B-164371, JUNE 24, 1968, 47 COMP. GEN. 773

B-164371: Jun 24, 1968

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LEAVES OF ABSENCE - LUMP-SUM PAYMENTS - RATE AT WHICH PAYABLE - INCREASES 5 U.S.C. 5551 PRESCRIBING THAT A LUMP SUM LEAVE PAYMENT SHALL EQUAL THE PAY AN EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED HAD HE REMAINED IN THE SERVICE UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF HIS ANNUAL LEAVE. WHO WAS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE AFTER THE ENACTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW 90-206 IS ENTITLED TO THE SALARY INCREASE AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 212 OF THE ACT WHICH WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE WITH THE FIRST PAY PERIOD COMMENCING AFTER JULY 1. YOUR LETTER IS IN PART AS FOLLOWS: WE HAVE FORWARDED HIS FINAL PAYMENT TO THE REGIONAL DISBURSING OFFICE FOR PROCESSING WHICH INCLUDES LUMP SUM PAYMENT FOR 718 HOURS ANNUAL LEAVE (CARRY OVER AT THE END OF THE 1967 LEAVE YEAR) PLUS 24 HOURS FOR 3 HOLIDAYS WHICH WILL OCCUR DURING THE PROJECTED LEAVE PERIOD.

B-164371, JUNE 24, 1968, 47 COMP. GEN. 773

LEAVES OF ABSENCE - LUMP-SUM PAYMENTS - RATE AT WHICH PAYABLE - INCREASES 5 U.S.C. 5551 PRESCRIBING THAT A LUMP SUM LEAVE PAYMENT SHALL EQUAL THE PAY AN EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED HAD HE REMAINED IN THE SERVICE UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF HIS ANNUAL LEAVE, AN EMPLOYEE RETIRED EFFECTIVE APRIL 30, 1968, WHO WAS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE AFTER THE ENACTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW 90-206 IS ENTITLED TO THE SALARY INCREASE AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 212 OF THE ACT WHICH WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE WITH THE FIRST PAY PERIOD COMMENCING AFTER JULY 1, 1968. HOWEVER, THE FINAL ADJUSTMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF THE LUMP SUM LEAVE PAYMENT DUE THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE NEW SALARY RATE SHOULD NOT BE MADE UNTIL THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE NEW SALARY RATES PROMULGATED BY THE PRESIDENT.

TO R. T. ERICKSON, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR, JUNE 24, 1968:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 8, 1968, REFERENCE 4-360, RELATIVE TO THE AMOUNT PAYABLE AS A LUMP-SUM LEAVE PAYMENT TO A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION WHO RETIRED EFFECTIVE APRIL 30, 1968. YOUR LETTER IS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

WE HAVE FORWARDED HIS FINAL PAYMENT TO THE REGIONAL DISBURSING OFFICE FOR PROCESSING WHICH INCLUDES LUMP SUM PAYMENT FOR 718 HOURS ANNUAL LEAVE (CARRY OVER AT THE END OF THE 1967 LEAVE YEAR) PLUS 24 HOURS FOR 3 HOLIDAYS WHICH WILL OCCUR DURING THE PROJECTED LEAVE PERIOD. PAYMENT FOR THE ENTIRE 742 HOURS IS BEING MADE AT THE RATE OF $16,657.00 PER ANNUM ($8.01 PER HOUR), WHICH WAS THE SALARY MR. CAHOON WAS RECEIVING IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS RETIREMENT. MR. CAHOON IS CLAIMING ENTITLEMENT TO THE ADJUSTED RATE EFFECTIVE THE FIRST PAY PERIOD ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1968 IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE 1967 FEDERAL PAY ACT, PUBLIC LAW 90-206, DECEMBER 16, 1967.

1. SINCE MR. CAHOON WAS ON THE ROLLS ON THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THE 1967 PAY ACT MAY I CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT MR. CAHOON'S CLAIM FOR THE AMOUNT AS DETERMINED BY THE PRESIDENT FOR THAT PORTION OF HIS LUMP SUM PAYMENT EXTENDING BEYOND THE FIRST PAY PERIOD AFTER JULY 1, 1968?

2. IF QUESTION NO. 1 IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE THEN IS HE ENTITLED TO THE 3 PERCENT INCREASE WHICH IS INCLUDED IN THE ACT AS A GUARANTEED MINIMUM, FOR THAT PORTION OF HIS LUMP SUM PAYMENT EXTENDING BEYOND THE FIRST PAY PERIOD AFTER JULY 1, 1968?

3. SEVERAL EMPLOYEES HAVE RETIRED OR WILL BE LEAVING THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE NEXT SALARY ADJUSTMENT. QUESTION NO. 1 IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE AND SINCE UNDERPAYMENT WILL NOT RESULT FROM AN ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR DISCOVERED AT A LATER DATE (SEE 26 CG 102 AT PAGE 106) MAY I PROCESS ADJUSTMENTS WITHOUT CLAIMS FROM EMPLOYEES WHO ARE NOT IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE WHEN THE ADJUSTED RATE BECOMES KNOWN AND WHO HAVE BEEN PAID A LUMP SUM FOR A PERIOD WHICH EXTENDS BEYOND THE FIRST PAY PERIOD AFTER JULY 1, 1968?

5 U.S.C. 5551 PROVIDES IN PART THAT:

* * * THE LUMP-SUM PAYMENT SHALL EQUAL THE PAY THE EMPLOYEE OR INDIVIDUAL WOULD HAVE RECEIVED HAD HE REMAINED IN THE SERVICE UNTIL EXPIRATION OF THE PERIOD OF THE ANNUAL OR VACATION LEAVE * *

ON THE DATE OF MR. CAHOON'S SEPARATION PUBLIC LAW 90-207 ALREADY HAD BEEN ENACTED AND THE PROVISIONS OF THAT LAW REQUIRING THE PAY ADJUSTMENT IN JULY 1968 WERE THEN IN BEING. WHILE THE EXACT AMOUNT OF SUCH ADJUSTMENT WAS DEPENDENT UPON A PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION THE REQUIREMENT FOR MAKING THE ADJUSTMENT IS MANDATORY UPON THE PRESIDENT. THUS, HAD MR. CAHOON REMAINED IN THE SERVICE UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF THE PERIOD OVER WHICH HIS LUMP-SUM LEAVE PAYMENT IS COMPUTED, HE CLEARLY WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO WHATEVER SALARY INCREASE BECOMES EFFECTIVE THE FIRST DAY OF THE FIRST PAY PERIOD COMMENCING AFTER JULY 1, 1968, AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 212 OF PUBLIC LAW 90-206, 5 U.S.C. 5304 NOTE. THEREFORE, IN LINE WITH THE DECISIONS CITED IN YOUR LETTER 43 COMP. GEN. 440, AND 26 COMP. GEN. 102) IT IS OUR OPINION THAT THE EMPLOYEE SHOULD BE GIVEN THE BENEFIT OF THE PAY ADJUSTMENT WHICH WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE WITH THE FIRST PAY PERIOD COMMENCING IN JULY OF THIS YEAR.

HOWEVER, THE FINAL ADJUSTMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF LUMP-SUM LEAVE PAYMENT DUE THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE NEW SALARY RATE SHOULD NOT BE MADE UNTIL THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE NEW SALARY RATES PROMULGATED BY THE PRESIDENT.

ACCORDINGLY, THE FIRST QUESTION PRESENTED IN YOUR LETTER IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE AND IT FOLLOWS THAT THE SECOND QUESTION REQUIRES NO ANSWER.

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