National Treasury Employees Union v. Federal Labor Relations Authority

404 F.3d 454 (2005)

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National Treasury Employees Union v. Federal Labor Relations Authority

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
404 F.3d 454 (2005)

Facts

United States Customs Service employees carried firearms as a condition of employment. Until early 2000, the customs service directed employees to store their firearms overnight in secured customs-service facilities or to go directly home from work to secure their firearms at home. However, in March 2000, the customs service issued a memorandum authorizing customs-service employees to carry their firearms 24 hours per day if they desired. In December 2000, the Treasury Department issued a memorandum regarding a safety-and-security policy for department employees who carried firearms. The memorandum required that firearms be placed in a secured locked container in a government office or be secured in an employee’s home. In response to the memorandum, the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) (plaintiff) made a proposal to the customs service asking the customs service to make secure on-site overnight firearm storage available. The customs service responded that the NTEU’s proposal was nonnegotiable. The NTEU petitioned the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) (defendant) for review. The record before the FLRA showed that in many of its locations, the customs service did permit on-site storage of off-duty employees’ firearms and provided storage facilities. Nevertheless, the FLRA held that the NTEU’s proposal was nonnegotiable because the proposal interfered with the customs service’s right under the Federal Service Labor Management Relations Statute (FSLMRS) to determine its own internal security practices. The FLRA further determined that the NTEU’s proposal was not a procedure or appropriate arrangement that fell within a statutory exception to the prohibition on negotiation. The NTEU petitioned for review of the FLRA’s ruling.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sentelle, J.)

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