43:0241(23)CA - - Justice, INS, Washington, DC and INS, Portland, ME District Office, Portland ME and IS St. Albans Sub-Office, St. Albans, VT, and AFGE, National INS Council, Local 2076 - - 1991 FLRAdec CA - - v43 p241

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[ v43 p241 ]
43:0241(23)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


43 FLRA No. 23

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE

WASHINGTON, D.C. AND

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE

PORTLAND, MAINE DISTRICT OFFICE

PORTLAND, MAINE AND

IMMIGRATION SERVICE, ST. ALBANS SUB-OFFICE

ST. ALBANS, VERMONT

(Respondent)

and

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT

EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, NATIONAL INS COUNCIL

LOCAL 2076

(Charging Party/Union)

1-CA-90192

DECISION AND ORDER

November 22, 1991

Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.

I. Statement of the Case

This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority on exceptions filed by the Respondent to the attached decision of the Administrative Law Judge. The General Counsel filed an opposition to the Respondent's exceptions.

The complaint alleged that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) when, on or about January 13, 1989, it unilaterally changed the conditions of employment of bargaining unit employees by implementing a new smoking policy at its St. Albans, Vermont sub-office. The new policy implemented by the Respondent allowed bargaining unit employees to smoke only in the basement lobby of the Federal Building where the sub-office is located. The issue is whether the Respondent implemented the new policy without notifying the Union and affording it an opportunity to bargain over the decision to implement the change and over the impact and implementation of the change. The Judge found that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute and concluded that a status quo ante remedy was appropriate.

Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Statute, we have reviewed the rulings of the Judge made at the hearing and find that no prejudicial error was committed. We affirm the rulings. Upon consideration of the Judge's decision and the entire record, we adopt the Judge's findings, conclusions, and recommended Order for the reasons that follow.

II. Background and Administrative Law Judge's Decision

The facts of this case, more fully set forth in the Judge's decision, are summarized below.

For several years prior to January 1989, smoking was permitted throughout the space occupied by the sub-office except for the conference room and the office of the officer-in-charge (OIC). Areas where smoking was permitted included the Investigations Office (in which the desks of bargaining unit employees were located), the lunch/break room, and the mail/file room.

In August 1987, a new employee, a smoker, joined the Investigations Section staff. At that time, there were three other employees working in the Investigations Section, one of whom was also a smoker. When the OIC noticed that the new employee was a smoker, he asked the two non-smokers whether they objected to smoking. They did not. The OIC informed the smokers that they could smoke at their desks as long as the other employees did not object. The Judge found that "the Union was not informed of the new twist [the OIC] put on the smoking policy." Judge's Decision at 5. The OIC did not, at that time, change the policy of allowing smoking in the lunch/break room or the mail/file room.

In March 1988, the Respondent distributed a memorandum to unit employees notifying them of its intent to issue smoking regulations. In April 1988, the Respondent distributed to its district and subsidiary management officials a package of documents designed for the implementation of the Respondent's smoking regulations. The Judge found that, while "the package calls for notification and negotiations with local unions such as the [Union] prior to implementation," there was no contention "that any alleged changes affecting this case were made pursuant to these regulations." Id. at 3.

Sometime in mid-January 1989, a bargaining unit employee informed the OIC that he objected to smoking in the Investigations Section. Thereupon, the OIC told the two smokers that "from then on they could smoke in the [Investigations Section] only when the [two non-smokers] were not there." Id. A few days later the OIC told them "that they could not smoke at all in the office--that they would have to go downstairs to smoke." Id. The Judge found that "[t]his meant no smoking anywhere in the sub-office's space, but only . . . in the basement lobby." Id.

The Judge found that the Union had not been notified of the OIC's action. When asked by the Union "if he had banned smoking in the office," the OIC replied that he had. Id. The OIC stated that "he had not informed the Union because the ban was necessary," explaining that "[t]he investigators complained and, so, I decided there would be no smoking." Id.

