THE DECISION OF OCTOBER 11, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 313, TO THE EFFECT THAN AN EMPLOYEE NEED ONLY BE OCCUPYING A PERMANENT POSITION AT THE BEGINNING OF A PAY PERIOD WHEN HE HAS OTHERWISE SATISFIED THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT APPEARS SUBSTANTIALLY CORRECT, AND ANY EMPLOYEE WHOSE POSITION IS CONVERTED FROM A TEMPORARY TO A PERMANENT STATUS ON THE FIRST DAY OF A PAY PERIOD IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS FALLING WITHIN THE PURPORT OF THAT DECISION. THAT IS TO SAY, AN EMPLOYEE UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES WHOSE POSITION IS CONVERTED TO A PERMANENT STATUS ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE PAY PERIOD IS ENTITLED--- UNDER THE INSTRUCTIONS CONTAINED IN DEPARTMENTAL CIRCULAR NO. 554, QUOTED FROM IN YOUR LETTER- - TO THE BENEFIT OF A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT, EFFECTIVE THE SAME DAY AS THE CONVERSION, RATHER THAN THE BEGINNING OF THE FOLLOWING PAY PERIOD. HOWEVER, THE DECISION IN 21 COMP. GEN. 313, IS NOT TO BE UNDERSTOOD AS AUTHORIZING THE GRANTING OF A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH THE CONVERSION TO A PERMANENT STATUS AT ANY TIME AFTER THE FIRST DAY OF A PAY PERIOD AS MIGHT BE INFERRED FROM THE ILLUSTRATION GIVEN IN DEPARTMENTAL CIRCULAR 554, SUPRA.

REFERRING TO THE EXAMPLES CITED IN YOUR LETTER, ASSUMING, OF COURSE, THAT THE PAY PERIODS BEGAN ON OCTOBER 5 AND 19, 1947, THE ACTION IN PROCESSING THE WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENTS ON THOSE DATES--- THE SAME DAYS THE EMPLOYEES ACQUIRED A COMPETITIVE STATUS--- WAS CORRECT.

REFERRING TO THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT IF ANY AGENCY HAS FAILED TO GRANT WITHIN-GRADE PROMOTIONS TO EMPLOYEES OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE THEREFOR, WHEN THEY ACQUIRED A COMPETITIVE STATUS ON THE FIRST DAY OF A PAY PERIOD, PROPER ACTION MAY BE TAKEN TO PROCESS SUCH PROMOTIONS RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE TO THAT DATE (25 COMP. GEN. 842) WHEN THE EMPLOYEES ARE STILL ON THE ROLLS OF THE PARTICULAR DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY; OTHERWISE, ANY CLAIM FOR SUCH ADJUSTMENT IN COMPENSATION WOULD BE FOR SETTLEMENT BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. SEE 31 U.S.C. 71.