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CUNNINGHAM IS REQUESTING ADDITIONAL PAYMENT FOR WORKING DURING PERIODS WHICH HE FEELS ARE SET ASIDE FOR SLEEPING. HE CONTENDS THAT THESE HOURS ARE FROM 6 P.M. THE DUTY HE PERFORMED DURING THESE HOURS IS REFERRED TO AS A NIGHT ALARM WATCH AND IS ROTATED AMONG THE FIREFIGHTERS. YOU SAY THAT THE TOUR OF DUTY FOR FIREFIGHTERS' POSITIONS AT NORTON AFB ARE SCHEDULED SO THAT THE EMPLOYEE IS ON DUTY THREE 24-HOUR SHIFTS DURING EACH ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEK. THEY ARE PAID FOR 144 HOURS PER PAY PERIOD. THE NORTON AFB FIREFIGHTERS ARE PAID THEIR BASIC PAY PLUS A 20 PERCENT PREMIUM PAY IN LIEU OF NIGHT DIFFERENTIAL. THEY ARE ALSO PAID AN ADDITIONAL 5 PERCENT OF THEIR BASIC PAY IN REMUNERATION FOR SUNDAY WORK.

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B-178613, JUL 6, 1973

DECISION RESPECTING THE PROPRIETY OF PAYING MR. HAROLD F. CUNNINGHAM $558.15, REPRESENTING OVERTIME COMPENSATION WHILE EMPLOYED AS A FIREFIGHTER AT NORTON AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA. NO PAYMENT AUTHORIZED.

TO MAJ. J. GREENSTREET:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 16, 1973, WITH ENCLOSURES, REFERENCE ACFPC/K. GALLANES/3469, REQUESTING OUR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYING MR. HAROLD F. CUNNINGHAM $558.15 REPRESENTING OVERTIME COMPENSATION WHILE EMPLOYED AS A FIREFIGHTER AT NORTON AIR FORCE BASE (AFB) CALIFORNIA.

MR. CUNNINGHAM IS REQUESTING ADDITIONAL PAYMENT FOR WORKING DURING PERIODS WHICH HE FEELS ARE SET ASIDE FOR SLEEPING. HE CONTENDS THAT THESE HOURS ARE FROM 6 P.M. TO 6 A.M. MR. CUNNINGHAM STATES THAT HE WORKED A TOTAL OF 85 HOURS FROM JULY 6, 1971, TO JULY 2, 1972, BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 6 P.M. AND 6 A.M. THE DUTY HE PERFORMED DURING THESE HOURS IS REFERRED TO AS A NIGHT ALARM WATCH AND IS ROTATED AMONG THE FIREFIGHTERS.

YOU SAY THAT THE TOUR OF DUTY FOR FIREFIGHTERS' POSITIONS AT NORTON AFB ARE SCHEDULED SO THAT THE EMPLOYEE IS ON DUTY THREE 24-HOUR SHIFTS DURING EACH ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEK. THEY ARE PAID FOR 144 HOURS PER PAY PERIOD. THE NORTON AFB FIREFIGHTERS ARE PAID THEIR BASIC PAY PLUS A 20 PERCENT PREMIUM PAY IN LIEU OF NIGHT DIFFERENTIAL, OVERTIME AND HOLIDAY PAY. THEY ARE ALSO PAID AN ADDITIONAL 5 PERCENT OF THEIR BASIC PAY IN REMUNERATION FOR SUNDAY WORK. THE NORMAL WORKDAY BEGINS AT 8 A.M. AND ENDS AT 5 P.M. WITH AN HOUR FOR LUNCH. FROM 5 P.M. UNTIL 8 A.M. THE NEXT DAY THE FIREFIGHTERS ARE ON STANDBY TIME EXCEPT WHEN THEY ARE ASSIGNED NIGHT ALARM WATCH. NIGHT ALARM WATCHES ARE ASSIGNED ON A ROTATIONAL BASIS AMONG THE FIREFIGHTERS IN THE FOLLOWING MANNER:

A. FIRST WATCH 6 P.M. TO 10 P.M.

B. SECOND WATCH 10 P.M. TO 1 A.M.

C. THIRD WATCH 1 A.M. TO 4 A.M.

D. FOURTH WATCH 4 A.M. TO 7 A.M.

IT IS NOTED THAT FOR THE PERIOD OF THE CLAIM JULY 1, 1971, THROUGH JULY 2, 1972, MR. CUNNINGHAM ALLEGED THAT HE STOOD NIGHT ALARM WATCH 29 TIMES AS FOLLOWS:

6 P.M. TO 9 P.M. - 6 TIMES

1 A.M. TO 4 A.M. - 12 TIMES

4 A.M. TO 7 A.M. - 6 TIMES

9 P.M. TO 1 A.M. - 1 TIME

10 P.M. TO 1 A.M. - 4 TIMES

ALSO, THAT 18 OF SUCH WATCHES FELL BETWEEN 12 MIDNIGHT AND 8 A.M., THE TIME GENERALLY ALLOTTED TO SLEEPING FOR EMPLOYEES WHO ARE ON A 24 HOUR STANDBY TOUR OF DUTY AND THAT 5 OF THE WATCHES BEGAN BEFORE MIDNIGHT AND CONTINUED TO 1 A.M.

SECTION 5545C(1) OF TITLE 5, U.S.C. AUTHORIZES PREMIUM PERCENTAGE COMPENSATION NOT IN EXCESS OF 25 PERCENT OF BASIC PAY TO AN EMPLOYEE IN A POSITION REQUIRING HIM REGULARLY TO REMAIN AT, OR WITHIN THE CONFINES OF HIS STATION DURING LONGER THAN ORDINARY PERIODS OF DUTY, A SUBSTANTIAL PART OF WHICH CONSISTS OF REMAINING IN A STANDBY STATUS RATHER THAN PERFORMING WORK. SUCH ADDITIONAL PERCENTAGE COMPENSATION IS IN LIEU OF OTHER COMPENSATION FOR OVERTIME, NIGHT, HOLIDAY AND SUNDAY WORK EXCEPT FOR IRREGULAR, UNSCHEDULED OVERTIME DUTY IN EXCESS OF AN EMPLOYEE'S REGULARLY SCHEDULED WEEKLY TOUR. HERE THE EMPLOYEE DID NOT PERFORM WORK IN EXCESS OF HIS 72-HOUR WEEKLY TOUR OF DUTY BUT PERFORMED WATCH WORK DURING HIS NORMAL STANDBY HOURS.

WE ARE AWARE OF NO AUTHORITY FOR ALLOWANCE OF ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION IN A SITUATION SUCH AS HERE WHERE AN EMPLOYEE DURING HIS REGULARLY SCHEDULED TOUR OF DUTY IS REQUIRED TO PERFORM CERTAIN DUTY WHICH IS REGARDED MORE IN THE NATURE OF WORK THAN THE NORMAL STANDBY DUTY. AS INDICATED ABOVE THE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION OF 25 PERCENT OF BASIC PAY IS THE MAXIMUM AN EMPLOYEE MAY RECEIVE UNDER THAT SYSTEM EXCEPT FOR IRREGULAR AND UNSCHEDULED OVERTIME DUTY IN EXCESS OF AN EMPLOYEE'S REGULAR TOUR OF DUTY (72 HOURS IN THIS CASE).

SINCE THE VOUCHER MAY NOT BE PAID IT IS RETAINED IN OUR FILES.

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