The Judge found that the subject of designating smoking and nonsmoking areas for employees is a mandatory subject for negotiations, citing Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Health Resources and Services Administration, Oklahoma City Area, Indian Health Service, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 31 FLRA 498 (1988) (Indian Health Service), enforced sub nom. Department of Health and Human Services, Indian Health Service, Oklahoma City v. FLRA, 885 F.2d 911 (D.C. Cir. 1989). The Judge found, therefore, that the Respondent was obligated to give the Union notice and an opportunity to bargain over the substance as well as the impact and implementation of any change in an established practice with respect to the designation of smoking or nonsmoking areas, absent a waiver by the Union of its right to bargain.

The Judge found that, "[b]ased on the credited uncontradicted testimony of Union officers[,] . . . for several years prior to [January] 1989, smoking was permitted throughout the space occupied by the sub-office except for its conference room and the office of the officer-in-charge. Areas where smoking was permitted included . . . a lunch and break room . . . and a mail and file room[.]" Judge's Decision at 2.

The Judge noted that the Respondent's assertion that "no real change occurred in January 1989[,]" in its smoking policy is based on the argument that the OIC in August 1987, had "established the policy making permission [to smoke] contingent on the consent of other [unit] employees." Id. at 5. The Judge found, however, that the unilateral action taken by the OIC in August 1987, when the OIC explained his policy of allowing smoking only as long as no other employee objected, was not known to the Union. The Judge also found that the action applied only to smoking in the Investigations Office and not to the other areas of the office where smoking had always been permitted.

The Judge rejected the Respondent's assertion that "it should be presumed that the Union had the opportunity to bargain" about the alleged new policy implemented by the OIC's August 1987 action. The Judge found that "[t]here is no evidence that the Union was informed of the new twist [the OIC] put on the smoking policy, and no way the Union can reasonably be held responsible for learning of it." Id. The Judge concluded that "[t]he argument . . . is akin to asserting that the Union waived its right to bargain, but I cannot find in these circumstances that anything like a waiver occurred." Id.

The Judge stated that the Respondent's argument, also based on the presumption that the Union had the opportunity to bargain about the OIC's August 1987 action, suggested an argument that the unfair labor practice charge in this case was barred by section 7118(a)(4) of the Statute. The Judge found that the Respondent had not clearly raised this argument as a defense. However, the Judge rejected the argument on its merits. The Judge stated that "[t]he 6-month limitation period of section 7118(a)(4) is, by express statutory language, inapplicable where 'the person filing any charge was prevented from filing the charge during the 6-month period' by reason of 'any failure of the agency . . . against which the charge is made to perform a duty owed to the person' or 'any concealment which prevented discovery of the alleged unfair labor practice during the 6-month period.'" Id. at 6. The Judge found that, in this case, the "condition imposed [in August 1987,] on the previously existing practice of permitting smoking was imposed without notice to the Union. If management intended to implement such a change at some time earlier than January 1989, it owed the Union the duty to notify it." Id. The Judge found that the Respondent's failure to notify the Union prevented the Union from filing an unfair labor practice charge. The Judge, therefore, rejected the argument that the unfair labor practice charge, based on the OIC's order in January 1989, requiring employees to stop smoking in the Investigations Office, was barred by section 7118(a)(4) of the Statute.

Accordingly, the Judge concluded that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute by unilaterally changing an established practice concerning smoking areas. The Judge also concluded that "[a] status quo ante remedy is appropriate for this violation," citing Indian Health Service, 31 FLRA at 509. Id. The Judge's recommended Order includes an order to rescind the "new smoking policy implemented" in January 1989. Id. at 7.

III. Positions of the Parties

A. Respondent's Exceptions

The Respondent's exceptions to the Judge's decision raise issues as to whether: (1) the unfair labor practice charge was untimely under section 7118(a)(4) of the Statute with respect to some of the alleged unlawful conduct; (2) the Union waived its right to bargain with respect to the remainder of the alleged unlawful conduct when it "fail[ed] to timely exercise its rights to negotiate because it had actual or constructive notice" of management's actions in August 1987 and March 1988, to implement a new smoking plan (Exceptions at 2); (3) the Judge "err[ed] in assuming that management had an obligation to negotiate over the substance of the decision to ban smoking" (id. at 3); and (4) assuming that a violation is found, a status quo ante remedy is appropriate in this case.

