Legal Reference

1400 K St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20424
Phone (202) 218-7770

The Federal Labor Relations Authority provides policies and guidance relating to federal sector labor-management relations and resolves disputes under Title VII of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, known as the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.

The Authority is a quasi-judicial body with three fulltime members who are appointed for five-year terms.

The Authority adjudicates disputes arising under the statute, deciding cases concerning the negotiability of collective bargaining agreement proposals, appeals concerning unfair labor practices and representation petitions, and exceptions to grievance arbitration awards. For individual employees, FLRA’s role is primarily as an appellate agency for grievances.

FLRA’s authorities apply only in unionized settings in the federal government, which make up a majority of the workplace (although the majority of union-represented employees aren’t actual dues-paying members of a union). Unions and agencies may pursue unfair labor practice complaints against each other before FLRA, and the Authority also decides disputes over the negotiability of proposals raised in bargaining.

The Authority also assists agencies and unions in understanding their rights and responsibilities under the Statute, and helps them improve their relationships so they can resolve more of their problems without intervention.

FLRA’s Office of General Counsel investigates and settles or prosecutes all unfair labor practice complaints filed with the FLRA, actively encouraging the use of alternative dispute resolution.

The Federal Service Impasses Panel resolves impasses between federal agencies and unions representing federal employees arising from negotiations over conditions of employment under the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, the Flexible and Compressed Work Schedules Act, and the Panama Canal Act of 1979.

If bargaining between the parties, followed by mediation assistance, proves unsuccessful, the panel has the authority to recommend procedures and to take whatever action it deems necessary to resolve the impasse.