20:0746(87)AR - National Association of Air Traffic Specialists and FAA, Washington Flight Service Station -- 1985 FLRAdec AR



[ v20 p746 ]
20:0746(87)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 20 FLRA No. 87
 
 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF 
 AIR TRAFFIC SPECIALISTS
 Union
 
 and
 
 FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 
 WASHINGTON FLIGHT SERVICE STATION
 Activity
 
                                            Case No. 0-AR-1029
 
                                 DECISION
 
    This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of
 Arbitrator Leon Applewhaite filed by the Agency under section 7122(a) of
 the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and part 2425 of
 the Authority's Rules and Regulations.
 
    The grievance submitted to arbitration involved the five-day
 suspension of the grievant.  The Arbitrator as his award in this respect
 found that there was not just cause for the suspensioN and directed that
 the grievant receive backpay with applicable benefits for the period of
 the suspension.  Thereafter, the grievant requested an award of attorney
 fees.  In a subsequent order the Arbitrator after quoting the relevant
 provisions of the Back Pay Act, 5 U.S.C. 5596, /1/ determined that the
 "application of these criteria to the instant case results in an
 entitlement to the requested fees," and consequently he awarded attorney
 fees in the amount of $6,790.  The Agency has filed exceptions to the
 award of attorney fees.
 
    As one of its exceptions, the Agency contends that the award of
 attorney fees in this case is deficient as contrary to the Back Pay Act
 because it is not in accordance with the standards established under 5
 U.S.C. 7701(g).  Specifically, the Agency argues on the basis of the
 decision in International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and United
 States Army Support Command, Hawaii, 14 FLRA 680 (1984), that the
 Arbitrator failed to provide a fully articulated, reasoned decision as
 required.  The Authority agrees.
 
    In Army Support Command, Hawaii, the Authority addressed in detail
 the statutory requirements regarding awards of attorney fees by
 arbitrators.  The Authority acknowledged that the Back Pay Act requires
 that the award of attorney fees must be in accordance with the standards
 established under 5 U.S.C. 7701(g), 14 FLRA at 683-84.  The Authority
 further acknowledged that the standards established under section
 7701(g) "require a fully articulated, reasoned decision setting forth
 the specific findings supporting the determination on each pertinent
 statutory requirement, including the basis upon which the reasonableness
 of the amount was determined, when fees are awarded." Id. at 684
 (citations omitted).  In terms of this case, as has been noted, the
 extent of the Arbitrator's decision accompanying his award of attorney
 fees was to quote a portion of the Back Pay Act and to summarily
 conclude that the application of the statutory requirements resulted in
 an entitlement to the requested fees.  The Authority finds that this
 decision and award of fees is not in accordance with the standards
 established under section 7701(g) as expressly required by the Back Pay
 Act.  In particular, the Arbitrator has failed to provide a fully
 articulated, reasoned decision setting forth the Arbitrator's specific
 findings supporting the determination on each pertinent statutory
 requirement, including the basis on which the Arbitrator determined that
 $6.790 was a reasonable amount of attorney fees.  Accordingly, the award
 of attorney fees is deficient as contrary to the Back Pay Act, 5 U.S.C.
 5596, and that award is set aside.  /2/
 
    Issued, Washington, D.C., November 25, 1985
 
                                       (s)---
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Acting
                                       Chairman
                                       (s)---
                                       William J. McGinnis, Jr., Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
 
    /1/ 5 U.S.C. 5596(b)(1)(A)(ii) provides:
 
       (b)(1) An employee of an agency who, on the basis of a timely
 
 appeal or an administrative determination (including a decision relating
 to an unfair labor practice or a grievance) is found by appropriate
 authority under applicable