B-85486, JUNE 14, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 709

B-85486: Jun 14, 1949

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WAS PLACED IN A POSITION DIFFERENT FROM THE ONE OCCUPIED PRIOR TO THE WAR TRANSFER IS TO BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN TRANSFERRED TO THAT POSITION. IS ENTITLED TO RECEIVE CREDIT FOR CERTAIN WAR TRANSFER SERVICE. WHETHER IT IS NECESSARY THAT HIS SALARY BE ADJUSTED RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 30. YOU REQUEST A DECISION IN RESPECT OF THE PROPER PERIODS TO BE CREDITED TO THE EMPLOYEE AS ALLOWABLE SERVICE FOR AUTOMATIC PROMOTION PURPOSES AS A GENERAL MECHANIC IN THE EVENT SUCH ADJUSTMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO BE EFFECTED. HE WAS GRANTED LEAVE OF ABSENCE ON ACCOUNT OF A WAR TRANSFER. HE WAS RETURNED TO DUTY IN THE MOTOR VEHICLE SERVICE ON OCTOBER 29. IN THE POSITION OF GENERAL MECHANIC AND WAS PLACED IN GRADE 7.

B-85486, JUNE 14, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 709

COMPENSATION - POSTAL SERVICE - INITIAL SALARY RATES - RESTORATION TO DIFFERENT POSITION AFTER WAR TRANSFER A POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEE WHO, UPON RETURN FROM WAR TRANSFER, WAS PLACED IN A POSITION DIFFERENT FROM THE ONE OCCUPIED PRIOR TO THE WAR TRANSFER IS TO BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN TRANSFERRED TO THAT POSITION, SO THAT THE INITIAL SALARY RATE FOR THE POSITION MAY BE FIXED ADMINISTRATIVELY AT ANY GRADE PRESCRIBED FOR SUCH POSITION, AND THE EMPLOYEE HAS NO VESTED RIGHT UNDER THE ALLOWABLE SERVICE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 25 OF THE ACT OF JULY 6, 1945, AS AMENDED, TO BE CREDITED WITH HIS WAR TRANSFER SERVICE IN THE POSITION TO WHICH TRANSFERRED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, JUNE 14, 1949:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 12, 1949, REFERENCE 43, REQUESTING A DECISION UPON THE QUESTION OF WHETHER, UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER NARRATED, PERRIE G. FOOTE, AN EMPLOYEE IN THE MOTOR VEHICLE SERVICE AT SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, IS ENTITLED TO RECEIVE CREDIT FOR CERTAIN WAR TRANSFER SERVICE, AND WHETHER IT IS NECESSARY THAT HIS SALARY BE ADJUSTED RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1948, PUBLIC LAW 850, 62 STAT. 1165. ALSO, YOU REQUEST A DECISION IN RESPECT OF THE PROPER PERIODS TO BE CREDITED TO THE EMPLOYEE AS ALLOWABLE SERVICE FOR AUTOMATIC PROMOTION PURPOSES AS A GENERAL MECHANIC IN THE EVENT SUCH ADJUSTMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO BE EFFECTED.

THE EMPLOYEE RECEIVED AN AUTOMATIC PROMOTION AS A REGULAR GARAGEMAN DRIVER JULY 1, 1940, FROM GRADE 1, &1,550 PER ANNUM, TO GRADE 2, $1,650 PER ANNUM, THE HIGHEST GRADE PRESCRIBED FOR HIS POSITION AT THAT TIME. DECEMBER 21, 1942, HE WAS GRANTED LEAVE OF ABSENCE ON ACCOUNT OF A WAR TRANSFER. HE WAS RETURNED TO DUTY IN THE MOTOR VEHICLE SERVICE ON OCTOBER 29, 1945, IN THE POSITION OF GENERAL MECHANIC AND WAS PLACED IN GRADE 7, $2,300 PER ANNUM, ON THE BASIS OF HIS PRIOR POSTAL SERVICE AS A GARAGEMAN- DRIVER. HOWEVER, IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT, IN DETERMINING THE EMPLOYEE'S INITIAL SALARY AS A GENERAL MECHANIC, THE EMPLOYEE WAS NOT GIVEN CREDIT FOR HIS ABSENCE ON WAR TRANSFER FROM DECEMBER 21, 1942, TO OCTOBER 28, 1945, A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS, TEN MONTHS, AND EIGHT DAYS.

