Sick Leave - Additional Compensation

B-205359: Jun 28, 1988

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An employee at with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) requested additional compensation for the use of advance sick leave, contending that (1) she was owed an additional 24 hours of sick time and (2) her hourly rate of pay for the sick leave should have been adjusted to reflect a recent raise in salary. GAO held that (1) the employee had been paid for all sick leave due to her and (2) USAID paid the employee the appropriate rate since her raise only affected a portion of her advance sick leave. Accordingly, the request was denied.

B-205359, Jun 28, 1988

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Leaves of Absence - Sick leave - Advances - Basic compensation - Amount determination DIGEST: An employee's claim for additional compensation for use of advance sick leave is denied. Sick leave which is advanced and used, but which is not compensated for until after a pay rate increase, may not be compensated for at the higher rate of pay. Leave which is used only has the value of the employee's rate of pay for the pay period in which it is to be charged.

__________ - Sick Leave - Additional Compensation:

This decision is in response to a letter from Ms. __________. She requests that we review our Claims Group settlement Z 2790110, December 15, 1987, and further consider her entitlement to additional compensation for the advance sick leave granted her for a period of extended illness in 1982. On review, we sustain our Claims Group action for the following reasons.

BACKGROUND

Ms. __________ was an employee with the Agency for International Development (AID) in 1982, and during the period from March until Nay l982, she was on leave without pay (LWOP) for all or parts of pay periods 6 through 8. May 12, 1982, she used her last 5 hours of available leave and was again placed on leave without pay where she remained until she returned to work on October 18, 1982. At her request, AID granted her 240 hours of advance sick leave. This was paid to her on May 25, 1982, and was used to cover the periods of leave without pay prior to May 12.

Two events occurred which complicated Ms. __________ pay entitlement for the period January 10 to May 12, 1982. First, while her hourly rate of pay at the beginning of the 1982 leave year was $10.74, beginning with pay period No. 7 (April 4, 1982), her hourly rate of pay was increased to $11.02 due to a within-grade increase to grade GS-8, step 10. Second, an error was made by AID in the computation of the amounts due Ms. __________ for pay periods 6 through 9. That error was not completely corrected until 1986, when all underpayments for the total period were corrected by the issuance of a supplemental check in the amount of $155.

Ms. __________ challenges the accuracy of the agency's computation of her pay. She contends that all 240 hours of advance sick leave should have been paid at the hourly rate of $11.02. While she failed to specifically state her reasons why she feels it should be so computed, we presume it is due to the fact that the 240 hours were paid to her in a lump sum on May 25, 1982, which was after her pay rate change. She also contends that since the 24O hours of advance sick leave is equal to three pay periods, during which time she would have accrued 24 leave hours, the value of those leave hours should also be payable to her.

RULING

With regard to Ms. __________ contention that she earned an additional 24 hours of annual leave, we conclude based on our review of the record that the 24 hours of annual leave were included in the total number of annual leave hours credited her and compensated for.

As to payment for the 240 hours of sick leave advanced and used, we conclude that Ms. __________ is in error. Unlike lumpsum payments for annual leave which are payable at separation from federal service and which are compensated for at the last hourly rate of pay earned by the employee immediately before that separation, leave which is actually used only has the value of the employee's rate of pay in effect during the pay period in which it is charged. The 240 hours of advanced sick leave were substituted for periods of LWOP in the appropriate pay periods (6 through 9).

In summary, of the 701 hours for which Ms. __________ was entitled to be paid during the period January 10 to May 12, 1982, 480 of those hours occurred during pay periods 1 through 6 and 221 hours occurred during pay periods 7, 8, and 8, after her pay rate changed. According to our computation, Ms. __________ was entitled to receive $5,155.20 for the first six periods (480 hours X $10.74) and $2,435.42 for the periods beginning April 4, 1982 (221 hours X $11.02), for a total of $7,590.62 (excluding overtime compensation). Since this is the amount paid to Ms. __________ by AID, as confirmed by our Claims Group settlement of December 15, 1987, she has received all compensation due for the period in question.

 

 

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