34:0242(49)AR - ARMY HEADQUARTERS, 7TH SIGNAL COMMAND FORT RITCHIE, MARYLAND and NFFE, LOCAL 1153 -- 1990 FLRAdec AR



[ v34 p242 ]
34:0242(49)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:



 34 FLRA NO. 49
 


                  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
               HEADQUARTERS, 7TH SIGNAL COMMAND
                    FORT RITCHIE, MARYLAND

                              and

           NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES
                          LOCAL 1153

                           0-AR-1654

			    DECISION

     			January 12, 1990

     Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.

I. Statement of the Case

     This case is before the Authority on an exception to the
award of Arbitrator James P. Whyte. The grievant filed a
grievance protesting the denial of sick leave for the purpose of
caring for her son who had chickenpox. The Arbitrator sustained
the grievance and awarded the grievant the sick leave she had
been denied.

     The U.S. Department of the Army (the Agency) filed an
exception to the award under section 7122(a) of the Federal
Service Labor - Management Relations Statute (the Statute) and
part 2425 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations on behalf of
Headquarters, 7th Signal Command, Fort Ritchie, Maryland (the
Activity). The National Federation of Federal Employees, Local
1153 filed an opposition to the exception.

     For the reasons stated below, the Agency fails to establish
that the award is contrary to regulation, and we will deny the
exception.

II. Background and Arbitrator's Award

     On February 8, 1988, the grievant telephoned her supervisor
to request sick leave in order to care for her 5-year old
son who was afflicted with chickenpox. She was informed that she
would have to take annual leave because sick leave was not
authorized to care for someone with chickenpox because it was not
a contagious disease. When the grievant returned to work the
following week, she renewed her request for sick leave for 40
hours, the period of work time during which she cared for her
son. In support of her request, the grievant submitted a letter
from a physician stating that the grievant's son had been
diagnosed as having chickenpox and that he was "contagious to
other children" and required a "quarantine type situation."
Arbitrator's Award at 3 (quoting from the physician's letter).
The grievant also submitted a statement from her son's day-care
center stating that the grievant's son was restricted from
attending the center from February 8 to February 12 because he
had chickenpox.

     Her request for sick leave was again denied. The grievant
filed a grievance protesting the denial of sick leave, and the
grievance was submitted to arbitration.

     The Arbitrator recognized that resolution of the grievance
was governed by 5 C.F.R. 630.201(b)(3), which defines "contagious
disease," and 5 C.F.R 630.401(c), which pertains to when an
employee shall be granted sick leave. 5 C.F.R. 630.201(b)(3)
defines "contagious disease" as "a disease which is ruled as
subject to quarantine, requires isolation of the patient, or
requires restriction of movement by the patient for a specified
period as prescribed by the health authorities having
jurisdiction." 5 C.F.R. 630.401(c) provides that an agency shall
grant sick leave to an employee when the employee is "required to
give care and attendance to a member of his immediate family who
is afflicted with a contagious disease."

     The Arbitrator ruled that Pennsylvania health regulations
applied to determine if the grievant's son was subject to
quarantine, required isolation, or required restriction of
movement. Although the grievant worked in Maryland, she and her
son resided in Pennsylvania, and the Arbitrator determined that
the health regulations of the state of residence of the immediate
family member applied. The Arbitrator noted that Pennsylvania
health regulations do not list chickenpox as a "communicable"
disease required to be reported to health authorities. However,
the Arbitrator noted that the Pennsylvania Code listed chickenpox
as a "communicable" disease in school chil