52:0724(72)CA - - VA Medical Center, Jamaica Plain, MA and Fraternal Order of Police - - 1996 FLRAdec CA - - v52 p724



[ v52 p724 ]
52:0724(72)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


52 FLRA No. 72

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

_____

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

MEDICAL CENTER

JAMAICA PLAIN, MASSACHUSETTS

(Respondent/Agency)

and

FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE

(Charging Party/NTEU)

BN-CA-30274

(50 FLRA 583 (1994))

(51 FLRA 871 (1995))

_____

DECISION AND ORDER ON REMAND

December 20, 1996

Before the Authority: Phyllis N. Segal, Chair; Tony Armendariz and Donald S. Wasserman, Members.(1)

I. Statement of the Case

This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority for the third time, this time as a result of exceptions filed by the Respondent to the decision on remand of the Administrative Law Judge (Judge). The Judge, in response to the Authority's second remand in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Center, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, 51 FLRA 871 (1996) (Jamaica Plain II) (Member Armendariz concurring in part and dissenting in part), concluded that an employee was disciplined as a result of engaging in protected activity; the activity in this case consisted of assisting a "labor organization" as defined in 5 U.S.C. § 7103(a)(4) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute). The Judge recommended appropriate relief. The Respondent has filed exceptions contesting, inter alia, the decision that the Greater Boston Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is a labor organization and the determination that it violated the Statute by disciplining the employee.

Upon consideration of the Judge's decision on remand, as well as the entire record in this case, we adopt the Judge's findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommended order as modified. Consequently, we conclude that in disciplining the employee the Respondent violated 5 U.S.C. § 7116(a)(1) and (2).

II. Background

A. Facts

The facts have already been detailed in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Center, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, 50 FLRA 583 (1995) (Jamaica Plain I) and Jamaica Plain II. Only those facts germane to the issues considered in this decision are summarized below.

Michael Giannetti is a non-supervisory police officer at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts (Respondent), a member of a bargaining unit of employees represented by the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2143 (Local 2143), and the President of the FOP.

In October 1992, Giannetti wrote the acting Chief of Respondent's police a letter on FOP stationary. In the letter, Giannetti complained about numerous matters involving the acting Chief and threatened to bring some of the problems at the Medical Center to the attention of the Federal Times if relationships between management and the officers did not improve. The Respondent suspended Giannetti for 14 days for insubordination and for making threatening remarks in the letter.

A representative of Local 2143 served as Giannetti's representative during the disciplinary process, and the Local wrote the acting Chief on Giannetti's behalf requesting that the Respondent not suspend or otherwise discipline Giannetti.

Giannetti filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge over the suspension and the General Counsel issued a complaint alleging that the Respondent violated sections 7116(a)(1) and (2) of the Statute by suspending Giannetti for engaging in activity that is protected by the Statute.

B. Jamaica Plain I

Judge Devaney concluded that the Respondent had not violated the Statute because Giannetti's letter was not protected by section 7102 or 7116(e) of the Statute. In this regard, the Judge found that Giannetti's letter constituted flagrant misconduct. 50 FLRA 584.

Rejecting the recommendation of the Judge, the Authority determined first that the Judge's reliance upon section 7116(e) was misplaced because there was no claim that Giannetti's statements either constituted a ULP or were related to the conduct of an election. Id. at 588. Thereafter, the Authority determined that the letter to the acting Chief did not constitute flagrant misconduct and "would constitute protected activity if Giannetti wrote it to assist a labor organization within the meaning of section 7102 of the Statute."(2) Id. The Authority went on to find that Giannetti was "assisting" the FOP when he sent the letter. Id. However, the Judge failed to make a finding as to whether the FOP was a labor organization, as defined in the Statute, and because the record was insufficient for the Authority to make that finding itself, the Authority remanded the case to the Judge to determine whether the FOP met the definition of a labor organization set forth in section 7103(a)(4) of the Statute. Id. at 589.

