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THE ACT OF MAY 22, 1920, AND AMENDMENTS ARRANGED BY
SECTIONS WITH ANNOTATIONS, INCLUDING ABSTRACTS OF DECISIONS AND OPINIONS RELATING THERETO.
“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That beginning at the expiration of ninety days next following the passage of this Act, all employees in the classified civil service of the United States who have on that date, or shall have on any date thereafter, reached the age of seventy years and rendered at least fifteen years of service computed as prescribed in section 3 of this Act, shall be eligible for retirement on an annuity as provided in section 2 hereof: Provided, That mechanics, city and rural letter carriers, and post-office clerks shall be eligible for retirement at sixty-five years of age, and railway postal clerks at sixty-two years of age, if said mechanics, city and rural letter carriers, post-office clerks, and railway postal clerks shall have rendered at least fifteen years of service computed as prescribed in section 3 of this Act."
The expression “classified civil serv
ice" as the same occurs in other Acts of The act became effective for retirement
Congress shall receive a like construction purposes on August 21, 1920; for the purpose of deductions under the provisions
to that herein given. (Act of March 27, of section 8 it became effective on August
Extent of Civil Service Classification.1, 1920. The act is not retroactive.
The classified service shall include all CLASSIFIED CIVIL SERVICE.
officers and employees in the executive
civil service of the United States, hereto“Classified Civil Service" Defined. fore or hereafter appointed or employed, That in the administration of the civil in positions now existing or hereafter to service retirement Act approved May 22, be created, of whatever function or desig1920, the expression "all employees in nation, whether compensated by a fixed the classified civil service of the United salary or otherwise, except persons emStates” as used in section I thereof shall ployed merely as laborers, and persons be construed to include all persons who whose appointments are subject to conhave been heretofore or who may here- firmation by the Senate; but no right of after be given a competitive status in the classification shall accrue to persons classified civil service, with or without whose appointment or assignment to competitive examination, by legislative classified duties is in violation of the civil enactment, or under the civil service rules service rules. (C. S. C. Rule II, par. 1.) promulgated by the President, or by Civil Service Confined to Executive Executive orders covering groups of Branch.—The term “civil service" as employees with their positions into the adopted by the Civil Service Commission competitive classified service or author- and used in the act of May 22, 1920, is izing the appointment of individuals to “the executive branch of the public positions within such service.
service as distinguished from the mili(1)
tary, naval, legislative, and judicial.” of age. (C. S. C., June 17 and 26, 1920, (William F. Craig, 21 P. & R. Dec. 40.) in case of Annie Huston Mateer, R-625;
Appointments by Executive Order, Rule Asst. Secy. Int., April 30, 1921, Harry and Exceptions. Persons appointed Leister, R-6537.) through Executive order without examination have all the rights and privileges
MECHANICS. of persons appointed through competitive
Civil Service Commission Determines, examination. (C. S. C. Min. April 6, 1905.)
in the First Instance, Who are Mechan
ics.-The Civil Service Commission, in NOTE.-The above would have no application, the first instance, determines what emof course, to such Executive orders as the 45 war
ployees are included in the designation emergency orders repealed by the blanket Executive order of May 16, 1921, or to such other Executive
*mechanic,” and while the opinion of orders as expressly exclude, or are manifestly not
the commission is generally accepted as intended to include, a particular group or individual conclusive, it is within the power of the within the classified civil service.
Secretary of the Interior, as the ultimate RETIREMENT AGE.
authority in the administration of the
retirement act, to refuse to be bound by Retirement Age, General Rule for the commission's opinion. Determining.–The rule established to Definition of Term “ Mechanic."--It determine the age of majority should be is manifestly impossible to formulate a applicable to the question of age of retire- definition of the word “mechanic” which ment under the act of May 22, 1920. The would cover every possible case which rule generally applied where the statute might arise in the administration of the has fixed majority at the age of 21 is that retirement act. It is believed, however, the age of majority is attained on the day that by avoiding technicality and applypreceding the twenty-first anniversary of ing good common sense no great difficulty the person's birth. (22 Cyc. 512; Op. should be encountered in passing upon the Sol. Int. Dept., August 24, 1920.) comparatively small number of doubtful
Exception to General Rule.-An employee is regarded as reaching age of The kind of work and not the designaretirement at the close of business on the tion should determine the group. An day preceding his birthday anniversary. employee designated as a skilled laborer The rule is not inexorable or without its or watchman who is performing princiexceptions. Like all fictions of the law pally the duties usually and ordinarily it is for the promotion of justice and is performed by a mechanic should be renot to be invoked to work an injury. garded as a mechanic. A foreman, superTherefore, a rural letter carrier who con- visor, leading man, or other employee tinues in the service without certification who is assigned to such duties because he by the Civil Service Commission in is a mechanic, and experience as a meaccordance with section 6 of the act to chanic is a prerequisite, should be reinclude the sixty-fifth anniversary of his garded as a mechanic within the meaning birthday, thus serving exactly 15 years, of the retirement law. In such positions is entitled to annuity under the retire- trade experience may not be necessary, ment act based upon a service of 15 years. and a person assigned thereto who has no (Asst. Secy. Int., July 21, 1921, Charles trade experience should not be regarded H. Blake, R-6323.)