As to the first issue, the Respondent states that, whatever the scope of the Respondent's smoking policy had been prior to 1987, a change in that policy took place in August 1987, when the OIC at St. Albans instructed employees in the Investigations office that "they could not continue smoking in [the Investigations office]" if another employee objected, and that the Union had "actual or constructive notice" of this change. Id. at 12. The Respondent argues that because the OIC's "initial January, 1989" order to stop smoking in the work area was based on an employee's objection to smoking, the order was only a "reiteration of that [August 1987] instruction." Id. Therefore, the Respondent argues, the initial January 1989 order was not a change and, as the only change took place in August 1987, the unfair labor practice charge in that respect was untimely because it was not filed within the limitations set forth in section 7118(a)(4)(A) of the Statute.

The Respondent noted that its defense as to the timeliness of the charge "does not extend to [the OIC's] subsequent action several days later in January, 1989 whereby he banned smoking in all of the St. Albans Sub-office spaces" and stated that "[c]learly this revised order did implement new policy." Id. at 11.

As to the second issue, the Respondent contends that the Union waived its right to bargain over any change in policy that took place as a result of the OIC's later action in January banning smoking in all areas except the basement lobby. The Respondent states that in March 1988, the Respondent sent a memorandum to all employees notifying them of its intent to issue Agency regulations "which pertain[] to the new smoking regulations established by" the General Services Administration (GSA). Id. at 14. The memorandum also stated that the Respondent's local managers would "seek the views of" the employees and the Union. Id.

The Respondent "acknowledge[s] that there is nothing in the record that indicates that the management . . . followed up on this memorandum" by notifying the Union or seeking its views. Id. at 15. The Respondent argues that, on the other hand, the Union's local officers were part of the bargaining unit that received the memorandum and the Union "made no request to negotiate over the proposed implementation of the GSA/Justice [Department (Dept.)] regulations" prior to the January 1989 action by the OIC. Id. Therefore, the Respondent asserts, although no formal notice was given to the Union, the references in the memorandum to GSA/Justice Dept. regulations were sufficient notice under the Statute because the memorandum to employees constituted actual notice of the regulations to the Union. The Respondent argues also that the Authority should apply a standard of "due diligence" used by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and find that "the local Union officials waived the Union's statutory right to demand negotiations by failing to request negotiations for more than 8 months (i.e., until after the January, 1989 implementation) after they had actual notice of the proposed changes shortly after March 13, 1988." Id. at 22-23.

As to the third issue, the Respondent argues that the Judge erred in assuming that management was obligated to negotiate over the substance of the decision regarding the designation of smoking areas. The Respondent states that "[n]either the ULP complaint nor the case as presented" by the General Counsel "turned on the negotiability of the substance of the policy changes[.]" Id. at 23. The Respondent contends that the General Counsel was claiming instead "that management violated the Statute by its alleged failure to provide the union with specific notice[.]" Id. According to the Respondent, "given that no Union proposals had been submitted, no question regarding their negotiability was before the ALJ." Id.

The Respondent argues that the OIC, by his January 1989 actions, was only "(tardily) implementing" GSA/Justice Dept. regulations regarding smoking in Agency work space. Id. at 25. The Respondent argues further that although some aspects of the implementation of those regulations might be negotiable, there was no duty to bargain about the substance or impact and implementation of the regulations. The Respondent concludes that because the Union made no proposals on the subject of the regulations, there was no refusal on the part of the Respondent to bargain as to that subject.

Finally, the Respondent contends that, even if a violation of the Statute is found, the Judge's recommended status quo ante remedy is not appropriate because it would require the Respondent to restore a policy that is "inconsistent with law or regulation." The Respondent argues that rescinding the ban on smoking implemented in January 1989, "would be inconsistent with GSA's regulations[.]" Id. at 34. The Respondent argues that the General Counsel's request for a status quo ante remedy, and the Judge's granting of such an order, were based on the erroneous assumption that the Respondent must bargain over the substance of its decision as to smoking areas. The Respondent contends that that assumption is erroneous because the court in Internal Revenue Service, Los Angeles District v. FLRA, 902 F.2d 998 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (IRS), issued after the Judge's decision, held that not all aspects of agency decisions implementing GSA regulations as to non-smoking areas are negotiable.

