53:1713(153)AR - - AFGE, Local 2408 and VA Medical Center, San Juan, PR - - 1998 FLRAdec AR - - v53 p1713



[ v53 p1713 ]
53:1713(153)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


53 FLRA No. 153

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

_____

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES

LOCAL 2408

(Union)

and

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

MEDICAL CENTER

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO

(Agency)

0-AR-2977

_____

DECISION

March 31, 1998

_____

Before the Authority: Phyllis N. Segal, Chair; Donald S. Wasserman and Dale Cabaniss, Members.

Decision by Member Wasserman for the Authority.

This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the clarification of award by Arbitrator Lloyd L. Byars filed by the Union under section 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) and section 2425 of the Authority's Regulations. The Agency filed an opposition, which was untimely filed and has not been considered.(*)

In his initial award, the Arbitrator denied a grievance and found that a reprimand of the grievant for leaving his shift 2.5 hours before it ended, and not reporting for work or requesting leave until 6.25 hours after his next shift began, was issued for just cause. The Union filed exceptions to that award. The Agency filed an opposition.

In American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2408 and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Center, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 52 FLRA 992 (1997), the Authority stated that the failure to follow proper procedures for requesting sick leave would be a proper basis to sustain the Agency's reprimand. However, an agency may not charge and discipline an employee for being absent without leave (AWOL) when he has submitted administratively acceptable evidence of incapacity due to illness or injury. Accordingly, the Authority remanded the case to the parties for submission to the Arbitrator for a clarification