C. Jamaica Plain II

On remand, Judge Devaney concluded that the FOP was a labor organization within the meaning of the Statute. However, the Judge expressed his disagreement with the Authority's conclusion that section 7116(e) of the Statute did not apply in this case. Second, the Judge stated that the Authority erred in concluding that Giannetti's letter would constitute protected activity if it was written to assist a labor organization. In this regard, the Judge stated that an employee who makes demands on an agency on behalf of a rival union that has not attained "equivalent status" with an incumbent is engaged in unprotected activity. According to the Judge, the FOP "interfered with AFGE's right under the Statute and, further, sought to suborn Respondent's violation of the Statute by dealing with it." 51 FLRA at 893. The Judge, therefore, concluded that the Respondent did not violate the Statute by disciplining Giannetti and recommended, again, that the complaint be dismissed.

On review of the Judge's recommended decision on remand, the Authority found, inter alia, that the Judge erred by not confining the decision to the matters remanded to him, exceeding the scope of the instructions on remand, introducing new legal reasoning concerning the Statute,(3) and assuming the role of a party in the proceeding. Id. at 875-76. Agreeing with the General Counsel's exception that the Judge had failed to issue a recommended decision consistent with the Authority's order, the Authority majority remanded the case to the Chief Judge for assignment to another Judge. Id. at 876-77.(4)

D. Judge's Decision on Second Remand

In response to the Authority's second remand, Judge Oliver concluded that the Authority had already determined that Giannetti was disciplined as a result of engaging in protected activity by assisting the FOP. Decision on Remand at 2. The Judge also concluded that the prior Judge had found that the FOP was a "labor organization" as defined in 5 U.S.C. § 7103(a)(4) and that no exceptions had been taken concerning this conclusion. Id. at 3. Finding both of these conclusions to be binding, the Judge determined that the Respondent violated sections 7116(a)(1) and (2) of the Statute in disciplining the employee for engaging in protected activity on behalf of the FOP. Id.

The Judge then considered the appropriateness of the General Counsel's requested remedial order -- a cease and desist order, the posting of a notice, rescission of the discipline, expungement of references to the suspension from the employee's personnel file, and reimbursement to the employee. Finding the remedial order consistent with those issued by the Authority in similar circumstances, the Judge recommended that the Authority adopt an order providing what the General Counsel had recommended. Id. at 3-4.

III. Respondent's Exceptions (5)

In its Exceptions and Brief in support of its exceptions, the Respondent makes several assertions. First Respondent excepts to the Judge's conclusion that the FOP is a "labor organization" under the Statute. Respondent's Exceptions at 1. Second, Respondent asserts, in brief, that FOP's meeting of the technical requirements of a "labor organization" as set forth in the Statute does not protect activity on FOP's behalf because such protection is vested only in the exclusive representative. Respondent's Brief at 2. Third, Respondent argues that if it is obliged to defer to and recognize a labor organization that is not the exclusive representative, the Respondent will be placed in an untenable position and be subjected to ULPs from the exclusive representative. This, the Respondent claims, will lead to confusion in labor-management relations. Id. Last, "[t]he Respondent also incorporates by reference the arguments raised by Administrative Judge Devaney in his decisions." Id.

IV. Analysis and Conclusions

Respondent's first two arguments have already been decided by the Authority. The question of whether the FOP meets the definition of "labor organization" set out in section 7103(a)(4) of the Statute was decided by Judge Devaney on remand (Jamaica Plain II, 51 FLRA 871. Additionally, and as noted by the Judge Oliver, Respondent did not except to this determination. Accordingly, Respondent has waived this objection. 5 C.F.R. 2423.27(b).

Second, the Respondent continues to claim that activity on behalf of a "labor organization," other than an exclusive representative, is not protected. This over-broad assertion, first raised by the Respondent in the initial hearing before the Judge, has already been rejected by the Authority. Jamaica Plain I, 50 FLRA at 588 n.3.(6)

Third, contrary to Respondent's assertion, the Respondent has not been ordered to recognize or defer to the FOP. In concluding that Giannetti's communication to the acting Chief was protected if he was acting on behalf of a labor organization, the Authority noted the existence of the exclusive representative and in no manner suggested that the Respondent was obliged to recognize FOP. Jamaica Plain I, 50 FLRA at 584 n.1, 588 n.3. On the contrary, rather than ordering the Respondent to recognize the FOP, the Judge stated that the FOP had no right to deal with the Respondent and that the Respondent was required to ignore the correspondence in this case. Jamaica Plain II, 51 FLRA at 891, 893. In sum, the Respondent's exception conflates what it is prohibited from doing with what it is required to do. The Respondent has been charged with violating the Statute because it disciplined an employee who was acting on behalf of a labor organization; it has not been told to recognize or defer to the labor organization in question.