The Respondent states that it is "painfully aware, of course, that the Authority recently confirmed status quo ante remedies" in Department of the Navy, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, 35 FLRA 153 (1990) (Puget Sound Naval Shipyard) and U.S. Department of the Air Force, 832d Combat Support Group Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, 36 FLRA 289 (1990) (Luke Air Force Base), and that the issue in those cases was "management's alleged unilateral implementation of a smoking ban." Id. at 30-31. The Respondent states, however, that those cases did not contain assertions that such a remedy was inconsistent with GSA regulations or with the impact on the health of unit employees.

B. General Counsel's Opposition

The General Counsel initially argues that, because the unfair labor practice charge was filed by the Union on February 23, 1989, within six months of the January 13, 1989 action alleged to be unlawful, the charge clearly was timely filed under the Statute. The General Counsel asserts that the Respondent's argument that the January 13 action was only a "reiteration of a prior order made in 1987 . . . is specious." Opposition at 2.

The General Counsel argues that "it is disingenuous if not totally improper for the Respondent to now suggest" that its January 1989 action was nothing more than the implementation of a smoking policy made known to employees by distributing a package of material to them in March/April 1988, or that the Union waived its statutory right to bargain because it had actual or constructive notice of the change of policy in March/April 1988. Id. (emphasis in original). According to the General Counsel, the Judge found that the Respondent did not contend that any alleged changes affecting this case were made pursuant to the material in that package. The General Counsel states that "[i]t is undisputed that no notice was provided to the Union of any change in smoking policy in 1988 or in January 1989." Id.

The General Counsel argues that a status quo ante remedy is appropriate in this case for the same reasons as stated in the Authority's decision in Indian Health Service.

IV. Analysis and Conclusions

We find that the Respondent violated the Statute by changing the smoking policy at its St. Albans, Vermont sub-office without first notifying the Union and affording it the opportunity to bargain over the substance as well as the impact and implementation of that change. We also find that a status quo ante remedy is appropriate.

A. The Unfair Labor Practice Charge Was Timely

The Respondent claims that because the OIC in August 1987, established the policy that employees could not smoke in the Investigations Office if others objected, the unfair labor practice charge was untimely as to the initial January 1989 order requiring employees to stop smoking in the Investigations Office. The Respondent states that it does not assert untimeliness as to the later January 1989 order to stop smoking in all areas except the basement lobby.

We agree with the Judge's rationale in finding that the unfair labor practice charge was timely. As noted above, the Judge found that the Respondent's established practice for several years prior to January 1989, was to permit smoking throughout the space occupied by the sub-office, except for the conference room and the OIC's office, including the Investigations Office, the lunch/break room, and the mail/file room. The Judge also found that: (1) the policy established by the OIC in August 1987, applied only to smoking in the Investigations Office and not to the other areas of the office where smoking had always been permitted; (2) the policy had been established without the knowledge of the Union; and (3) there was no way the Union could reasonably have been expected to have learned of that policy. We adopt these findings.

The Judge noted that section 7118(a)(4) does not bar a charge as untimely if an agency's failure to perform a duty prevents the person from filing within the prescribed time. The Judge found that the Respondent failed to notify the Union of the OIC's change of policy in August l987, regarding smoking in the Investigations Office. The Judge found that because the Union was not notified of the OIC's change of policy in August 1987, it had been prevented from filing an unfair labor practice charge as to that change of policy. Therefore, the Judge concluded that the Union was not barred by section 7118(a)(4) of the Statute from filing a charge based on the OIC's order in January 1989, implementing the August 1987 policy and requiring employees to stop smoking in the Investigations Office. In agreement with the Judge, we conclude that, insofar as the charge pertained to the OIC's order in January 1989, requiring employees to stop smoking in the Investigations Office, the charge was timely filed under section 7118(a)(4).

B. The Union Did Not Waive Its Right to Bargain

The Respondent acknowledges that the unfair labor practice charge was timely filed as to the OIC's order later in January 1989, limiting smoking to the basement lobby and that that order clearly implemented a new policy. However, the Respondent argues that, because the Union had actual or constructive notice of the OIC's August 1987 instruction to Investigations office employees and of the memorandum to employees in March 1988, the Union waived its statutory right to bargain because it did not request bargaining until January 1989.

