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Pay & Leave Claim Decisions

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Office of the General Counsel

Date: November 16, 1998
Matter of: [xxx]
File Number: S001579

OPM Contact: Murray M. Meeker

The claimant, a part-time employee with the [xxx] in [xxx], has submitted two issues for review: (1) Are part-time employees entitled to holiday pay when [xxx] is closed on the employees' regularly scheduled workday, e.g., when [xxx] is closed on the Tuesday following a Monday holiday; and (2) Should part-time employees who work more hours than are prescribed in their normal work schedule and who take leave during a temporary schedule be charged leave for the additional hours that they do not work?

When a federal holiday is on a Monday, it is common practice for [xxx] to change its full-time employees' work schedules in order to maximize customer service and to avoid the costs associated with paying holiday premium pay on the preceding workday, typically a Saturday. The work schedule for full time employees is changed from Tuesday through Saturday to Monday and Wednesday through Saturday. As a consequence of this rescheduling, Monday, the federal holiday, becomes a non-workday and Tuesday becomes a day off for full-time employees. However, the work schedule for part-time DeCA employees who often work the same number of days, but fewer hours, is not changed and remains Tuesday through Saturday.

The [agency] provides that:

[W]hen part-time employees are prevented from working on an in-lieu-of holiday [Tuesday], because their place of employment is closed in observance of a holiday, they are not entitled to pay without charge to leave. These employees may be required to take annual leave. As an alternative to annual leave, a part-time employee's work schedule can be changed to allow the employee to work another day within the administrative work week.

[agency] Directive [xxx] 70-9, dated July 26, 1996.

Each agency is responsible for managing its work operations and for scheduling the work of its employees. 5 U.S.C. 301, 6101(a), and 7106(a). Therefore, if an agency closes an agency installation and, as a result, part-time employees are prevented from working on their regularly scheduled workday, such employees may be required to take annual leave. See 19 Comp. Gen. 955 (1940). More specifically, although part-time employees may be granted administrative leave on an in-lieu holiday, they are not entitled to in-lieu-of holidays or to holiday pay for in-lieu-of holidays. 63 Comp. Gen. 306 (1984).

The number of hours that an employee is in a pay status is dependent on the number of hours actually scheduled, regardless of the employee's normal hours or the number of hours indicated on the employee's appointment document. See 18 Comp. Gen. 457 (1938) and 16 Comp. Gen. 442 (1936). A part-time employee may request and be charged leave for any hours in the employee's regularly scheduled administrative workweek. See 5 C.F.R. 550.103 and 610.121(b)(1) (defining "regularly scheduled administrative workweek" as an administrative workweek scheduled in advance and corresponding to the employee's actual work requirements). Thus, notwithstanding the employee's appointment document, the employee's leave may be scheduled and should be charged for any nonovertime hours that the employee is unable to work during the scheduled workweek, as long as the work schedule is established in advance of the workweek.

While an agency may schedule 24-hour workweeks that would enable an employee to use previously scheduled leave, the agency may choose to schedule nonovertime work in excess of the hours on the employee's appointment document for any pay period, and under that circumstance, the employee would be required to work or to take leave to fulfill the employee's work requirement.

Accordingly, part-time employees are not entitled to holiday pay when the agency is closed on the employee's regularly scheduled workday and part-time employees who work more hours than prescribed in their normal work schedule and who take leave on that day may be charged leave for the additional non-overtime hours that they do not work.

This settlement is final. No further administrative review is available within OPM. Nothing in this settlement limits the employee's right to bring an action in an appropriate United States Court.

Control Panel