June 23, 2020

Tim Kauffman

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Court Denies FLRA Attempt to Dismiss AFGE Constitutional Lawsuit Against Federal Service Impasses Panel

District Court judge denies motion to dismiss union’s claim that appointments to Federal Service Impasses Panel are unconstitutional

WASHINGTON –  The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday denied a motion by the Federal Labor Relations Authority that sought to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the American Federation of Government Employees challenging the constitutionality of appointments to the Federal Service Impasses Panel. This clears a significant legal hurdle for the union and will allow the case to proceed. 

“Although the judge has not ruled on the merits of the case, this is a great procedural victory in AFGE’s fight against these illegal appointments,” AFGE National President Everett Kelley said.  

The case, filed on behalf of AFGE’s Council 222 at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, argues that the manner in which members of the Panel are appointed violates the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution because those members wield substantial power over federal sector labor relations but are not appointed with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate. 

Among other things, the Panel has the power to impose binding contract terms on federal agencies and labor unions. The case also challenges the Panel’s ability to act without a Chairman and at least six members, as required by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.

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