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U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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Social Security Administration, Denver, Colorado (Activity) and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1802, AFL-CIO (Union) 

[ v08 p89]
The decision of the Authority follows:

8 FLRA NO. 15






Case No. 0-AR-151



This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of Arbitrator Robert W. Smedley filed by the Agency under section 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute (5 U.S.C. 7122(a)) (the Statute) and part 2425 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations (5 CFR part 2425). The Union did not file an opposition.

According to the Arbitrator, the dispute in this matter arose on a day in which a heavy snow storm made it impossible for many employees to get to work either on time or at all. As a result of the severe weather, management decided after four hours to close the various district offices in the area. The few employees who had reported to work were permitted to go home for the remainder of the day without charge to leave. Subsequently, following discussions with the Union, the Activity decided that those employees who did not report to work at all or who were scheduled to be on approved leave would be administratively excused for the entire day without charge to leave. The Union then requested four hours compensatory time for the employees who did report for work. Management's refusal to grant compensatory time resulted in this arbitration.

The Arbitrator noted that employees should be treated equitably in emergency situations and found it "impossible to reconcile (employees on previously approved annual leave) getting a nonworkday credit, the no-shows getting full relief and the grievance getting nothing extra." Therefore, the Arbitrator made the following award: [ v8 p89 ]

The grievance is upheld and each Denver District employee who worked November 21, 1979, shall receive 4 hours compensatory time as and when administratively determined to least inconvenience the public or interfere with the agency mission.

As one of its exceptions, the Agency contends that the Arbitrator's award, granting the employees who reported to work on the day in question four hours compensatory time, is contrary to law.

The Authority agrees. There is no relevant statutory or regulatory provision which would permit the granting of compensatory time in the circumstances of this case. The legal basis for granting employees compensatory time off arises under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 5543 as a result of overtime worked by an employee. However, the four hours worked by the employees on the day in question were not overtime work under 5 U.S.C. 5542 and the subsequent decision of the Activity to administratively excuse from duty without charge to leave employees who did not report to work on that day does not transform such hours into overtime work. Thus, while it is noted that the Arbitrator was attempting to remedy what he found to be an inequitable situation, there is no legal basis in this case for his award of compensatory time to the employees who worked. For this reason, the Arbitrator's award is deficient and accordingly is set aside.

Issued, Washington, D.C., February 10, 1982

Ronald W. Haughton, Chairman

Henry B. Frazier III, Member

Leon B. Applewhaite, Member