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AGO 1964 No. 112 - July 01, 1964
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John J. O'Connell | 1957-1968 | Attorney General of Washington


STATE CIVIL SERVICE ‑- PERSONNEL BOARD ‑- RULES AND REGULATIONS ‑- AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE FOR COMPENSATING DAY OR VACATION DAY WHERE LEGAL HOLIDAY FALLS ON EMPLOYEES' DAY OFF.

The state personnel board has the authority under existing state law to adopt or promulgate a rule or regulation providing that each full-time employee shall be given for each legal holiday other than Sunday which falls on an employee's day off, a compensatory day off to be taken at the convenience of the employing agency.

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                                                                     July 1, 1964

Honorable P. V. Robe
Director, Department of Personnel
General Administration Building
Olympia, Washington

                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 63-64 No. 112

Dear Sir:

            By letter previously acknowledged you have requested the opinion of this office on the following question:

            "'Does the State Personnel Board have authority to adopt and promulgate a rule or regulation providing that each full-time state employee shall be given, for each legal holiday other than Sunday which falls upon that employee's day off, a compensatory day off to be taken at the convenience of the employing agency?'"

            We answer your question in the affirmative.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            The state civil service law, chapter 41.06 RCW, declares its purpose in RCW 41.06.010 as follows:

            "The general purpose of this chapter is to establish for the state a system of personnel administration based on merit principles and scientific methods governing the appointment, promotion, transfer, layoff, recruitment, retention, classification and pay plan, removal, discipline  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] and welfare of its civil employees, and other incidents of state employment, all appointments and promotions to positions, and retention therein, in the state service, shall be made on the basis of policies hereinafter specified."

            Implementing this general purpose with regard to the compensation and welfare of civil service employees and other incidents of state employment, RCW 41.06.150 provides in pertinent part as follows:

            "The board shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations, consistent with the purposes and provisions of this chapter and with the best standards of personnel administration, regarding the basis for, and procedures to be followed for, . . . sick leaves and vacations; hours of work; . . ."

            We have examined the provisions of RCW 43.01.040 relating to vacations of subordinate officers and employees of the state, and find no conflict with such proposed regulations.  The statute in question provides in pertinent part as follows:

            "Each subordinate officer and employee of the several offices, departments, and institutions of the state government shall be entitled under their contract of employment with the state government to not less than one working day of vacation leave with full pay for each month of employment if said employment is continuous for six months."  (Emphasis supplied.)

            In our opinion, then, the proposed rule merely reflects an exercise of the very broad power of the personnel board to provide vacation benefits to employees in excess of the minimum allowable under RCW 43.01.040, supra.

            We have not overlooked the provisions of RCW 42.04.060, which provides in pertinent part as follows:

             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            "All state elective and appointive officers shall keep their offices open for the transaction of business from eight o'clock a.m. to five o'clock p.m. of each business day from Monday through Friday, holidays excepted.  On Saturday, such offices may be closed."

            In our opinion, there is no conflict between that statute and the proposed rule, which, as set forth in your letter, would expressly provide for the taking of the compensatory day off at the convenience of the employing agency.  Presumably the agency and department heads will exercise their own discretion in the matter to keep their offices sufficiently staffed on all business days, and will plan the schedule of taking compensatory time off accordingly.

            In summary, it is our opinion that the state personnel board has the authority under RCW 41.06.150,supra, to adopt and promulgate a rule or regulation providing for compensatory time on the terms outlined in your letter.

            We trust this information will be of assistance to you.

Very truly yours,

JOHN J. O'CONNELL
Attorney General

ROBERT F. HAUTH
Assistant Attorney General

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