Finally, to the extent that Respondent suggests, through the unexplained incorporation of "arguments raised by Judge Devaney," that Giannetti's letter on behalf of the FOP interfered with Local 2143's ability to represent the employees in the bargaining unit, this assertion is unsupported in the record. In this regard, Local 2143 interposed no objection to Giannetti's communication. In fact, Local 2143 represented Giannetti and opposed, in writing, the disciplinary action that the Respondent took against Giannetti on account of the communication. In these circumstances, we are not persuaded that through his actions Giannetti interfered with or undermined Local 2143.(7)

V. Order

Pursuant to section 2439.29 of the Authority's Regulations and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor Management Relations Statute, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Center, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, shall:

1. Cease and desist from:

(a) Suspending Michael Giannetti or any other bargaining unit employee for writing letters to management or otherwise engaging in protected activity on behalf of the Fraternal Order of Police, Greater Boston Lodge or any other labor organization as defined in section 7103(a)(4) of the Statute.

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

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

(a) Rescind the 14-day suspension of Michael Giannetti from November 29 through December 12, 1992, expunge any reference to such disciplinary suspension from his personnel records, reimburse him for the loss of pay he suffered by reason of the suspension, and restore to him any right or privilege he may have lost by such disciplinary suspension.

(b) Post at its facility in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts 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 Director of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, and shall be posted and maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter in conspicuous places, including all bulletin boards and other places where notice to employees are customarily posted. Reasonable steps shall be taken to ensure that such Notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by other material.

(c) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Boston 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

POSTED BY ORDER OF THE

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

The Federal Labor Relations Authority has found that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Center, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts violated the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and has ordered us to post and abide by this notice.

We hereby notify our employees that:

WE WILL NOT suspend Michael Giannetti or any other bargaining unit employee for writing letters to management or otherwise engaging in protected activity on behalf of the Fraternal Order of Police, Greater Boston Lodge, or any other labor organization as defined in section 7103(a)(4) of the Statute.

WE WILL NOT, in any like or related manner, interfere with, restrain, or coerce bargaining unit employees in the exercise of rights assured them by the Statute.

WE WILL rescind the 14-day suspension of Michael Giannetti from November 29 through December 12, 1992, expunge any reference to such disciplinary suspension from his personnel records, reimburse him for the loss of pay he suffered by reason of the suspension, and restore to him any right or privilege he may have lost by such disciplinary suspension.

_________________________
(Respondent)

Date: __________ 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, Boston Region, Federal Labor Relations Authority, whose address is: 99 Summer Street, Suite 1500, Boston, MA 02110 and whose telephone number is: (617) 424-5730.

Separate Opinion of Member Wasserman, Concurring:

Jamaica Plain I was decided before I became a Member of the Authority. Despite having reservations concerning that decision, I nevertheless joined in the second remand of this case (Jamaica Plain II) to support the proposition that administrative law judges must follow the Authority's instructions on remand. 51 FLRA at 878 n.9. The second judge followed the Authority's instructions and I therefore join in the decision issued today.

I continue to maintain my reservations concerning the Authority's decision in Jamaica Plain I, most specifically whether FOP is a "labor organization" under the Statute, and, in any event, the extent of an employee's protected right to act on behalf of a labor organization other than the exclusive representative. I find it significant that neither Jamaica Plain II nor this decision have presented those issues. I shall express my views on those issues when they are before me.




UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20424-0001

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, MEDICAL CENTER,

JAMAICA PLAIN, MASSACHUSETTS

Respondent

and

FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE

Charging Party

Case No. BN-CA-30274

DECISION ON REMAND

This unfair labor practice case is before the undersigned pursuant to an Order Remanding Case issued by the Federal Labor Relations Authority (Authority) on February 28, 1996. The Authority remanded the complaint to the Chief Adminis-trative Law Judge for assignment to another Judge with instructions to expeditiously resolve the complaint. This decision is issued consistent with the Authority's Order and the assignment of the case to the undersigned by the Chief Administrative Law Judge.

