B-81719, MARCH 9, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 504

B-81719: Mar 9, 1949

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1949: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 15. REQUESTING TO BE ADVISED WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON THE VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED IN FAVOR OF CREOLE LEE DAW FOR $23.16. DAW WAS EMPLOYED BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN A CAF-3 POSITION AT $2. THAT BEING THE HIGHEST SALARY IN THE LAST STEP OF THE GRADE WHICH THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WAS AUTHORIZED TO PAY BECAUSE OF LACK OF FUNDS TO COVER THE SALARY INCREASE AUTHORIZED BY THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948. THAT WHEN SHE ACCEPTED THE POSITION IN THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION IT WAS WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT SHE WOULD RECEIVE THE SALARY APPLICABLE TO THE HIGHEST STEP IN THE GRADE WHICH WOULD INCLUDE THE $330 INCREASE PROVIDED FEDERAL EMPLOYEES UNDER SAID ACT.

B-81719, MARCH 9, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 504

INITIAL SALARY RATE UPON TRANSFER FROM DISTRICT. OF COL. TO FEDERAL GOVT. THE INITIAL SALARY RATE OF A CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHO FAILED TO RECEIVE THE $330 PER ANNUM SALARY INCREASE GIVEN FEDERAL EMPLOYEES GENERALLY BY THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948, DUE TO THE EXCLUSION PROVISIONS OF SECTION 304 THEREOF, MAY, UPON TRANSFER TO A POSITION UNDER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN THE SAME CLASSIFICATION ACT GRADE, BE FIXED TO CORRESPOND WITH THE RATE RECEIVED IN THE FORMER POSITION, PLUS THE $330 STATUTORY INCREASE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO DOROTHY V. HUFF, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, MARCH 9, 1949:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 15, 1948, REQUESTING TO BE ADVISED WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON THE VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED IN FAVOR OF CREOLE LEE DAW FOR $23.16, COVERING DIFFERENCE IN SALARY BETWEEN $2,648.76 AND $2,949.72 FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 4 TO OCTOBER 30, 1948. YOU STATE THAT PRIOR TO HER TRANSFER, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 4, MRS. DAW WAS EMPLOYED BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN A CAF-3 POSITION AT $2,619.72 PER ANNUM, THAT BEING THE HIGHEST SALARY IN THE LAST STEP OF THE GRADE WHICH THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WAS AUTHORIZED TO PAY BECAUSE OF LACK OF FUNDS TO COVER THE SALARY INCREASE AUTHORIZED BY THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948, APPROVED JULY 3, 1948; THAT WHEN SHE ACCEPTED THE POSITION IN THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION IT WAS WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT SHE WOULD RECEIVE THE SALARY APPLICABLE TO THE HIGHEST STEP IN THE GRADE WHICH WOULD INCLUDE THE $330 INCREASE PROVIDED FEDERAL EMPLOYEES UNDER SAID ACT, IF A FAVORABLE RULING TO THAT EFFECT COULD BE OBTAINED.

THE RULE FOR FIXING THE INITIAL SALARY RATE UPON TRANSFER IS RESTATED IN 26 COMP. GEN. 530 (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

THE INITIAL SALARY RATE OF EMPLOYEES IN CLASSIFICATION ACT POSITIONS TO WHICH TRANSFERRED, PROMOTED, DEMOTED, REINSTATED, OR REEMPLOYED IN THE SAME OR DIFFERENT AGENCY, INCLUDING CASES OF REALLOCATION OF OCCUPIED POSITIONS FROM CLASSIFICATION ACT GRADES AND FROM GRADES UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6746, MAY, WITHIN ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION AND AVAILABLE FUNDS, BE FIXED AT A RATE WITHIN THE RANGE OF SALARIES IN THE GRADE TO WHICH TRANSFERRED, ETC., UP TO THE HIGHEST RATE ATTAINED IN ANY PRIOR POSITION IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT (INCLUDING WHOLLY OWNED GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS), OR, IF SUCH HIGHEST RATE IS NOT IDENTICAL WITH ANY RATE IN THE GRADE, THE NEXT HIGHER RATE THEREIN MAY BE PAID; HOWEVER, SUCH RULE, AS HEREIN AMPLIFIED, MAY NOT BE APPLIED TO CASES HERETOFORE PROCESSED. 26 COMP. GEN. 368, AMPLIFIED. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

