Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Labor Unions, Against Administration on Official Time

Written by FEDmanager on .

On Friday, D.C. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson released a decision in the case brought by more than a dozen federal labor unions challenging the Trump administration’s executive orders seeking to limit federal employees’ use of official time – that is, time during which they are ‘on the clock’ in their federal position—to work on union-related business. Among the changes sought by the administration was a cap that would limit the maximum amount of official time to no more than 25 percent of a given employee’s work schedule.

Labor unions bristled at the executive orders, viewing them as an existential threat and filing numerous lawsuits that were ultimately rolled into one. In the decision issued by Judge Jackson, which notably “did not declare the executive orders themselves as violations of the law,” according to Nicole Ogrysko at Federal News Radio, nine components of the executive orders were invalidated.

The nine invalidated measures, according to Ogrysko:

“There is no dispute that the principle mission of the FSLMRS [Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute] is to protect the collective bargaining rights of federal workers, based on Congress’s clear and unequivocal finding that ‘labor organizations and collective bargaining in the civil service are in the public interest,’” Judge Jackson, who was reportedly on the short-list of five final candidates considered for the Supreme Court by the Obama Administration, said in her ruling. “This court has concluded that many of the challenged provisions of the orders at issue here effectively reduce the scope of the right to bargain collectively as Congress has crafted it or impair the ability of agency officials to bargain in good faith as Congress has directed, and therefore cannot be sustained.”

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