Mike Morris, Director
Court and Administrative Cases
In a recent decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia regarding the enforceability of a 2003 award by Arbitrator Snow in which he ruled that it is a violation of the National Agreement to exclude the Address Management System Specialist (AMS) position, and the disputed work, from the APWU bargaining unit (Q94C-4Q-C 98117564, 4/29/2003), the court rejected APWU’s request for an order enforcing the award’s finding that the AMS Specialists’ work falls within the APWU bargaining unit, and instead ruled that the award was unenforceable. The APWU will be appealing this ruling.
Union's Denial of Change in Schedule Didn't Violate NLRA (APWU, Local 566
and Rentz, NLRB Case No. 11-CB-3832,
An APWU local didn't violate the National Labor Relations Act by not granting an employee's request for a temporary schedule change for personal convenience, according to a ruling by an NLRB Administrative Law Judge. Judge Carson dismissed the NLRB's complaint alleging that that local discriminated against the employee because of union activity or lack of union activity in violation of Section 8(b)(2) of the Act or that the union's actions breached its duty of fair representation in violation of Section 8(b)(1)(A) of the Act.
Lack of MSPB Appeal Rights Notice Excused Untimely Filing (Cranston v. USPS, 2007 MSPB 181,
The Postal Service's refusal to afford an employee notice of his appeal rights excused his failure to file a timely appeal challenging denial of his restoration to a modified position, according to a ruling by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).
Right of Stewards to Speak in
Predisciplinary Interviews Upheld (United States Postal Service and American
Postal Workers Union, Local 232, AFL-CIO, Case No. 9-CA-42466, 347 NLRB 89, 8/11/2006) [pdf]
The Postal Service's refusal to allow a union representative to speak on an employee's behalf during a predisciplinary interview violated the National Labor Relations Act, according to a recent National Labor Relations Board decision. The Board ordered that management cease and desist from prohibiting union representatives from speaking during predisciplinary meetings with employees and during all other interviews of employees which reasonably could result in disciplinary action. In addition, it directed that the Postal Service cease and desist from interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of rights guaranteed them by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.
A Federal Appeals Court ruling overturning its previous decision that USPS return-to-work requirements following an approved FMLA absence were invalid because they were stricter than the requirements of the Act. A USPS petition for rehearing was supported by the Bush Administration with the Secretary of Labor filing a brief in support of the USPS petition. On review, the Court stated it was “not able to conclude that Congress clearly addressed the question at issue through statutory language.” “Because the Department of Labor's regulations reasonably interpret [the statute] to allow a [collective bargaining agreement] to impose stricter return-to-work restrictions than those otherwise incorporated into the FMLA, we defer to that interpretation,” the Court wrote.
Interim Opinion in Union's Suit to Enforce Address Management System (AMS) Specialist Award (APWU v USPS, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Civil Actions 04-01404 and 05-01771) [pdf]
An interim District Court ruling in the union's suit to enforce the Snow Award in the Address Management System (AMS) Specialist case. The judge ruled that the arbitrator's award is final and binding, but a decision on enforcement still awaits further motions and/or trial.
A federal appeals court ruling that the Postal Service's return-to-work requirements for absences of more than 21 days are in conflict with the Family and Medical Leave Act.
An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) decision finding that the Postal Service violated the Rehabilitation Act by requiring an employee with an FMLA-certified medical condition to provide additional medical certification before being allowed to return to work.
A court order enforcing an arbitration award which stated that approved FMLA leave was not an appropriate subject for a discussion under Article 16.2 (AIRS #37266, USPS #H98C-1HC 00139847, 3/4/2002). The court decision also approved the arbitrator's conclusion that the union has a right under the National Agreement to challenge whether subjects the Postal Service raises during official discussions are proper.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision on seniority rules and an employer's obligation to accommodate a disabled employee under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Court ruled that when a requested accommodation for a disabled employee would place the employee in a position that violates the rules of a seniority system, the accommodation would ordinarily not be reasonable and thus would not be required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Court specified that in ADA cases an employer will ordinarily prevail as a matter of law if a seniority system is in place, unless the disabled employee shows that there are special circumstances surrounding the particular case that demonstrate that the accommodation is nonetheless reasonable.