B-92400, FEBRUARY 15, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 328

B-92400: Feb 15, 1950

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1950: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 25. WHO HAS NOT ATTAINED THE MAXIMUM SCHEDULED RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR THE GRADE IN WHICH HIS POSITION IS PLACED. SHALL BE ADVANCED IN COMPENSATION SUCCESSIVELY TO THE NEXT HIGHER RATE WITHIN THE GRADE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF (1) EACH FIFTY-TWO CALENDAR WEEKS OF SERVICE IF HIS POSITION IS IN A GRADE IN WHICH THE STEP-INCREASES ARE LESS THAN $200. OR (2) EACH SEVENTY- EIGHT CALENDAR WEEKS OF SERVICE IF HIS POSITION IS IN A GRADE IN WHICH THE STEP-INCREASES ARE $200 OR MORE. SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS: (A) THAT NO EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION FROM ANY CAUSE WAS RECEIVED DURING SUCH PERIOD.

B-92400, FEBRUARY 15, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 328

COMPENSATION - WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENTS - MAXIMUM SALARY LIMITATION - EFFECT OF CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949 AN EMPLOYEE WHO QUALIFIED FOR A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT TO THE SECOND STEP OF GRADE CAF-15, AND WHO RECEIVED THE INCIDENTAL COMPENSATION INCREMENT OF $25--- TO $10,330 PER ANNUM, THE MAXIMUM CLASSIFIED SALARY RATE THEN IN EFFECT--- LESS THAN 78 CALENDAR WEEKS BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, NEED NOT BE REGARDED AS HAVING RECEIVED AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION" DURING THE 78-WEEK WAITING PERIOD PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 701 OF THE ACT AND, IF OTHERWISE QUALIFIED FOR ADVANCEMENT, MAY BE PAID THE SALARY INCIDENT TO THE FOURTH STEP OF NEW GRADE GS-15--- $10,750 PER ANNUM--- COMMENCING WITH THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, FEBRUARY 15, 1950:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 25, 1950, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE INCREASE GIVEN AN EMPLOYEE ON MARCH 20, 1949, FROM THE FIRST STEP IN CAF-15 AT $10,305 PER ANNUM TO THE SECOND STEP AT $10,330 PER ANNUM CONSTITUTES AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION" WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 701 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, PUBLIC LAW 429, APPROVED OCTOBER 28, 1949.

SECTION 701 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 968, SO FAR AS HERE MATERIAL, PROVIDES:

SEC. 701. (A) EACH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE COMPENSATED ON A PER ANNUM BASIS, AND OCCUPYING A PERMANENT POSITION WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE COMPENSATION SCHEDULES FIXED BY THIS ACT, WHO HAS NOT ATTAINED THE MAXIMUM SCHEDULED RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR THE GRADE IN WHICH HIS POSITION IS PLACED, SHALL BE ADVANCED IN COMPENSATION SUCCESSIVELY TO THE NEXT HIGHER RATE WITHIN THE GRADE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF (1) EACH FIFTY-TWO CALENDAR WEEKS OF SERVICE IF HIS POSITION IS IN A GRADE IN WHICH THE STEP-INCREASES ARE LESS THAN $200, OR (2) EACH SEVENTY- EIGHT CALENDAR WEEKS OF SERVICE IF HIS POSITION IS IN A GRADE IN WHICH THE STEP-INCREASES ARE $200 OR MORE, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:

(A) THAT NO EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION FROM ANY CAUSE WAS RECEIVED DURING SUCH PERIOD, EXCEPT INCREASE MADE PURSUANT TO SECTION 702 OR 1002;

AT THE TIME THE EMPLOYEE INVOLVED RECEIVED THE WITHIN-GRADE PROMOTION ON MARCH 20, 1949, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO A SALARY INCREASE OF AT LEAST $250 PER ANNUM BY VIRTUE OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, 59 STAT. 299, AND SECTION 2 (A) OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 216. CF. 26 COMP. GEN. 133. HOWEVER, DUE TO THE MAXIMUM SALARY LIMITATION OF $10,330 PER ANNUM FIXED BY SECTION 303 OF THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948, 62 STAT. 1260, 1268, THE AMOUNT OF THE PER ANNUM SALARY INCREASE WAS LIMITED TO $25. SUCH LIMITED $25 INCREASE DID NOT REPRESENT A FULL SALARY STEP APPLICABLE TO GRADE CAF-15, WHICH, AS INDICATED, WAS AT LEAST $250. IN SUCH CONNECTION, SECTION 25.11 (F), Z1-314, OF FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL, EFFECTIVE THE FIRST DAY OF THE FIRST PAY PERIOD AFTER OCTOBER 28, 1949, DEFINES EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION AS "THE TOTAL OF ANY INCREASE OR INCREASES IN BASIC COMPENSATION WHICH IS EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN THE SMALLEST STEP-INCREASE IN ANY GRADE IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE HAS SERVED DURING A PERIOD UNDER CONSIDERATION.' A SIMILAR DEFINITION APPEARED IN RESPECT OF THE OPERATION OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED.

ACCORDINGLY, THERE APPEARS JUSTIFIED THE CONCLUSION THAT THE $25 INCREASE BETWEEN STEPS 1 AND 2 OF GRADE CAF-15 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, IS NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AN EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949; AND THAT THE EMPLOYEE INVOLVED, IF OTHERWISE QUALIFIED, PROPERLY MAY BE PAID AT THE RATE OF $10,750 PER ANNUM COMMENCING WITH THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949.