Michael W. Langello, B-214541

CourtComptroller General of the United States
Docket NumberB-214541
Decision Date30 September 1986


No. B-214541

Comptroller General of the United States

September 30, 1986

Compensation - rates - highest previous rate - transfers digest: 1. Claimant transferred in August 1983 from District of Columbia (d.C.) Government to the government printing office (GPO). Under sections 422(3) and 714(c) of the D.C. Self-government act, public law 93-198, December 24, 1973, the merit system authorized to be established by the D.C. Government must provide for personnel benefits, including leave and retirement benefits, for its employees equal or equivalent to those provided to them under legislation in existence at the time of enactment. Since the act provides no authority for the D.C. Government to eliminate annual and sick leave transfer rights of its employees, the annual and sick leave to the employee's credit was transferable upon employment by the federal government. District of columbia - employees - leaves of absence - federal annual and sick leave provisions 2. Claimant transferred from D.C. Government to federal government in August 1983, and all of his sick leave was transferable from the D.C. Government to GPO. Upon his retirement from GPO in September 1985, all of the unused sick leave to his credit at that time, including the leave transferred from the D.C. Government, is includable in computing his civil service retirement annuity under 5 U.S.C. Sec. 8339(m) (1982). See 5 C.F.R. Sec. 831.302 (1985). Leaves of absence - sick - transfers - different leave system - disposition of unused leave 3. Employee of D.C. Government was previously employed by social security administration (SSA) at the gs-15, step 7, level. He transferred from D.C. Government, where he held a district schedule, DS 15, step 8, position, to GPO in August 1983. The district schedule rates are not equivalent to the general schedule rates and do not entitle him to rate of pay of gs-15, step 8. In employing claimant at the gs-15, step 7, level, GPO matched his highest previous salary rate under a similar pay system. This was proper and in accordance with established policy of gpo.

This decision is in response to a request by the acting public printer, United States government printing office (GPO), for a determination as to (1) the transferability of the annual and sick leave of Dr. Michael W. Langello, a former employee of the District of Columbia (d.C.) Government, who transferred to and, until recently, was an employee of GPO, and (2) the creditability of Dr. Langello's D.C. Government service for federal civil service retirement purposes. In addition, Dr. Langello raises the issue of whether GPO acted properly in setting his rate of basic pay upon transfer.

On August 21, 1983, Dr. Langello was transferred from the position of medical officer with the D.C. Government to the same type of position with GPO. He had been previously employed by the social security administration (SSA) as a medical officer. At the time of his reemployment with the federal government, Dr. Langello had accumulated 302 hours of annual leave[1] and approximately 2, 276 hours of sick leave. Dr. Langello retired from the federal service on September 30, 1985.

For the reasons hereafter stated, we hold that the annual and sick leave in Dr. Langello's leave account with the D.C. Government was transferable to GPO. Therefore, his unused sick leave at retirement is to be included for civil service retirement annuity purposes. Additionally, the setting of Dr. Langello's salary by GPO, upon his reemployment with the federal government, was proper and in accordance with the established policy of gpo.

The law and regulations

Subchapter i, chapter 63, title 5, U.S.C. 1982, governs the annual and sick leave benefits of federal government employees. In 5 U.S.C. Sec. 6301(2)(b), "employee" is defined as including "an individual employed by the government of the District of Columbia."[2] the implementing regulations, 5 C.F.R. Sec. 630.201(b)(4) (1985), state that "'employee' means an employee to whom subchapter i of chapter 63 of title 5, U.S.C. Applies."

Section 6308, title 5, U.S.C. Provides that "the annual and sick leave to the credit of an employee who transfers between positions under different leave systems without a break in service shall be transferred to his credit in the employing agency on an adjusted basis under regulations prescribed by the office of personnel management ***." See also 5 C.F.R. Secs. 630.501(a) and 630.502(a) (1985).

Under the provisions of the District of Columbia self-government and governmental reorganization act (self-government act), public law 93 198, December 24, 1973, 87 Stat. 774, 791, the district council was required to establish an independent merit personnel system for employees of the district government. Section 422(3) of the act provided that personnel legislation enacted by congress would continue to be applicable to such employees until such employees until such time as the district council provided at least equal coverage under a district government merit system. The act stated that the merit system could provide for continued participation in all or part of the federal civil service system. The act also provided that nothing contained in the act should be construed as affecting the applicability to the district government of personnel legislation relating to the district government until the district council elected to provide equal or equivalent coverage.

The council and Mayor approved the District of Columbia government comprehensive merit personnel act of 1978 (cmpa), D.C. Law 2-139, on March 3, 1979. Most of the provisions of the cmpa became effective on January 1, 1980. Title XII of the cmpa established a separate formal leave system for D.C. Employees, cmpa Sec. 1203, and section 3202(f) of the cmpa superseded the provisions of chapter 63, title 5, united stated code, but only for individuals hired by the D.C. Government on or after January 1, 1980. Thus, individuals hired prior to January 1, 1980, were covered by both chapter 63 of title 5, U.S.C. And by title XII of the cmpa.

Thereafter, in order to unify the D.C. Personnel system, the Mayor proposed that the cmpa be amended to specifically supersede various provisions of title 5, U.S.C. Including certain sections of chapter 63, for all D.C. Government employees, irrespective of their date of hire. The council acted favorably on the proposal and D.C. Law 3-109 was enacted into law with an effective date of September 26, 1980.

Agency opinions

Gpo opinion

In its opinion letter, GPO concludes that Dr. Langello should be able to retain all of his accumulated sick leave. It relies upon the definition of "employee" in 5 U.S.C. Sec. 6301(2)(b), which includes an individual employed by the district of Columbia. Further, 5...

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