A federal court has rejected a challenge to the Federal Service Impasses Panel’s authority in one of several similar cases unions brought during the Trump administration following decisions by the panel in favor of management to resolve bargaining deadlocks.
Case No. 20-1026 before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia involves a challenge by the Association of Administrative Law Judges to an FSIP decision in favor of proposals by the Social Security Administration. The union contended before the court that the FSIP members—who were directly appointed by the White House—lacked authority to issue a ruling, arguing that that the law establishing the FSIP makes its members subject to Senate confirmation.
However, the court agreed with the SSA that any such claim must first be brought before the FSIP’s parent agency, the Federal Labor Relations Authority. It said that while FSIP decisions are not appealable into federal court, FLRA decisions are appealable, even a decision by the FLRA that it has no authority to resolve the issue of how FSIP panel members should be seated.
The Biden administration dismissed the Trump appointees to the panel but has not named replacements.