SECTION 1 OF PUBLIC LAW 850, 62 STAT. 1165, AMENDED SECTION 25 OF THE ACT OF JULY 6, 1945, PUBLIC LAW 134, 59 STAT. 461, TO INCLUDE AS ALLOWABLE SERVICE THE PERIODS OR TERMS OF POSTAL SERVICE IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING A WAR TRANSFER AS WELL AS THE SERVICE ON A WAR TRANSFER. SECTION 4 OF PUBLIC LAW 850, 62 STAT. 1165, MADE THE AMENDMENT RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE TO JULY 1, 1945.

THE POSITION OF GENERAL MECHANIC IN THE MOTOR VEHICLE SERVICE, IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS RESTORED, IS PRESCRIBED BY THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 13 (B) OF PUBLIC LAW 134, 59 STAT. 446, AND IS DIVIDED INTO SIX SALARY GRADES.

IT IS THE GENERAL RULE THAT THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT MAY, BUT IS NOT REQUIRED TO, FIX THE INITIAL SALARY UPON TRANSFER OR REINSTATEMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE IN THE POSTAL SERVICE AT ANY GRADE PRESCRIBED FOR THE POSITION TO WHICH TRANSFERRED OR REINSTATED, EXCEPT WHERE THE LAW SPECIFICALLY REQUIRES APPOINTMENTS TO GRADE 1. 15 COMP. GEN. 595; 27 ID. 772. THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT THE ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT OF A GENERAL MECHANIC IN THE MOTOR VEHICLE SERVICE SHALL BE AT THE MINIMUM SALARY GRADE OF THE POSITION.

AS INDICATED ABOVE, THE POSITION OF GARAGEMAN-DRIVER OCCUPIED BY THE EMPLOYEE UPON HIS WAR TRANSFER IS IN A DIFFERENT CLASSIFICATION FROM THAT OF GENERAL MECHANIC IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS PLACED UPON RETURN FROM HIS WAR TRANSFER, AND THE PLACING OF THE EMPLOYEE IN THE POSITION OF GENERAL MECHANIC WAS, IN EFFECT, IN THE NATURE OF A TRANSFER FROM THE POSITION OF GARAGEMAN-DRIVER. UNDER THE RULE STATED ABOVE, THE FIXING OF THE INITIAL SALARY RATE OF THE EMPLOYEE IN THE POSITION OF GENERAL MECHANIC WAS A MATTER ENTIRELY WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, AND EVEN IF THE COUNTING OF WAR TRANSFER SERVICE AS ALLOWABLE SERVICE AS NOW AUTHORIZED BY PUBLIC LAW 850 HAD BEEN AUTHORIZED AT THE TIME OF THE EMPLOYEE'S RETURN IN OCTOBER 1945, IT STILL WOULD HAVE BEEN WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT TO FIX THE EMPLOYEE'S INITIAL SALARY AS A GENERAL MECHANIC WITHOUT REGARD TO HIS WAR TRANSFER SERVICE.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE FIXING OF THE EMPLOYEE'S INITIAL SALARY RATE AS A GENERAL MECHANIC WAS A MATTER SOLELY WITHIN ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION, THE EMPLOYEE HAS NO VESTED RIGHT TO HAVE HIS WAR TRANSFER SERVICE CREDITED TO HIM IN HIS POSITION OF GENERAL MECHANIC--- SUCH RIGHT ARISING ONLY IN THE EVENT OF A RESTORATION TO HIS FORMER POSITION. THIS ANSWER MAKES IT UNNECESSARY TO ANSWER THE OTHER QUESTIONS PRESENTED.