Statement of the Case

The unfair labor practice complaint issued by the General Counsel of the Authority in this case alleges that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts (Respondent) violated section 7116(a)(1) and (2) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, 5 U.S.C. § 7101, et seq. (the Statute), by taking disciplinary action against an employee for engaging in activity that is protected under section 7102 of the Statute. In his initial decision, the Judge originally assigned to this case concluded that the Respondent did not violate the Statute, as alleged. He found that a letter of complaint written by Michael Giannetti, one of Respondent's non-supervisory police officers and President of the Greater Boston Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), on FOP stationery, to the Respondent's acting Chief of police, was not protected activity because the letter's contents contained threats of reprisal constituting flagrant misconduct. Accordingly, the Judge concluded that the Respondent did not commit an unfair labor practice by suspending Giannetti for 14 calendar days over what it viewed as his insubordinate and threatening remarks. In so concluding, the Judge assumed but did not decide that FOP is a "labor organization" within the meaning of section 7103(a)(4) of the Statute.

Based upon exceptions filed by the General Counsel, the Authority remanded the case to the Judge for further findings regarding whether the Fraternal Order of Police, Greater Boston Lodge is a "labor organization" under the definition set forth in section 7103(a)(4) of the Statute. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Center, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, 50 FLRA 583 (1995). In remanding the case, the Authority found that the statements contained in Giannetti's letter were not of such an outrageous and insubordinate nature as to constitute flagrant misconduct, and that the letter "would constitute protected activity if Giannetti wrote it to assist a labor organization within the meaning of section 7102 of the Statute, and discipline taken against Giannetti for writing the letter would violate section 7116(a)(1) and (2) of the Statute." Id. at 588. In the Authority's view, there-fore, whether FOP meets the definition of "labor organization" in section 7103(a) had become "critical" to determining if a violation of the Statute occurred. Id. The Authority thus concluded that "[t]he Judge should make a determination on this question and issue a recommended decision and order resolving the complaint in accordance with his determination and our conclusions herein." Id. at 589.

On remand, following a hearing and the filing of briefs, the Judge issued his decision on remand finding that the Fraternal Order of Police, Greater Boston Lodge is a "labor organization" as defined by section 7103(a)(4) of the Statute. However, he further found that because FOP was not the exclusive representative of Respondent's employees, Giannetti's letter of complaint to management did not constitute protected activity under the Statute. Accordingly, he concluded that the Respondent did not violate section 7116(a)(1) and (2) of the Statute by disciplining Giannetti for engaging in unprotected conduct on behalf of FOP.

The General Counsel then filed exceptions to the Judge's decision on remand, contending, among other things, that having found FOP to be a "labor organization" as defined in section 7103(a)(4) of the Statute, the Judge should have held, consistent with the Authority's conclusions in 50 FLRA 583, that the Respondent's suspension of Giannetti for engaging in protected activity on behalf of FOP violated section 7116(a)(1) and (2) of the Statute. The Authority agreed, and again remanded the case for action consistent with its decision. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Center, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, 51 FLRA No. 73 (Feb. 28, 1996).

Conclusions of Law

As this case comes before the undersigned, several critical issues no longer require resolution. Thus, the Authority already has determined that Giannetti's letter of complaint to management was protected activity rather than unprotected flagrant misconduct. Further, the Authority has concluded that, if Giannetti was assisting a "labor organization" as defined in section 7103(a)(4) of the Statute, his suspension by the Respondent for engaging in such protected activity would constitute a violation of section 7116(a)(1) and (2) of the Statute. Finally, the undersigned is bound by the Judge's finding on remand--to which no exceptions were filed with the Authority--that the Fraternal Order of Police, Greater Boston Lodge is a labor organization as defined in the Statute. Accordingly, the only legal conclusion possible based on these findings and conclusions is that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (2) of the Statute by suspending Giannetti for engaging in protected activity on behalf of FOP.

The only remaining issue is whether the General Counsel's requested remedial order is appropriate. Such request, in addition to a cease and desist order and the posting of the customary Notice to employees, would require the Respondent to rescind the 14-day suspension issued to Michael Giannetti; expunge all references to the suspension from his personnel file; and reimburse him for lost pay, allowances and differentials resulting from the unlawful suspension. I conclude that such a remedial order is consistent with those issued by the Authority in similar circumstances. See United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons, Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York, New York, 27 FLRA 874, 882-83 (1987); Department of the Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Western Division, San Bruno, California, 45 FLRA 138, 160-61 (1992); U.S. Department of the Navy, Naval Aviation Depot, Naval Air Station Alameda, Alameda, California, 38 FLRA 567, 570-71 (1990). Accordingly, it is recommended that the Authority adopt the following:

ORDER

Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Rules and Regulations of the Federal Labor Relations Authority and section 7118 of the Statute, the Authority hereby orders that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Center, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts shall:

1. Cease and desist from:

(a) Suspending Michael Giannetti or any other bargaining unit employee for filing letters of complaint with management or otherwise engaging in protected activity on behalf of the Fraternal Order of Police, Greater Boston Lodge or any other labor organization as defined in section 7103(a)(4) of the Statute.

