B-97225, AUGUST 29, 1950, 30 COMP. GEN. 94

B-97225: Aug 29, 1950

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COMPENSATION - ERRONEOUS RATE - RETROACTIVE CORRECTION OF ERROR AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS QUALIFIED FOR AND PERFORMS THE DUTIES OF A POSITION. IS NOT PAID THE LAWFUL SALARY ATTACHING TO THE POSITION. MAY HAVE HIS SALARY CORRECTED RETROACTIVELY BY APPROPRIATE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WITHOUT SUCH PAYMENT BEING REGARDED AS RETROACTIVE PROMOTION SUCH AS ORDINARILY IS PROHIBITED BY LAW. 1950: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 28. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE EMPLOYEE IN QUESTION HAS BEEN SERVING IN THE POSITION OF LEADINGMAN. TO THE EFFECT THAT THE PREPONDERANT GROUP SUPERVISED WAS " RIGGERS. WHEN THE RATE OF PAY FOR RIGGER WAS FIXED AT THREE CENTS PER HOUR BELOW THAT OF MACHINIST. THE EMPLOYEE WAS PAID AT A LOWER RATE THAN THAT TO WHICH ENTITLED.

B-97225, AUGUST 29, 1950, 30 COMP. GEN. 94

COMPENSATION - ERRONEOUS RATE - RETROACTIVE CORRECTION OF ERROR AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS QUALIFIED FOR AND PERFORMS THE DUTIES OF A POSITION, BUT WHO, THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR, IS NOT PAID THE LAWFUL SALARY ATTACHING TO THE POSITION, MAY HAVE HIS SALARY CORRECTED RETROACTIVELY BY APPROPRIATE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WITHOUT SUCH PAYMENT BEING REGARDED AS RETROACTIVE PROMOTION SUCH AS ORDINARILY IS PROHIBITED BY LAW.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, AUGUST 29, 1950:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 28, 1950, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE PAY OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE MAY BE CORRECTED RETROACTIVELY UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER SET FORTH.

IT IS REPORTED THAT THE EMPLOYEE IN QUESTION HAS BEEN SERVING IN THE POSITION OF LEADINGMAN, MECHANIC, CONTINUOUSLY SINCE DECEMBER 1947 AND THE PREPONDERANT GROUP SUPERVISED BY HIM SINCE THAT DATE HAS BEEN " MACHINISTS.' HOWEVER, BECAUSE OF ERRONEOUS INFORMATION APPEARING ON A PERSONNEL FORM IN AUGUST 1948, TO THE EFFECT THAT THE PREPONDERANT GROUP SUPERVISED WAS " RIGGERS," THE EMPLOYEE RECEIVED THE PAY APPLICABLE TO THAT GROUP WITH THE RESULT THAT, IN JANUARY 1949, WHEN THE RATE OF PAY FOR RIGGER WAS FIXED AT THREE CENTS PER HOUR BELOW THAT OF MACHINIST, THE EMPLOYEE WAS PAID AT A LOWER RATE THAN THAT TO WHICH ENTITLED.

THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT WHERE AN INCUMBENT OF A POSITION PERFORMS THE DUTIES THEREOF AND IS OTHERWISE QUALIFIED TO HOLD SUCH POSITION HE IS ENTITLED TO THE SALARY ESTABLISHED FOR THE POSITION, AND WHEN, THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR, HE IS NOT PAID THE LAWFUL SALARY ATTACHING THERETO, A FUTURE PAYMENT OF AN AMOUNT TO CORRECT THE ERROR RETROACTIVELY IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS A RETROACTIVE PROMOTION SUCH AS ORDINARILY IS PROHIBITED BY LAW. ACCORDINGLY, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES STATED, THE SALARY OF THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE CORRECTED RETROACTIVELY BY APPROPRIATE ADMINISTRATION ACTION.