We find no merit in this argument. A waiver of the Union's statutory right to bargain on conditions of employment must be clear and unmistakable. See Department of the Navy, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia, 39 FLRA 1060, 1069-70 (1991), petition for review filed sub nom. Department of the Navy, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia v. FLRA, No. 91-1211 (D.C. Cir. May 9, 1991). The Judge found, and we have agreed above, that the Union was not notified and could not reasonably have been expected to know of the Respondent's August 1987 policy announcement. As to the March/April 1988 memoranda, there is no showing that: (1) the Union was notified of the memoranda; (2) the Union was given an opportunity to bargain as provided in the April memoranda; or (3) the Respondent took any action prior to January 1989, to implement those regulations. The Judge stated that "[i]t has not been contended . . . that any alleged changes affecting this case were made pursuant to these regulations." Judge's Decision at 3.

Because we have found that the Union could not reasonably have been expected to know of the Respondent's August 1987 policy, and have found that the Union was not given an opportunity to bargain on the regulations as provided in the April 1988 memoranda, we find that the Respondent has not demonstrated that the Union clearly and unmistakably waived its right to bargain over the January 1989 actions. We also note that, even if we were to apply the NLRB standard of "due diligence" suggested by the Respondent, we would find that the Union did not waive its right to bargain, because the finding that the Union could not have been expected to know of the Respondent's August 1987 policy would satisfy that standard.

C. The Respondent Had an Obligation to Bargain over the Substance of the Change

The Respondent argues that the Judge erred in basing his findings on the assumption that management was obligated to bargain over the substance of the decision regarding the designation of smoking areas because: (1) neither the complaint nor the case as presented to the Judge turned on the negotiability of the substance of the decision; and (2) no proposals had been submitted. The Respondent also argues that the Judge's assumption is inconsistent with the court's decision in IRS because, in that case, the court found that under applicable GSA regulations, the head of the agency is required to determine the areas that are to be designated as smoking areas.

The Respondent's argument is inapposite. The court in IRS found that a proposal allowing employees to designate their own smoking areas was inconsistent with GSA regulations because those regulations require that the agency head make that determination. The issue in this case is whether the Respondent was obligated to bargain over changes in established policy with regard to the designation of smoking areas.

Relying on Authority precedent, the Judge found that an agency's decision as to the designation of smoking areas is negotiable. We agree. Moreover, because an agency is required to negotiate on that matter if requested to do so, an agency that unilaterally changes the designation of smoking areas without bargaining will be found to have committed an unfair labor practice. See, for example, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service and Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Appalachian Laboratory for Occupational Safety and Health, 39 FLRA 1306, 1311-12 (1991) (Appalachian Laboratory), petition for review filed sub nom. Public Health Service v. FLRA, No. 91-2089 (4th Cir. May 14, 1991), in which we found that an agency acts at its peril in refusing to bargain over matters previously found negotiable by the Authority.

Contrary to the Respondent, we find that it is not necessary for there to be a negotiability dispute within the meaning of section 7117(c) for the Authority to determine whether an agency's action is subject to the duty to bargain. See, for example, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Indian Health Service, Indian Hospital, Rapid City, South Dakota, 37 FLRA 972 (1990) (Member Armendariz dissenting on other grounds), request for reconsideration denied, 38 FLRA 867 (1990). Therefore, we conclude that the Judge correctly determined that the substance of the Respondent's decision to restrict smoking in its office space was subject to the duty to bargain. See, for example, Appalachian Laboratory; and National Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 250 and Department of Health and Human Services, Family Support Administration, Washington, D.C., 33 FLRA 61 (1988) (Family Support Administration), enforced sub nom. Department of Health and Human Services, Family Support Administration v. FLRA, 920 F.2d 45 (D.C. Cir. 1990), rehearing denied (Jan. 31, 1991).

D. A Status Quo Ante Remedy Is Warranted

We reject the Respondent's claim that a status quo ante order is not appropriate in this case. As noted above, the Respondent admits that it is "painfully aware" that the Authority recently granted status quo ante remedies in two cases. Exceptions at 30. The Respondent states that these cases did not involve questions as to GSA regulations or as to health and safety concerns. However, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard case did involve considerations of "health risk." 35 FLRA at 154. Moreover, those questions have been raised in other cases involving smoking policies--cases that arose before and after the Judge's decision. See Appalachian Laboratory; and Family Support Administration.

