43:0780(63)CA - - VA Medical Center, Brockton and West Roxbury, MA and Steven J. Giberti - - 1991 FLRAdec CA - - v43 p780

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[ v43 p780 ]
43:0780(63)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


43 FLRA No. 63

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER

BROCKTON AND WEST ROXBURY, MASSACHUSETTS

(Respondent)

and

STEVEN J. GIBERTI

(Charging Party)

1-CA-10230

DECISION AND ORDER

December 26, 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 to the attached decision of the Administrative Law Judge filed by the Respondent. The General Counsel filed an opposition to the Respondent's exceptions.

The complaint alleged and the Judge found that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (4) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by issuing a written reprimand to an employee because the employee filed unfair labor practice charges.

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, the exceptions, the opposition, and the entire record, we adopt the Judge's findings, conclusions, and recommended Order.

Section 7116(a)(4) of the Statute provides that it is an unfair labor practice for an agency to "discipline or otherwise discriminate against an employee because the employee has filed a complaint, affidavit, or petition, or has given any information or testimony under this chapter[.]" The Authority applies the same analytical framework for resolving complaints alleging discrimination in violation of section 7116(a)(4) of the Statute as it does for resolving complaints alleging discrimination in violation of section 7116(a)(2) of the Statute. Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, D.C. and Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Canandaigua, New York, 42 FLRA 1059, 1067 (1991). As the Authority uses the framework set forth in Letterkenny Army Depot, 35 FLRA 113 (1990) (Letterkenny) to resolve complaints alleging discrimination in violation of section 7116(a)(2) of the Statute, we agree with the Judge's determination that Letterkenny provides the proper framework for resolving whether the Respondent in this case discriminated in violation of section 7116(a)(4). See U.S. Department of the Navy, Naval Aviation Depot, Naval Air Station Alameda, Alameda, California, 38 FLRA 567 (1990).

Applying the framework set forth in Letterkenny, we find that the record supports the Judge's conclusions that the General Counsel established a prima facie case of discrimination and the Respondent failed to rebut the prima facie case.

Accordingly, we find that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (4) of the Statute, as alleged.

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 Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Brockton and West Roxbury, Massachusetts shall:

1. Cease and desist from:

(a) Reprimanding any employee because the employee filed an unfair labor practice charge with the Federal Labor Relations Authority.

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

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

(a) Remove any record of the reprimand dated February 14, 1991, and issued on February 15, 1991, from the personnel file of employee Steven J. Giberti and restore to him any right or pr