B-85380, MAY 13, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 646

B-85380: May 13, 1949

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WHO RECEIVED THE $450 INCREASE GRANTED POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES BY SECTION 101 OF THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948 IS TO BE REGARDED AS HAVING RECEIVED AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION FROM ANY CAUSE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THOSE WORDS AS USED IN SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945. 1949: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 5. IS CONSIDERED AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION FROM ANY CAUSE" AS THOSE WORDS ARE USED IN SECTION 7 (B) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE. IS TO BE CONSIDERED AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION FROM ANY CAUSE" HE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCE.

B-85380, MAY 13, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 646

COMPENSATION - PERIODIC WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENTS - STATUTORY SALARY INCREASE AS EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION AN EMPLOYEE WHO TRANSFERRED FROM A POSITION IN THE POSTAL SERVICE TO A POSITION UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS AMENDED, AND WHO RECEIVED THE $450 INCREASE GRANTED POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES BY SECTION 101 OF THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948 IS TO BE REGARDED AS HAVING RECEIVED AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION FROM ANY CAUSE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THOSE WORDS AS USED IN SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, SO AS TO BE PRECLUDED FROM RECEIVING A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT IN THE CLASSIFIED POSITION UNTIL THE LAPSE OF THE REQUIRED 12 MONTHS AFTER THE DATE HE RECEIVED THE $450 INCREASE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, MAY 13, 1949:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 5, 1949, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE $450 INCREASE GRANTED POSTAL EMPLOYEES BY THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948, PUBLIC LAW 900, APPROVED JULY 3, 1948, IS CONSIDERED AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION FROM ANY CAUSE" AS THOSE WORDS ARE USED IN SECTION 7 (B) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS AMENDED, INFRA, RELATING TO WITHIN GRADE SALARY ADVANCES. YOUR QUESTION ARISES IN CONNECTION WITH AN EMPLOYEE OF THE POSTAL SERVICE WHO, ON JULY 11, 1948, RECEIVED THE $450 INCREASE PROVIDED IN THE SAID POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948, AND WHO, ON SEPTEMBER 1, 1948, WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, AS A CLERK CAF-2 AT $2,284 PER ANNUM. YOU STATE THAT SAID EMPLOYEE COMPLETED 12 MONTHS' GOVERNMENT SERVICE FEBRUARY 6, 1949, AND THAT, UNLESS THE $450 INCREASE HE RECEIVED ON JULY 11, 1948, IS TO BE CONSIDERED AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION FROM ANY CAUSE" HE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCE.

SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, 59 STAT. 299, AMENDS SECTION 7 (B) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 402. SUBSECTION (B) OF SECTION 7 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

"/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 A 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 $200 OR MORE, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:

"/1) THAT NO EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION FROM ANY CAUSE WAS RECEIVED DURING SUCH PERIOD, EXCEPT INCREASE MADE PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (F) OF THIS SECTION;

"/2) THAT AN EMPLOYEE SHALL NOT BE ADVANCED UNLESS HIS CURRENT EFFICIENCY IS "GOOD" OR BETTER THAN "GOOD; "

"/3) THAT THE SERVICE AND CONDUCT OF SUCH EMPLOYEE ARE CERTIFIED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY OR SUCH OFFICIAL AS HE MAY DESIGNATE AS BEING OTHERWISE SATISFACTORY; AND" ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

SECTION 101 OF THE REFERRED-TO POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948, 62 STAT. 1260, GRANTED POSTAL EMPLOYEES RECEIVING AN ANNUAL SALARY AN INCREASE OF $450 PER ANNUM. SECTION 301 OF THAT ACT, 62 STAT. 1267, GRANTED A $330 INCREASE TO FEDERAL EMPLOYEES WHOSE COMPENSATION HAD BEEN INCREASED BY SECTION 2 TO 6 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 216, 217, AND SECTION 302, 62 STAT. 1267, PROVIDED THAT THE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION PROVIDED BY THAT ACT IN THE CASE OF EMPLOYEES "WHOSE RATES OF COMPENSATION ARE FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO BE AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE" IN COMPENSATION WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 7 (B) (1) OF SUCH ACT, AS AMENDED.' THE COMPENSATION OF POSTAL EMPLOYEES IS NOT FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AND, ACCORDINGLY, SAID SECTION 302 OF THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1948, HAS NO APPLICATION TO POSTAL EMPLOYEES IN RESPECT OF INCREASES GRANTED BY THAT

ACT.

