August 30, 2006
Emily Ryan
(202) 639-6421

Court Upholds TSA Practice of Not Awarding Preference to Vets

(WASHINGTON)-In a shocking decision, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia recently ruled that a Transportation Security Administration reduction-in-force (RIF) did not violate the Aviation and Transportation Security Act or the Veterans’ Preference Act because the TSA does not have to “incorporate such standards into screener terminations.” (American Federation of Government Employees TSA Local 1, et. al v. Edmund Hawley*, Administrator, Transportation Security Administration)

AFGE, which represents Transportation Security Officers, filed the case claiming TSA violated the law in the way it reduced its force approximately three years ago. “We essentially didn’t hear from the Court for three years, and then got this decision that can only hurt our veterans,” AFGE National President John Gage said.

“The Court all but excused TSA’s unpatriotic and inexcusable behavior,” he added. “TSA should be ashamed of itself. Especially during a time of war, we need to look out for our veterans, not push them aside.”

“Congress cannot possibly let this practice stand and still claim that it is doing all it can to support the troops,” Gage said. “The time has long passed for Congress to take a close look at how TSA is treating its workforce and bring this agency into compliance with the rest of DHS.”

Of the five plaintiffs, the Court preserved one of their claims that the RIF was based on union activity and was in violation of the 1st Amendment. Due to the length of time that has elapsed since the case was filed, AFGE is in the process of contacting the named plaintiff and intends to proceed with said plaintiff’s case.

AFGE is the only union that has actively fought on behalf of employment rights for Transportation Security Officers. Although TSOs remain deprived of a collective bargaining agreement, AFGE represents these employees before the Disciplinary Review Board, EEOC, courts, in Congress and in the media.

*Editors note: Formerly James Loy. Edmund Hawley was automatically substituted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(d).

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