By Troy Torres
(Tumon, Guam) The Governor's director of communications, Janela Carrera, took a two-week vacation without signing for annual leave. She was paid for all 72 work hours she did not work using compensatory time that does not apply to political appointees.
'Comp' time - as it is called - accrues to classified employees in the government, who work longer than the normal eight-hour day on one day of the pay period so that they can take time off on another day within that pay period.
Ms. Carrera submitted a leave application on May 29, 2019, for a vacation she took that had her off the clock between June 26 and July 9, 2019. She was on a personal vacation to Europe. She took a total of 72 hours off the job, and was paid for those hours.
Normally, both classified and unclassified employees use annual leave hours that accrue to them every pay period in order to take vacations and be paid during the time they are on vacation.
In Ms. Carrera's case - as a first-year GovGuam employee, she is entitled to accrue four hours of annual leave per pay period. By the time she requested to take paid leave, she had only accrued 40 hours of annual leave.
Even if Ms. Carrera qualified for comp time, her vacation period spanned two pay periods, making it impossible for her to have accrued excess hours on the job during the pay periods, when she was on leave.
Correctional officers of the Department of Corrections recently implored Ms. Carrera's boss, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, to pay them for overtime and to relax the administration's comp time standards, as the officers clearly were being overtaxed by a system that forced them to work, but then failed to pay them.
In an interview with Kandit after Ms. Carrera returned to work from her European tour, Kandit asked her for her leave forms, to which she replied, "Are we really going to go there? ... I don't get paid by tax dollars."