Federal Manager's Daily Report

The FLRA is rethinking the standards it uses for deciding if an award of attorney fees is warranted in decisions it makes in labor-management grievances.

It has invited public input through April 1 on whether it should reconsider its traditional policy on that issue, which is based on standards the MSPB set called the Allen standards—and if it does change that policy, what should take its place.

“As this matter is likely to be of concern to agencies, labor organizations, and other interested persons, the Authority finds it appropriate to provide for the filing of amici briefs addressing this matter,” it said in an online posting and a Federal Register notice.

Under the current policy, an award of attorney fees may be made to the “prevailing party” in conjunction with an award of back pay to a grievant on correction of a personnel action. The FLRA is seeking input on what constitutes a “prevailing party” and the factors that should or shouldn’t be included in awarding fees under federal labor-management law, as well as an assessment of the potential impact of proposed changes.