B-92392, FEBRUARY 16, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 329

B-92392: Feb 16, 1950

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ON THE DATE AN EMPLOYEE OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE BEEN ELIGIBLE FOR A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT. SUCH ADVANCEMENT IS NOT TO BE MADE EFFECTIVE UNTIL THE EMPLOYEE HAS SERVED THE ADDITIONAL WORKDAYS NECESSARY TO FULFILL HIS SERVICE REQUIREMENTS. 1950: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 26. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON THE VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED. YOU STATE THAT THIS EMPLOYEE WAS ON EXTENDED SICK LEAVE UNTIL ALL ACCUMULATED AND ACCRUED SICK LEAVE WAS EXHAUSTED. SHE WAS GRANTED ADVANCED SICK LEAVE UNTIL OCTOBER 31. SHE WAS INDEBTED FOR 166 HOURS OF ADVANCED SICK LEAVE. IN WHICH IT WAS HELD (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS): WHERE. IT IS DETERMINED BY AN EXAMINATION OF THE LEAVE RECORD THAT A PERIOD OF ADVANCED ANNUAL LEAVE GRANTED WITHIN THE WAITING PERIOD.

B-92392, FEBRUARY 16, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 329

COMPENSATION - WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENTS - CREDIT FOR NON-PAY STATUS WHERE, ON THE DATE AN EMPLOYEE OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE BEEN ELIGIBLE FOR A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT, HIS INDEBTEDNESS FOR ADVANCED SICK LEAVE GRANTED WITHIN THE WAITING PERIOD EXCEEDED THE TWO WORKWEEKS IN A NON-PAY STATUS WHICH CURRENTLY MAY BE COUNTED AS SERVICE FOR WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENT PURPOSES, SUCH ADVANCEMENT IS NOT TO BE MADE EFFECTIVE UNTIL THE EMPLOYEE HAS SERVED THE ADDITIONAL WORKDAYS NECESSARY TO FULFILL HIS SERVICE REQUIREMENTS, AND THE SALARY INCREMENT APPLICABLE TO THE PERIOD OF POSTPONEMENT MAY NOT BE PAID UNTIL THE BALANCE OF SICK LEAVE HAS BEEN EARNED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, FEBRUARY 16, 1950:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 26, 1950, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON THE VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED, STATED IN FAVOR OF MISS MILDRED R. ZOFKIE, REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE IN SALARY BETWEEN STEP 4 AND STEP 5 OF GS-5, FOR THE PERIOD DECEMBER 11 TO 24, 1949. YOU STATE THAT THIS EMPLOYEE WAS ON EXTENDED SICK LEAVE UNTIL ALL ACCUMULATED AND ACCRUED SICK LEAVE WAS EXHAUSTED, AND THAT, ON SEPTEMBER 29, 1949, SHE WAS GRANTED ADVANCED SICK LEAVE UNTIL OCTOBER 31, 1949, ON WHICH DATE SHE RETURNED TO DUTY; THAT, UPON HER RETURN TO DUTY, SHE WAS INDEBTED FOR 166 HOURS OF ADVANCED SICK LEAVE; AND THAT, ON DECEMBER 11, 1949, SHE HAD MET ALL OTHER REQUIREMENTS FOR WITHIN- GRADE ADVANCEMENT FROM STEP 4 TO STEP 5 IN GS-5, EXCEPT THAT ON SAID DATE THERE HAD BEEN EARNED ONLY 20 HOURS OF SICK LEAVE, THUS LEAVING THE EMPLOYEE INDEBTED FOR 146 HOURS OF ADVANCED SICK LEAVE.

YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER APPEARS TO ARISE FROM THE DECISION OF AUGUST 16, 1949, B-87361, 29 COMP. GEN. 76, IN WHICH IT WAS HELD (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

WHERE, ON THE EXPIRATION OF THE 12- OR 18-MONTH WAITING PERIOD FROM THE DATE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S LAST EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN SALARY, IT IS DETERMINED BY AN EXAMINATION OF THE LEAVE RECORD THAT A PERIOD OF ADVANCED ANNUAL LEAVE GRANTED WITHIN THE WAITING PERIOD, WHEN ADDED TO LEAVE WITHOUT PAY GRANTED WITHIN SUCH PERIOD, DID NOT EXCEED THE TOTAL OF 22 WORKDAYS IN A LEAVE WITHOUT PAY STATUS WHICH IS AUTHORIZED TO BE COUNTED FOR WITHIN- GRADE ADVANCEMENT PURPOSES, A WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENT MAY BE GRANTED WITHOUT DELAY; HOWEVER, IF THE POSSIBLE LEAVE WITHOUT PAY AT THE DATE AN EMPLOYEE WOULD OTHERWISE BE ELIGIBLE FOR ADVANCEMENT WOULD EXCEED THE 22- DAY ALLOWABLE PERIOD, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH ADVANCEMENT SHOULD BE POSTPONED UNTIL IT IS ESTABLISHED THAT THE SERVICE REQUIREMENTS HAVE BEEN MET.

THE REFERENCE OF 22 WORKDAYS IN THAT DECISION WAS BASED UPON THE PROVISION IN THE CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS, 5 CFR 1947 SUPP. 25.231, WHICH AUTHORIZED CREDIT FOR NOT TO EXCEED 22 WORKDAYS IN A NON-PAY STATUS IN COMPUTING THE PERIOD NECESSARY FOR A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCE, WHICH REGULATION WAS IN FORCE DURING THE PERIOD OF SERVICE UNDER CONSIDERATION IN THAT DECISION. HOWEVER, SAID REGULATIONS WERE AMENDED IN JULY AND AUGUST 1949, AND THE APPLICABLE PROVISION IN PARAGRAPH 25.231 OF THE CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS NOW PROVIDES: " NO PERIOD OF SEPARATION OR NON-PAY STATUS IS CREDITABLE, EXCEPT LEAVE WITHOUT PAY AND FURLOUGH NOT TO EXCEED IN TOTAL THE EQUIVALENT OF TWO WORKWEEKS, WITHIN THE PERIOD OF SERVICE REQUIRED FOR ONE PERIODIC WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENT.'

AS THE 146 HOURS OF ADVANCED SICK LEAVE WHICH HAD NOT BEEN EARNED BY THE EMPLOYEE ON DECEMBER 11, 1949, EXCEEDED TWO WORKWEEKS BY 8 1/4 DAYS, SAID NUMBER OF EXCESS WORKDAYS MUST ELAPSE AFTER THE WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCE OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE BEEN EFFECTIVE BEFORE SHE BECAME ENTITLED TO THE WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCE, WHICH WOULD MAKE SAID SALARY ADVANCE DUE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD COMMENCING AFTER DECEMBER 22, 1949, ON DECEMBER 25, 1949. ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER IS NOT AUTHORIZED UNTIL THE BALANCE OF THE ADVANCED SICK LEAVE HAS BEEN EARNED.