FLRA BOOSTS TELEWORK REMEDIES  

Few things are as frustrating as winning a grievance, arbitration or ULP only to find that the sole remedy imposed is an order that management not violate the law or contract again.  FLRA claims that remedies should “restore, so far as possible, the status quo that would have obtained but for the wrongful act,” and that they should be chosen in part as a “deterrence of future violative conduct.”  Even the courts have talked tough about remedies, “An approach to remedies that systematically fails to deter non-compliance, or dilatory compliance, with the Statute’s directives is fundamentally at odds with the Authority’s responsibilities. . .”  Continue reading

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COVID-19, THE ADA, THE REHABILITATION ACT, OTHER EEO LAWS, AND ULPs

Along with the surge on COVID cases our county is experiencing there is a surge in employee requests for union help in connection with those who get the disease and have chronic after effects, those who fear getting it from exposure to co-workers, those who have objections to vaccinations, etc. Lots of different laws are going to come into play, e.g., the labor laws making it a ULP for an agency to unilaterally implement a new COVID 19-related policy—unless there is an emergency or business necessity.  Our fellow bloggers at The Labor and Employment Law Blog just posted a very helpful piece entitled, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.” We recommend it as a good way to alert yourself to the various tools the union will have to represent members.

Posted in Medical Issues | Tagged | 2 Comments

EEOC OK’S “REQUIREMENT” THAT EMPLOYEES RECEIVE COVID-19 VACCINE

This is an important point in the inevitable litigation fight over whether employers can require staff to be vaccinated that is well reported by our friends at FMLA Insights.

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HOW TO LOSE MILLIONS FOR MEMBERS

Recently, an agency served notice on each of the two unions that represent its employees that it plans to cut the awards program funding nearly in half. It currently distributes annually an amount of about 1% of the total annual salaries of all unit employees in awards to them. One union responded by invoking negotiations, and the other did not respond allowing management to immediately implement the funding cuts for their members.  Which union made the better decision? Continue reading

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70-PLUS ELEMENTS OF NEGOTIATIONS LAW

If you want to be a highly skilled negotiator–or just avoid being taken to the cleaners in a bargaining relationship–you had better know about the many, many points in the bargaining process where the law can give a party a tactical edge or an impenetrable defensive shield. There are over 70 of them as you can see in this link to the table of contents  of a book entitled, COLLECTIVE BARGAINING LAW FOR THE FEDERAL SECTOR. It was written ten years ago to focus on the absolutely critical excerpts of FLRA decisions over 30 years that still form the core of the law.  All of the dicta has been stripped away so that you can see the key holding of the case in a minimum amount of time.  (Yes, the Trump Administration folks are trying to dump a chunk of those precedents, but the odds are they will fail based on how often the federal courts have overturned their decisions.) Dewey Publishing has cut the price down to $38.50.  If you are interested, go to this Dewey web site and search on the word “Ferris.”  That should bring you right to the book.

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LABOR AGREEMENTS VERSUS EEO RIGHTS

Because of her physical limitations, the employee was no longer qualified to perform her duties. According to EEOC, that obligates the agency to consider reassigning her to a position she can perform.  The agency refused to consider her for a vacant position she could perform because the job was in another bargaining unit.  It claimed there was no contractual method for moving her from one unit to another.  But EEOC corrected the agency when the employee filed a complaint alleging denial of a reasonable accommodation. It wrote that the employee was, “entitled to reassignment to a vacant funded position outside of her craft, regardless of the dictates of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) if she was a qualified individual with a disability. Anibal L. v. USPS, EEOC Appeal No. 0120151142 (December 15, 2016).” The commission awarded her the job and back pay for any leave she had taken.  For more details, check out Lisa C., v. Louis DeJoy, USPS, EEOC No. 2019005689 (2020)

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CAN AGENCIES REQUIRE EMPLOYEES TO VACCINATE?

This is going to be a hotly contested issue.  While we at Fedsmill do not have anything to say about it right now, we thought you might like to see what the folks at FMLA Insights  are passing on.  Check out their advice here.

Posted in FMLA | Tagged | 10 Comments

OH HOW LITTLE FSIP MEMBER CARTER KNOWS

One of the predictable things about anti-union zealots, like the current membership of the FSIP, is that they almost never consider the second and third level consequences of their wildly biased decisions.  This is usually because they do not know enough about the inner working of a collective bargaining relationship, fed sector labor law, or government personnel policies. Member Carter could be the poster boy for these unthinking zealots as evidenced by his recent decision that an agency will be allowed to change the evaluation plan and procedures each time it fills a vacancy.  The union wanted the agency to continue to use a single, standard evaluation plan no matter what the job. Carter probably swelled with pride at yet again ignoring the union’s time-tested view, but what a mess he created. (See Dep’t. of the Army and AFGE Local 15, 20 FSIP 047 (2020).          Continue reading

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HOW TO MEASURE MANAGEMENT UNFAIRNESS

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a way to measure how unfair agency policies or practices are, especially if the measure was widely recognized as having evidentiary value? Of course, it would because union leaders would be able to go to the bargaining table to argue with authority for changes to unfair HR systems such as those involving performance awards, promotions, appraisals, training and sick leave restrictions. Well, there is such a measurement and FEDSMILL describes how to use it below. Continue reading

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ABOUT “SAME RACE” DISCRIMINATION

Although it rarely comes up in the media, we thought you might like to read a short piece from the law firm of Fox Rothschild.  It is about what happens when a supervisor uses racial slurs when addressing an employee and they are both members of the same racial minority. Check it out here and remember that the same legal reasoning would apply if a female supervisor uses gender slurs when addressing women she supervises.

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