Under union contracts, cases that could go to the MSPB may be referred to a labor arbitrator following exhaustion of negotiated grievance procedure steps. Many other disputes are submitted to arbitration that involve matters, for example, overtime entitlement, not within the jurisdiction of the MSPB. We provide representation before labor arbitrators, starting with review of grievances or responses to grievances, continuing through the selection of an arbitrator, preliminary submissions, the arbitration hearing, and required briefing. We also provide representation through preparation and presentation of exceptions (objections) that are filed with the Federal Labor Relations Authority to challenge the legality of arbitration awards. Some arbitration awards involving matters that could otherwise have been appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board are reviewable by the Board if discrimination is alleged in the course of the arbitration proceedings, and those awards may be subject to review before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit or EEOC. We provide representation at the MSPB, EEOC, FLRA, and the Federal Circuit when it is necessary to challenge (or defend) the award. Peter Broida writes the standard federal sector labor law treatises, A Guide to Federal Labor Relations Law and Practice, which includes extensive discussion of arbitration awards, as well as Principles of Federal Sector Arbitration Law.
More than half of our clients' cases settle. We help to negotiate and write a meaningful settlement. The most popular vehicle for settlement discussions, mediation, is available at MSPB, FLRA, EEOC, and OSC. Mediation includes two components: first, discussion leading to an agreement on the points for a settlement; second, drafting a settlement that is comprehensive, clear, and enforceable. Peter Broida prepared a video training presentation on mediations, writes a book on settlements of federal sector cases, and frequently teaches ADR techniques.
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
The FLRA determines the representation status of labor unions and negotiability of bargaining proposals, resolves unfair labor practice charges and complaints, reviews exceptions to arbitrators' awards, and encourages and manages ADR and impasse resolution programs. We provide representation in all facets of FLRA litigation, ADR, and judicial review of FLRA decisions.
SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION
Most of our representation is for individuals. We represent unions for issues that develop during the bargaining relationship and on a case-by-case basis. We provide advice or representation to federal agencies—usually small agencies that need counsel specialized in civil service law or larger agencies with a conflict of interest within a management group or within agency counsel's office.