DOJ Asks for Immediate Enforcement of LR Executive Orders

DOJ has requested that the Court of Appeals allow immediate enforcement of Executive Orders on labor relations.

Government lawyers have filed a motion with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to allow the government to immediately begin enforcing Executive Orders issued by President Trump last year that will impact the federal government’s labor and employee relations program.

FedSmith has previously written articles on the initial District Court decision overturning large portions of the Executive Orders and the Court of Appeals decision overturning the District Court.

In the latest step, the Justice Department attorneys note that the Appeals Court order to withhold the mandate putting the Executive Orders into effect “expressly noted…that it was without prejudice to the right of any party to move for expedited issuance of the mandate for good cause shown.”

In this latest motion:

The government respectfully requests that the Court immediately issue the mandate, so that the President’s subordinates may implement the Executive Orders’ lawful goals and directives and thereby generate the concrete bargaining disputes necessary to bring plaintiffs’ claims before the Federal Labor Relations Authority.

Not allowing the Orders to go into effect “effectively extends the erroneously issued injunction—for at least 45 days following the issuance of Court’s opinion” and probably for a longer time period.

And, reads the motion, leaving the erroneous injunction in place “impairs the President’s ability to supervise his subordinates in the Executive Branch in their conduct of collective bargaining pursuant to the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.”

Negotiations between unions and agencies are not being held at agencies ranging from the Office of Personnel Management, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Housing and Urban Development. Leaving the implementation of the Executive Orders in a legal limbo for an undetermined period of time prohibits agencies from:

[R]elying on the Executive Orders as a basis for complying with the President’s directive to, where reasonable, strive to achieve presumptively reasonable goals, such as completing negotiations over ground rules for collective bargaining within six weeks, completing negotiations over new term collective-bargaining agreements within six months, requesting to exchange written proposals, excluding certain removals from negotiated grievance procedures, and keeping official-time usage within reasonable limits.

The motion also argues that enforcing the Executive Orders will bring the case before the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) to “bring their claims in the proper forum.”

072319 Afge v. Trump Government Motion for Expedited Mandate

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47