THE FAILURE OF THE INVOLVED EMPLOYEE WHILE EMPLOYED WITH THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO RECEIVE THE $330 SALARY INCREASE GIVEN FEDERAL EMPLOYEES GENERALLY BY THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1948, PUBLIC LAW 900, WAS DUE TO THE PROVISION OF SECTION 304 OF THAT ACT, 62 STAT. 1268, WHICH PROVIDES:

THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT GRANTING AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION TO EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES AND OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY EMPLOYEE IN OR UNDER THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PRIOR TO THE TIME THAT LEGISLATION PROVIDING ADEQUATE REVENUES TO MEET THE OBLIGATION IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS ENACTED BY THE CONGRESS BECOMES EFFECTIVE.

IT WILL BE OBSERVED THAT THE RULE FIXING THE INITIAL SALARY ON TRANSFER RELATES TO THE HIGHEST RATES OF COMPENSATION PREVIOUSLY RECEIVED BY THE EMPLOYEE AND HAS NO BEARING UPON THE RELATIVE STEP IN THE GRADE PREVIOUSLY ATTAINED BY THE EMPLOYEE AND HAS NO BEARING UPON THE RELATIVE STEP IN THE GRADE PREVIOUSLY ATTAINED BY THE EMPLOYEE. THE BASIS FOR SO LIMITING THE SALARY WHICH MIGHT BE PAID UPON TRANSFER IS STATED IN 22 COMP. GEN. 489, IN WHICH IT WAS HELD (QUOTING FROM THE YLLABUS):

THE WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT PLAN PRESCRIBED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1941, IS INCONSISTENT WITH, AND WOULD NOT PERMIT THE FIXING OF ANY SALARY RATE IN THE GRADE TO WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRED, PROMOTED, OR REDUCED, IN EXCESS OF THE RATE PAID IN THE GRADE FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED, PROMOTED, OR REDUCED, THE EFFECT OF WHICH IS TO GRANT THE EMPLOYEE AN ADDITIONAL WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT AND, THEREFORE, AN EMPLOYEE PROMOTED TO A HIGHER GRADE, THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF WHICH EXCEEDS THE RATE PAID IN THE FORMER GRADE, MAY NOT INITIALLY BE PAID ABOVE THE MINIMUM RATE OF THE NEW GRADE. 21 COMP. GEN. 791, AMPLIFIED. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

ACCORDINGLY, WHERE THE FIXING OF THE SALARY RATE IN THE POSITION TO WHICH TRANSFERRED WOULD NOT RESULT IN AN UNEARNED WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCE OR AN EQUIVALENT INCREASE, THE BASIS FOR THE LIMITATION IS NOT PRESENT AND THE LIMITATION IS NOT NECESSARILY FOR APPLICATION. SECTION 302 OF THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1948, PUBLIC LAW 900, 62 STAT. 1267, WHICH GRANTED THE $330 INCREASE TO THE MAJORITY OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PROVIDED THAT THE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION SO GRANTED SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO BE AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE" IN COMPENSATION WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 7 (B) (1) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, 59 STAT. 299. ASIDE FROM THE MAXIMUM LIMITATION STATED IN THE RULE, THE DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE, PERMITTING THE PAYMENT UPON TRANSFER OF A SALARY RATE ABOVE THE MINIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE BUT NOT IN EXCESS OF THE HIGHEST PREVIOUS SALARY, WERE FOR THE PURPOSE OF SAVING TO THE EMPLOYEES ALL PREVIOUSLY EARNED WITHIN- GRADE ADVANCES. ACCORDINGLY, AS THIS EMPLOYEE BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER TRANSFER OCCUPIED POSITIONS IN THE SAME CLASSIFICATION GRADE, THE GRANTING OF THE $330 INCREASE UPON HER TRANSFER TO YOUR DEPARTMENT WOULD NOT CONSTITUTE AN EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION AND WOULD PRESERVE THE SALARY STEPS PREVIOUSLY EARNED BY HER. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR DEPARTMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO FIX HER INITIAL SALARY RATE TO CORRESPOND WITH THE RATE PAID HER AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PLUS THE $330 PER ANNUM GRANTED FEDERAL EMPLOYEES OTHER THAN EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER OBJECTION.