as a mechanic. Present Duties and Years of Life to A mechanic who has ceased to do the Determine.—The retirement age is to be work of a mechanic and is on the rolls as determined by the years of life of the em- a desk clerk is not subject to retirement ployee and the character of the work he until he has reached the age of 70 years. is presently engaged in, as specified in Retirement age is to be determined by section 1 of the act. The credits for serv- years of life and character of present work ice are to be computed according to of employee. (Sol. Int. Dept., July 2, section 3 and the amount of annuity is 1920.) to be determined by the provisions of The duties of an employee are to detersection_2 of the act. (Op. Sol. Int. mine in each case whether he is a meDept., July 2, 1920.)
chanic, retireable at 65, or other than a Skilled Laborer, Duties of, Determine mechanic, retireable at 70. (C.S.C. Min., Retirement Age.—A skilled laborer or June 19, 1920, and October 4, 1920.) watchman, or other employee performing Duties Determine Who are Mechanthe duties of a mechanic, should be re- ics.—There are about three general garded as a mechanic and retireable at classes of employees who may properly the age of 65 years. A skilled laborer who be regarded as mechanics retireable at 65. is performing the duties of a shop messen- First, those whose designations place ger in an arsenal, Ordnance Department, them clearly within the list of mechanical War Department, is retireable at 70 years trades and allied occupations, as for ex
ample, stonemason, plumber, and car- Cabinetmaker (circular No. 4). penter. Second, those who are called Calker (circular No. 4). skilled laborers or by some other designa- Canvas worker, navy yard (C. S. C. Rtion which affords no indication of their 10749). duties but who, as a matter of fact, regu- Cargadors (Q. M. C.). larly perform duties ordinarily recognized Carpenter. as pertaining to mechanical trades and Case hardener (ordnance). allied occupations. A person employed Caster helper (G. P. O.). under the designation of skilled laborer Cement worker (circular No. 4). but constantly performing the duties of Chauffeur. carpenter would be retired undoubtedly Chief engineer, dredge. (engineer at at 65 as a mechanic. Third, persons large). occupying positions (principally super- Chief inspector of ordnance. visory) by virtue of the fact that they Coin counter (mint). have knowledge pertaining to the me- Compositor (circular No. 4). chanical trades or allied occupations, or Concrete finisher (circular No. 4). that they are required in the performance Conductor, railroad. of their duties to have knowledge of Cooper (circular No. 4). mechanical trades occupations, are to be Copy editor (G. P. 0.). regarded as mechanics retireable at 65; Copyholder (circular No. 4). for example, in the Ordnance Depart- Coremaker (ordnance). ment at Large, the commission has de- Counter (G. P. O.). cided that foremen of buildings, of con- Cupola tender (navy yard). crete, of railroads, of mechanical trades, Cutters (Philadelphia Q. M. C.). and foremen harnessmakers, are mechan- Cutters' helper (Philadelphia Q. M. C.). ics retireable at 65, but it has decided Die maker (circular No. 4). that foremen of laborers, foremen of Diesinker (circular No. 4). garage, and foremen explosive handlers, Diver (circular No. 4). of stables, and of storehouses are other Driller (circular No. 4). than mechanics and are retireable at 70. Electrotyper (circular No. 4).
If a man is regularly required, in the Elevator conductor-laborer (Custodian performance of his duties, to be familiar Service). with machinery and operate machines, Engineer, dredge (engineer at large). he is to be regarded as a mechanic retire- Engineer, marine (circular No. 4). able at 65, regardless of the designation Engineer, steam (circular No. 4). nnder which he is serving.
Engineer-janitor (Custodian Service). (C. S. C., April 12, 1922.)
Engineer, janitor, public schools. Schedule of Mechanical Occupa- Engineman (circular No. 4). tions.—The following is a schedule of Engine tender (circular No. 4). occupations accepted as mechanical by Engraver (engineer at large). the Civil Service Commission in which Estimator (G. P. O.). the retirement age is 65 years. This Expert mechanical aid (circular No. 4). schedule will in all probability be added Expert mechanician (circular No. 4). to from time to time:
Expert machinist (circular No. 4). Adjuster of scales (mint).
Farrier (circular No. 4). Armorer (circular No. 4).
