B-79668, SEPTEMBER 15, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 170

B-79668: Sep 15, 1948

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AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS PROMOTED TO THE NEXT HIGHER GRADE EFFECTIVE THE BEGINNING OF A PAY PERIOD AND WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO A WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENT SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH THE CHANGE IN GRADE EFFECTED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD. AS FOLLOWS: THE QUESTION HAS RECENTLY ARISEN WHETHER IT IS NECESSARY IN CASES LIKE THE FOLLOWING TO WAIT UNTIL THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD TO GRANT A WITHIN-GRADE PAY INCREASE TO THE EMPLOYEE CONCERNED. WAS GIVEN THE EMPLOYEE IN THIS CASE ON MARCH 7. WHICH WAS THE BEGINNING OF A PAY PERIOD IN THIS DEPARTMENT. 845.44 WHICH HE WAS RECEIVING IN SP-5 WAS THE TOP RATE OF THAT GRADE. WERE THE RESULT OF PAY ADJUSTMENTS UNDER THE PAY ACTS OF 1945 AND 1946.

B-79668, SEPTEMBER 15, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 170

COMPENSATION - WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENTS - EFFICIENCY RATINGS IN VIEW OF THE AMENDMENT TO THE CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 15, 1948, REQUIRING THAT ALL EMPLOYEES BE GIVEN AN ENTRANCE EFFICIENCY RATING UPON CHANGE IN GRADE, AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS PROMOTED TO THE NEXT HIGHER GRADE EFFECTIVE THE BEGINNING OF A PAY PERIOD AND WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO A WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENT SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH THE CHANGE IN GRADE EFFECTED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD. COMPARE 25 COMP. GEN. 90.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, SEPTEMBER 15, 1948:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED THE QUESTION PRESENTED IN YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 19, 1948, AS FOLLOWS:

THE QUESTION HAS RECENTLY ARISEN WHETHER IT IS NECESSARY IN CASES LIKE THE FOLLOWING TO WAIT UNTIL THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD TO GRANT A WITHIN-GRADE PAY INCREASE TO THE EMPLOYEE CONCERNED.

A PROMOTION FROM GRADE SP-5, $2,845.44, TO SP-6, $2,895.60, WAS GIVEN THE EMPLOYEE IN THIS CASE ON MARCH 7, 1948, WHICH WAS THE BEGINNING OF A PAY PERIOD IN THIS DEPARTMENT. THE SALARY OF $2,845.44 WHICH HE WAS RECEIVING IN SP-5 WAS THE TOP RATE OF THAT GRADE. THE EMPLOYEE HAD REACHED THAT TOP RATE ON JULY 1, 1944. THE ONLY SUBSEQUENT CHANGES IN SALARY UP TO MARCH 7, 1948, WERE THE RESULT OF PAY ADJUSTMENTS UNDER THE PAY ACTS OF 1945 AND 1946. SUCH ADJUSTMENTS WERE NOT EQUIVALENT INCREASES IN PAY WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE LAW. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RATE OF $2,895.60 TO WHICH PROMOTED IN SP-6 AND THE TOP RATE, $2,845.44, OF SP-5 BEING LESS THAN ANY OF THE SALARY INCREMENTS IN THE LOWER GRADE, THE PROMOTION IN THIS CASE ALSO DID NOT INVOLVE AN ,EQUIVALENT INCREASE" IN PAY. NEVERTHELESS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRACTICE HERETOFORE FOLLOWED, EVEN THOUGH HE MET THE LENGTH OF SERVICE REQUIREMENT, ACTION TO GRANT THE EMPLOYEE A WITHIN-GRADE PAY INCREASE IN THE GRADE TO WHICH PROMOTED WAS NOT MADE EFFECTIVE UNTIL MARCH 21, 1948, THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING.

IN 25 COMP. GEN. 90, IT WAS HELD, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS TRANSFERRED FROM A HIGHER TO A LOWER GRADE, OR VICE VERSA, EFFECTIVE ON THE DATE A WITHIN-GRADE PROMOTION WOULD HAVE BEEN DUE UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1941, IN THE GRADE FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED LOST HIS RIGHT TO SUCH A PROMOTION IN THE FORMER GRADE AND, THERE HAVING BEEN NO OPPORTUNITY TO EVALUATE HIS SERVICES FOR PURPOSES OF AN EFFICIENCY RATING UPON WHICH TO BASE A PROMOTION WITHIN THE GRADE TO WHICH TRANSFERRED, SUCH A PROMOTION COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MADE IN THAT GRADE.

AN EFFICIENCY RATING WHICH WAS ON RECORD FOR AN EMPLOYEE IN ONE GRADE MAY BE USED AS A BASIS FOR DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR A WITHIN-GRADE PROMOTION UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1941, IN A HIGHER OR LOWER GRADE TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE'S POSITION HAS BEEN REALLOCATED, EITHER UPON THE BASIS OF THE SAME DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OR UPON THE BASIS OF SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES WITH SOME INCREASE OR DECREASE THEREIN.

IN 27 COMP. GEN. 278, IT WAS HELD, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

WHERE, ON JULY 1, 1945, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, THE REALLOCATION OF AN EMPLOYEE'S POSITION TO THE NEXT HIGHER GRADE BECAME EFFECTIVE WITHOUT RESULTING IN AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION -- THE EMPLOYEE HAVING RECEIVED THE MAXIMUM SALARY FOR HIS FORMER GRADE--- THE SALARY ADVANCEMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE TO THE SECOND STEP OF THE HIGHER GRADE PROPERLY WAS MADE EFFECTIVE BEGINNING WITH THE PAY PERIOD COMMENCING JULY 1, 1945, PROVIDED ALL OTHER CONDITIONS OF THE STATUTE GOVERNING WITHIN- GRADE ADVANCEMENTS HAD BEEN MET. 22 COMP. GEN. 336, DISTINGUISHED.

IN 27 COMP. GEN. 499, IT WAS HELD, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

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 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.

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE ONLY OBJECTION ADVANCED IN 25 COMP. GEN. 90, SUPRA, TO GRANTING AN EMPLOYEE A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCE SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH A CHANGE IN GRADE WAS LACK OF AN EFFICIENCY RATING IN THE GRADE IN WHICH SERVING AFTER THE CHANGE. THE CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS WERE AMENDED EFFECTIVE JANUARY 15, 1948, TO GIVE ALL EMPLOYEES AN ENTRANCE EFFICIENCY RATING. SEE E 1-5 OF THE FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL. THIS AMENDMENT TO THE CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS REMOVES ALL OBJECTIONS TO GIVING AN EMPLOYEE A PERIODIC WITHIN -GRADE SALARY ADVANCE SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH HIS PROMOTION TO A HIGHER GRADE PROVIDED, OF COURSE, SUCH PROMOTION BECAME EFFECTIVE ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE PAY PERIOD. ACCORDINGLY, IN THE CASE PRESENTED IN YOUR SUBMISSION THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY MAY BE ADJUSTED TO GIVE HIM THE BENEFITS OF THE PERIODIC WITHIN- GRADE ADVANCE AS OF MARCH 7, 1948.