43:0455(44)CA - - SSA, Hemet Branch Office, Hemet, CA and AFGE - - 1991 FLRAdec CA - - v43 p455

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[ v43 p455 ]
43:0455(44)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


43 FLRA No. 44

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

HEMET BRANCH OFFICE

HEMET, CALIFORNIA

(Respondent)

and

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES

AFL-CIO

(Charging Party)

8-CA-10120

December 18, 1991

DECISION AND ORDER


Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.

I. Statement of the Case

The Administrative Law Judge issued the attached decision in the above-entitled proceeding finding that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by failing and refusing to furnish the Charging Party with the home address of a specified bargaining unit employee represented by the Charging Party. The Judge granted the General Counsel's motion for summary judgment as to this allegation of the complaint and recommended that the Respondent be ordered to take appropriate remedial action. The Respondent filed exceptions to this portion of the Judge's decision.

The Judge also found that the Respondent did not violate section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute by refusing the Charging Party's request for the employee's home telephone number. Accordingly, the Judge dismissed the General Counsel's motion for summary judgment as to this allegation and recommended that this portion of the complaint be dismissed. The Charging Party filed exceptions to the Judge's decision and the Respondent filed an opposition to the exceptions.

In concluding that the Respondent was not obligated to furnish the employee's telephone number, the Judge looked to the reasons underlying the release of home addresses as espoused by the Authority in Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA 788 (1986). The Judge particularly noted the ability of unions to better serve employees in a non-work environment, so as to promote a free exchange of information, and the ability of employees to protect their individual privacy interests by such means as discarding unsolicited mail from the union.

Applying the foregoing considerations to this case, the Judge found that receipt of the employee's home address would provide the Charging Party with "unrestricted access to the employee for purposes of conducting its representational responsibilities and [that the Charging Party] would have no 'necessity' for the employee's telephone number." Judge's Decision at 4. The Judge concluded that, absent a showing that the employee's telephone number was necessary for the Charging Party to perform its representational responsibilities, section 7114(b) of the Statute did not compel the disclosure of such information. The Judge further found that having possession of the employee's name and home address would give the Charging Party ready access to the employee's telephone number through the use of a telephone directory. Finally, the Judge noted that, unlike the receipt of mail, the employee could not ignore or "'discard[]'" unwanted telephone calls and, thus, the employee would be unable to protect privacy interests in the same manner as the receipt of mail. Id.

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 and find that no prejudicial error was committed. The rulings are hereby affirmed. Upon consideration of the Judge's decision, the exceptions and opposition, and the entire record, we adopt the Judge's findings, conclusions, and recommended Order for the reasons fully set forth in U.S. Department of the Navy, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 37 FLRA 515 (1990) (Portsmouth Naval Shipyard), enforcement denied sub nom. FLRA v. U.S. Department of the Navy, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 941 F.2d 49 (1st Cir. 1991) (FLRA v. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard).(1) More specifically with regard to the Charging Party's request for the employee's home telephone number, we agree with the Judge that there was no showing that such information was necessary in the circumstances of this case.(2) Therefore, the Respondent's conduct in refusing to provide such information did not violate the Statute.

II. 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 Social Security Administration, Hemet Branch Office, Hemet, California, shall:

1. Cease and desist from:

(a) Refusing to furnish, upon request of the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, the exclusive representative of certain of its employees, the home address of a specified bargaining unit employee represented by the Charging Party.

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

2. Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Statute:

(a) Furnish the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, the exclusive representative of certain of its employees, the home address of the specified bargaining unit employee.

(b) Post at its facilities where bargaining unit employees represented by the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, are located, 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 Branch Manager and shall be posted in conspicuous places, including all bulletin boards and other places where notices to employees are customarily posted, and shall be maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter. Reasonable steps shall be taken to ensure that such notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any other material.

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

The portion of the complaint alleging an additional violation of section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute is dismissed.

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 refuse to furnish, upon request of the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, the exclusive representative of certain of our employees, the home address of a specified bargaining unit employee represented by the exclusive representative.

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

WE WILL furnish the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, the exclusive representative of certain of our employees, the home address of the specified bargaining unit employee.

_________________________
(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 its provisions, they may communicate directly with the Regional Director, San Francisco Regional Office, Federal Labor Relations Authority, whose address is: 901 Market Street, Suite 220, San Francisco, California 94103, and whose telephone number is: (415) 744-4000.




FOOTNOTES:
(If blank, the decision does not have footnotes.)
 

1. We note that, in FLRA v. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit denied the Authority's petition for enforcement of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Subsequently, in FLRA v. U.S. Department of the Navy, Navy Ships Parts Control Center, et al., Nos. 90-3690, 90-3724 (3d Cir. Sept. 13, 1991), a divided panel of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit denied the Authority's petition for enforcement of U.S. Department of the Navy, Navy Ships Parts Control Center and Navy Fleet Material Support Office and NAVSEA Logistics Center and Navy Publishing and Printing Service, 37 FLRA 722 (1990), in which the Authority relied on Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. On November 5, 1991, the panel's decision was vacated and the Authority's petition for rehearing en banc was granted. We respectfully adhere to our decision in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

2. In reaching this conclusion, it is unnecessary to decide whether the release of an employee's home telephone number otherwise can be disclosed under law.