Feeders (G. P. O.). Assembler (ordnance).
File cutter (circular No. 4). Assistant custodian-engineer (Custodian Fire fighters (Q. M. C.). Service).
Fireman. Assistant tailor bushelman (Q. M. C.). Fireman, helper (Custodian Service). Barrel heater (ordnance).
Fireman-watchman (Custodian Service). Barrel roller (ordnance).
Folders (G. P. O.). Baster (Philadelphia Q. M. C.).
Folding-machine operator (Philadelphia Belt mender (circular No. 4).
supply depot). Binder (circular No. 4).
Foreman (so assigned because mechanic). Blacksmith (circular No. 4).
Foreman of bookbinders (G. P. 0.). Bluer (ordnance) (circular No. 4). Foreman of coining room (Philadelphia Boat builder (circular No. 4).
Mint). Boilermaker (circular No. 4).
Foreman cutter (Q. M. C.) Bookbinder (circular No. 4).
Foreman of sweep cellar (mint). Boxer (circular No. 4).
Gang boss (Ordnance Department) (C. S. Brakeman.
C. December 2, 1922). Brass molder (circular No. 4).
Gas fitter (circular No. 4). Brick mason (circular No. 4).
Gauge maker (circular No. 4). Brick setter (circular No. 4).
General helper (U. S. Naval Academy). Bricklayer (circular No. 4).
General mechanic (circular No. 4). Bushelman (Philadelphia Q. M. C.). Glazier (circular No. 4).
Grinder (circular No. 4).
Operator on stitching machine (G. P. O.). Grommet machine operator (Philadelphia Ordnance machinist (circular No. 4). Q. M. C.).
Ordnance man (Navy Department). Hardener (circular No. 4).
Packmaster (Q. M. C.). Harness maker (circular No. 4).
Painter (circular No. 4). Helpers (if members of trade or assigned Patternmaker (circular No. 4). because of trade knowledge).
Paver (National Park, Gettysburg).
Pipe coverer (navy yard).
Pipe worker (circular No. 4). Horseshoer (Q. M. C.).
Planners and estimators (if members of a Hydraulic pressman (circular No. 4). recognized mechanical trade and asImposer (circular No. 4).
signed to present duties because trade Inspector of construction (if members of experience is requisite).
a recognized mechanical trade and as- Plasterer (circular No. 4). signed because trade knowledge is re- Plate printer (circular No. 4). quisite).
Plater (circular No. 4). Inspectors of engineering material (under Plumber (circular No. 4). above conditions).
Polisher (circular No. 4). Inspectors, mechanical (under above con- Powder factory attendant (C. S. C. ditions).
R-10636). Inspectors, Bureau of Locomotive Inspec- Pressers (Philadelphia supply depot).
tion (Interstate Commerce Commission). Pressfeeder (G. P. O.). Instrument maker (circular No. 4). Pressman (circular No. 4). Instrument repairer (circular No. 4). Printer (circular No. 4). Ironworker (circular No. 4).
Profiler (circular No. 4). Jacket writer (G. P. O.).
Proof reader (G. P. O.). Jeweler (circular No. 4).
Quarterman-shipfitter (navy yard). Key maker (circular No. 4).
Reader (G. P. O.). Knife grinder (circular No. 4).
Refrigerating machinist (circular No. 4). Leadingman (so assigned because me- Rigger, third class (navy yard). chanic).
Rivet heater (navy yard). Leather cutter (circular No. 4).
Roller (circular No. 4). Leather parer (circular No. 4).
Saddler (circular No. 4). Leather worker (circular No. 4).
Sawyer (circular No. 4). Lineman (outside wireman).
Sawyer and miller (circular No. 4). Lithographer (circular No. 4).
Scale adjuster (circular No. 4). Lock fitter (circular No. 4).
Screw maker (circular No. 4). Lock maker (circular No. 4).
Seamstress (Q. M. C.). Lock master (circular No. 4).
Sewer (G. P. O.). Locomotive engineer (circular No. 4). Sewer, female (P. O. D. mail bag repair Machine operator (circular No. 4).
shop). Machinist (circular No. 4).
Shader (engineer at large). Magazine keeper (ordnance).
Ship plumber (circular No. 4). Maker-up (G. P. O.).
Shoe and harness maker (circular No. 4). Marbler (circular No. 4).
Slater (circular No. 4). Marine engineer (circular No. 4).
Skilled artisan (circular No. 4). Mason (circular No. 4).
Skilled laborer who has been a mechanic Mechanic (circular No. 4).
most of life. Mechanics on detail as inspectors. Special clerk (P. O.) Medallist (circular No. 4).
Special mechanic (circular No. 4). Melter (mint).
Splicer (Philadelphia general supply Metal worker (circular No. 4).
depot). Millwright (circular No. 4).