SECTION 25.223 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY REGULATIONS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, WHICH WERE PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 605 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, 59 STAT. 304, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

SEC. 25.223 EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION.--- (A) " EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION" MEANS ANY INCREASE OR INCREASES IN BASIC COMPENSATION WHICH IN TOTAL, AT THE TIME SUCH INCREASE OR INCREASES ARE MADE, ARE EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN THE SMALLEST COMPENSATION INCREMENT IN THE LOWEST GRADE IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE HAS SERVED DURING THE TIME PERIOD OF TWELVE OR EIGHTEEN MONTHS, AS THE CASE MAY BE.

(B) THE FOLLOWING, AMONG OTHERS, ARE NOT "EQUIVALENT INCREASES IN COMPENSATION: "

(1) INCREASES IN BASIC RATES OF COMPENSATION PROVIDED BY SECTION 405 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, OR SECTION 2 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1946;

(2) REWARDS FOR SUPERIOR ACCOMPLISHMENT AS PROVIDED IN SECTIONS 403 AND 404 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945;

(3) INCREASES AS THE RESULT OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NEW MINIMUM RATE FOR ANY CLASS OF POSITIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 401 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945; OR

(4) AN INCREASE UPON RESTORATION OF AN EMPLOYEE TO THE GRADE AND SALARY FROM WHICH HE WAS PREVIOUSLY REDUCED OR DEMOTED, WHEN THE RESTORATION IS EFFECTED TO CORRECT AN ERROR IN THE REDUCTION OR DEMOTION, OR IS THE RESULT OF THE DECISION OF A STATUTORY EFFICIENCY RATING BOARD OF REVIEW, A REDUCTION-IN-FORCE APPEAL, THE REALLOCATION OF HIS POSITION TO ITS FORMER GRADE ON APPEAL, OR AN APPEAL UNDER SECTION 14 OF THE VETERANS' PREFERENCE ACT OF 1944.

IN THE LIGHT OF THE REGULATIONS JUST QUOTED, AND SINCE THE STATUTE GRANTING THE PER ANNUM INCREASE OF $450 TO POSTAL EMPLOYEES CONTAINS NO EXPRESS PROVISION EXEMPTING SUCH INCREASE FROM CONSIDERATION AS AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE," THERE IS REQUIRED THE CONCLUSION THAT THE SAID $450 INCREASE GRANTED TO POSTAL EMPLOYEES WHO SUBSEQUENTLY ARE TRANSFERRED TO POSITIONS UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT CONSTITUTES AN EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION "FROM ANY CAUSE" AS THOSE WORDS ARE USED IN SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, SUPRA. FOR THE PURPOSE OF APPLYING THE TERM,"FROM ANY CAUSE," IT IS IMMATERIAL WHETHER THE PAY ADJUSTMENT RESULTS FROM AN ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION, OR FROM OPERATION OF A STATUTE WHICH CONTAINS NO QUALIFYING WORDS SUCH AS THOSE CONTAINED IN SECTION 302 OF THE 1948 ACT, SUPRA. SEE 22 COMP. GEN. 179. HENCE, THE EMPLOYEE IN THE CASE PRESENTED WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCE IN THE CLASSIFIED POSITION UNTIL THE LAPSE OF THE REQUIRED 12 MONTHS AFTER THE DATE HE RECEIVED THE $450 INCREASE.