B-142571, APR. 20, 1960

B-142571: Apr 20, 1960

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REQUESTED AND WAS GRANTED ANNUAL LEAVE TO COVER 88 HOURS OF ABSENCE FROM WORK BETWEEN JANUARY 2 AND FEBRUARY 5. BECAUSE HE WAS SERIOUSLY ILL AT THE TIME. HE WOULD HAVE BEEN PLACED ON SICK LEAVE FOR 85 OF THESE HOURS IF HE HAD NOT SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED THAT THE ABSENCE BE CHARGED TO ANNUAL LEAVE. YOU SPECIFICALLY REQUEST WHETHER THE SICK LEAVE WHICH WAS AVAILABLE TO MR. THE BASIS FOR SUCH APPROVAL HAS BEEN THAT THE CHARGE TO ANNUAL LEAVE WAS ERRONEOUS. IN THE PRESENT CASE THE CHARGE TO ANNUAL RATHER THAN SICK LEAVE WAS NOT THE RESULT OF AN ERROR BUT RESULTED FROM THE SPECIFIC REQUEST OF THE EMPLOYEE. WE SAID: "WHEN PROPERLY APPROVED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE CONCERNED AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO USE ANNUAL LEAVE ACCRUED TO HIS CREDIT TO COVER ABSENCES FROM DUTY FOR ANY REASON * * *.'.

B-142571, APR. 20, 1960

TO MR. J. E. MILLER, DISBURSING OFFICER:

ON MARCH 9, 1960, YOUR REFERENCE 13.35/JEM:GBH SER 144, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY PAY A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MRS. SARAH NEAL FOR ADDITIONAL LUMP SUM LEAVE PAYMENT AS WIDOW OF CLIFFORD G. NEAL, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, U.S. NAVAL AIR STATION, NORTH ISLAND, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA.

THE RECORD PRESENTED INDICATES THAT MR. NEAL, PRIOR TO HIS DEATH ON FEBRUARY 8, 1960, REQUESTED AND WAS GRANTED ANNUAL LEAVE TO COVER 88 HOURS OF ABSENCE FROM WORK BETWEEN JANUARY 2 AND FEBRUARY 5, 1960; AND THAT, BECAUSE HE WAS SERIOUSLY ILL AT THE TIME, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN PLACED ON SICK LEAVE FOR 85 OF THESE HOURS IF HE HAD NOT SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED THAT THE ABSENCE BE CHARGED TO ANNUAL LEAVE. YOU SAY THAT MR. NEAL REQUESTED ANNUAL LEAVE RATHER THAN SICK LEAVE BECAUSE HE WISHED TO CONSERVE HIS SICK LEAVE AND TO AVOID THE NECESSITY OF TAKING ANNUAL LEAVE OR FORFEITING THE SAME AT THE END OF THE LEAVE YEAR. MR. NEAL RETURNED TO ACTUAL DUTY ON FEBRUARY 3 AND 4, 1960, BUT DID NOT AT THAT TIME REQUEST THAT THE SICK LEAVE BE SUBSTITUTED.

YOU SPECIFICALLY REQUEST WHETHER THE SICK LEAVE WHICH WAS AVAILABLE TO MR. NEAL MAY BE SUBSTITUTED FOR THE ANNUAL LEAVE WHICH HE REQUESTED ON THE BASIS OF HIS SUPERVISOR'S REQUEST FOR SUCH SUBSTITUTION SUBSEQUENT TO HIS DEATH, AND WHETHER YOU MAY PAY THE VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MRS. NEAL FOR ADDITIONAL LUMP SUM LEAVE PAYMENTS AS A RESULT OF THIS SUBSTITUTION.

ALTHOUGH OUR OFFICE HAS APPROVED ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION, SUBSEQUENT TO AN EMPLOYEE'S DEATH, TO SUBSTITUTE SICK LEAVE FOR ANNUAL LEAVE WHICH HAD BEEN CHARGED THE EMPLOYEE JUST PRIOR TO HIS DEATH, THE BASIS FOR SUCH APPROVAL HAS BEEN THAT THE CHARGE TO ANNUAL LEAVE WAS ERRONEOUS. COMPARE B-123655, DECEMBER 6, 1955; SEC. 24 COMP. GEN. 143; B-130418, FEBRUARY 28, 1957; B- 117594, JANUARY 15, 1954. IN THE PRESENT CASE THE CHARGE TO ANNUAL RATHER THAN SICK LEAVE WAS NOT THE RESULT OF AN ERROR BUT RESULTED FROM THE SPECIFIC REQUEST OF THE EMPLOYEE.

IN 31 COMP. GEN. 524, WE SAID:

"WHEN PROPERLY APPROVED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE CONCERNED AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO USE ANNUAL LEAVE ACCRUED TO HIS CREDIT TO COVER ABSENCES FROM DUTY FOR ANY REASON * * *.'

WE KNOW OF NO APPLICABLE STATUTE OR REGULATION WHICH FORBIDS AN EMPLOYEE TO USE ANNUAL LEAVE FOR PERIODS WHEN HE COULD PROPERLY USE SICK LEAVE.

THEREFORE, SINCE MR. NEAL SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED THAT THE ABSENCES IN QUESTION BE CHARGED TO ANNUAL LEAVE, KNOWING THAT SUCH ABSENCES COULD HAVE BEEN CHARGED TO SICK LEAVE, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY UPON WHICH A SUBSTITUTION OF SICK LEAVE FOR ANNUAL LEAVE COULD BE BASED.

FOR THE REASONS STATED, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETAINED IN OUR FILE, MAY NOT BE PAID.

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