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

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

(a) Rescind the 14-day suspension of Michael Giannetti from November 29 through December 12, 1992, expunge any reference to such disciplinary suspension from his personnel records, reimburse him for the loss of pay he suffered by reason of the suspension, and restore to him any right or privilege he may have lost by such disciplinary suspension.

(b) Post at its facility in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts 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 Director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Center, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, and shall be posted and maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter in conspicuous places, including all bulletin boards and other 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.

(c) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Boston 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.

Issued, Washington, D.C., March 7, 1996.

_____________________
GARVIN LEE OLIVER
Administrative Law Judge

NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES

POSTED BY ORDER OF THE

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

The Federal Labor Relations Authority has found that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Center, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts violated the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and has ordered us to post and abide by this notice.

We hereby notify our employees that:

WE WILL NOT suspend Michael Giannetti or any other bargaining unit employee for filing letters of complaint with management or otherwise engaging in protected activity on behalf of the Fraternal Order of Police, Greater Boston Lodge or any other labor organization as defined in section 7103(a)(4) of the Statute.

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

WE WILL rescind the 14-day suspension of Michael Giannetti from November 29 through December 12, 1992, expunge any reference to such disciplinary suspension from his personnel records, reimburse him for the loss of pay he suffered by reason of the suspension, and restore to him any right or privilege he may have lost by such disciplinary suspension.

__________________
(Agency)

Date: _________ 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, Boston Region, Federal Labor Relations Authority, whose address is: 99 Summer Street, Suite 1500, Boston, MA 02110 and whose telephone number is: (617) 424-5730.




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

1. The separate opinion of Member Wasserman, concurring, is set forth at the end of this decision.

2. The Authority also noted, and rejected, an argument made by the Respondent to the Judge that a letter written on behalf of other than an exclusive representative cannot be protected under the Statute. Specifically, the Authority stated that section 7102 of the Statute, "[b]y its terms . . . refers to 'labor organization' and not 'exclusive representative.'" 50 FLRA at 588 n.3

3. The new subject raised, but not explained, by the Judge involved "the relationship between sections 7102 and 7114 of the Statute." Jamaica Plain II, 51 FLRA at 876. The Authority noted that this relationship was "not raised in the hearing on remand or in the briefs following that hearing." Id.

4. Member Armendariz, writing separately, agreed that the Judge had exceeded the scope of the remand and had failed to issue a recommended decision consistent with the Authority's remand order. However, Member Armendariz would have issued a remedial order and reversed the Judge without remanding the case for further proceedings. Id. at 879. Accordingly, while he concurs in those portions of this decision that dispose of Respondent's first two arguments, which were addressed by the Authority in Jamaica Plain I, he takes no position on Respondent's third and fourth arguments, which are before the Authority only as a result of the second remand.

5. The General Counsel did not file an opposition to the Respondent's exceptions.

6. We note two quotations from section 7114 in Judge Devaney's decision in Jamaica Plain II, 51 FLRA at 885, 891. The significance of these citations was not explained by the Judge and has not been addressed by the Respondent. Despite the Authority previously noting in Jamaica Plain II that Judge Devaney had, on his own, alluded to the relationship between sections 7102 and 7114 of the Statute, see note 3 supra, at no point in these proceedings has the Respondent raised a statutory construction theory articulating in what respects, or to what extent, an employee's right, under section 7102, to act on behalf of a labor organization is limited by the exclusive representative's right, under section 7114, to act on behalf of unit employees. Given the fact that no party has directly raised, argued, or briefed this issue, we are reluctant to sua sponte delve into this significant question of statutory interpretation. While recognizing that certain section 7102 rights may in some circumstances be modified by other provisions of Chapter 71, we previously rejected the broad assertion that all activity on beh