Steam driller (circular No. 4). Motor repairman.
Steam engineer (circular No. 4). Oilers.
Steam fitter (circular No. 4). Operative, male and female (Philadelphia Stereotyper (circular No. 4). supply depot).
Stonecutter (circular No. 4). Operative, buttonhole maker (Philadel- Straightener (circular No. 4). phia supply depot).
Striker (circular No. 4). Operative, embroideress (Philadelphia Subinspector, female (ordnance). supply depot).
Superintendent of boats, Department of Operative, seamstress (Philadelphia sup- Justice (C. S. C. R-10250). ply depot).
Supervisor of telephone lines (Coast Operator (Philadelphia supply depot). Guard).
Supervisor assigned as such because Markers (navy yard). mechanic.
Masters (Harbor boat service). Switchman.
Mate (Q. M. C.). Tailor (Q. M. C., Governors Island). Mechanical engineer, Coast Survey, is Temperer (circular No. 4).
not a mechanic. Tentmaker (Philadelphia supply depot). Money order cashier (P.0.). Tinner (circular No. 4).
Packers (Q. M. C.). Tinsmith circular No. 4).
Pilot (engineer at large). Tool grinder (circular No. 4).
Pilot (Immigration Service, harbors). Toolmaker (circular No. 4).
Postal cashier (P. O.). Transferrer (engineer department at Rodman (navy yard). large).
Sewing woman (G. P. O.). Typewriter repairman (Q. M. C.).
Skilled laborer (G. P. O., sewing books Vault, safe and lock expert.
by hand, folding and patching newsWagon maker.
papers, etc., is not a mechanic. Skilled Watchman-fireman (Custodian Service). laborers are not mechanics as a class. Water tender, navy yard (C. S. C. R- Duties and not designation determine), 10725).
Sorter (navy yard). Wheelwright (circular No. 4).
Stablekeeper (navy yard). Wireman (inside).
Station examiner (P. O.). Woodworker (circular No. 4).
Stevedore (navy yard). Positions in the 70-Year Class.-The Stockkeeper (G. P. O.). following is a schedule of positions deter- Storeman (navy yard). mined by the Civil Service Commission Superintendent of delivery (P. O.). as being in the 70-year class. This Superintendent of mail (P. O.). schedule does not, of course, embrace all Superintendent of money order (P. O.). 70-year retirement positions, but covers Superintendent of registry (P. O.). only those classes of employees about Superintendent of stations (P. O.). which a doubt may exist as to their Supervising draftsman (navy yard). proper allocation, i. e., whether they Teamster (navy yard). belong in the 65-year or 70-year class. Tissue hand (Bureau of Engraving and This schedule will probably be enlarged Printing). or possibly otherwise modified from time
LEAVE AND INACTIVE STATE AS BEARING to time:
UPON CLASSIFIED STATUS.
Leave Without Pay not Restricted to Assistant constructing engineer (ord- One Year.–An employee borne on the nance).
rolls of the War Department, who was on Assistant postmaster (P. O.).
leave of absence without pay when the Assistant superintendent of delivery retirement act became effective and who (P. O.).
immediately prior to that time had been Assistant superintendent of mail (P. 0.). on such leave for more than one year, Assistant superintendent of money order was in the classified civil service at the (P. O.).
effective date of said act. Assistant superintendent of registry The head of a department has the right (P. O.).
to grant to an employee in the classified Assistant superintendent of stations civil service leave of absence without (P. O.).
pay for a longer period than one year; Auditor (P. 0.).
and such right can be restricted only by Blue printer (navy).
statute or by Executive order. (Atty. Bookkeepers (P. O.).
Gen., February 25, 1921, 32 Op. 424; Butcher.
Asst. Secy. Int., March 11, 1921, Henry Cook, Naval Academy (R-8595).
Walters, 21 P. & R. Dec. 104.) Cook (Q. M. C.).
"Furlough” and “Lay-off,” Engineer Engraver (Bureau of Engraving and Department at Large.-Employees in the Printing).
Engineer Department at Large of the War Elevator conductor (ordinarily).
Department who are on “furlough” are Examiner of station (P. O.).
in the service within the meaning of the Field assistants (Coast Guard).
retirement act during the life of the furFire chief (Q. M. C. is supervisory). lough, as provided for in the regulations Foreman (P. O. Service).
for that service. Employees in said Gardener (Philadelphia Navy Yard). service who have been "laid off” also Helper (female) Mint Service (C. S. C. have a like status so long as they are R-1004).
eligible to resume active duty without Hod carrier (navy yard).
taking a new oath, without a new appointLeveler (navy yard).
ment, and without any form of reinstateLock keeper (engineer at large).
ment or action by the Civil Service Com