Where management changes a negotiable condition of employment without fulfilling its obligation to bargain over the change, the Authority grants a status quo ante remedy in the absence of special circumstances. See, for example, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C., 38 FLRA 899, 913 (1990). Even assuming that the Respondent's exceptions raise a claim of special circumstances, the Respondent has not demonstrated the existence of special circumstances that would warrant denying a status quo ante order. In particular, the Respondent has not, for instance, demonstrated that an order to rescind the new smoking policy implemented in January 1989, without first fulfilling its statutory obligation to bargain would be inconsistent with Government-wide regulations or would otherwise rise to the level of a special circumstance.

We find that the Respondent's reliance on IRS is misplaced. The Respondent argues that IRS means that agencies may not be required to bargain over any aspect of decisions as to establishing smoking areas. We disagree. IRS involved the negotiability of a proposal that allowed employees to decide which areas would be designated as smoking areas and the court found that the proposal was inconsistent with GSA regulations. The court did not hold that an agency has no duty to bargain over the designation of smoking areas.

V. Order

Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, the U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Washington, D.C., and U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Portland, Maine District Office, Portland, Maine, and Immigration Service, St. Albans Sub-office, St. Albans, Vermont, shall:

1. Cease and desist from:

(a) Unilaterally establishing a new smoking policy for the St. Albans Sub-office, St. Albans, Vermont, without first notifying the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, National INS Council, Local 2076, the exclusive representative of a unit of its employees, and affording it the opportunity to bargain, to the extent consistent with law and regulation, on the decision to effectuate such a policy and on the impact and implementation of the policy.

(b) In any like or related manner, interfering with, restraining, or coercing its employees in the exercise of the rights assured them by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.

2. Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute:

(a) Rescind the new smoking policy implemented on or about January 13, 1989, for the St. Albans Sub-office.

(b) Notify the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, National INS Council, Local 2076, the exclusive representative of a unit of its employees, of any new smoking policy and, prior to implementation, afford it the opportunity to bargain, to the extent consistent with law and regulation, on the decision to effectuate such a policy and on the impact and implementation of the policy.

(c) Post at the St. Albans Sub-office, St. Albans, Vermont, copies of the attached Notice on forms to be furnished by the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Upon receipt of such forms, they shall be signed by the Officer-In-Charge for the St. Albans Sub-office, and shall be posted and maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter, in conspicuous places, including all bulletin boards and places where notices to employees are customarily posted. Reasonable steps shall be taken to ensure that such notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any other material.

(d) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Boston, Massachusetts Regional Office, Federal Labor Relations Authority, in writing, within 30 days from the date of this Order, as to what steps have been taken to comply.

NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES

AS ORDERED BY THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

AND TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF THE

FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE

WE NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:

WE WILL NOT unilaterally establish a new smoking policy for the St. Albans Sub-office, St. Albans, Vermont, without first notifying the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, National INS Council, Local 2076, the exclusive representative of a unit of our employees, and affording it the opportunity to bargain, to the extent consistent with law and regulation, on the decision to effectuate such a policy and on the impact and implementation of the policy.

WE WILL NOT, in any like or related manner, interfere with, restrain, or coerce our employees in the exercise of the rights assured them by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.

WE WILL rescind the new smoking policy implemented on or about January 13, 1989, for the St. Albans Sub-office.

WE WILL notify the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, National INS Council, Local 2076, the exclusive representative of a unit of our employees, of any new smoking policy and, prior to implementation, afford it the opportunity to bargain, to the extent consistent with law and regulation, on the decision to effectuate such a policy and on the impact and implementation of the policy.

_____________________________
(Activity)

Dated:_________ By: _______________________________

(Signature) (Title)

This Notice must remain posted for 60 consecutive days from the date of posting and must not be altered, defaced, or covered by any other material.

If employees have any questions concerning this Notice or compliance with any of its provisions, they may communicate directly with the Regional Director of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, Boston, Massachusetts Regional Office, whose address is: 10 Causeway Street, Room 1017A, Boston, MA 02222-1046, and whose telephone number is: (617) 565-7280.




FOOTNOTES:
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