American Federation of Government Employees, Local 701 Council of Prison Locals 33 (Union) and United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Federal Correctional Institution, Pekin, Illinois (Agency)

[ v58 p128 ]

58 FLRA No. 24

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 701
COUNCIL OF PRISON LOCALS 33
(Union)

and

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
PEKIN, ILLINOIS
(Agency)

0-NG-2619

_____

DECISION AND ORDER ON
NEGOTIABILITY ISSUES

September 30, 2002

_____

Before the Authority: Dale Cabaniss, Chairman, and
Carol Waller Pope and Tony Armendariz, Members [n1] 

I.     Statement of the Case

      This case is before the Authority on a negotiability appeal filed by the Union under § 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute), and concerns the negotiability of three provisions disapproved by the Agency head under § 7114(c) of the Statute.

      For the reasons that follow, we find that Provisions 1 and 3 are contrary to law. Consequently, we dismiss the petition for review as to these provisions. We further find that Provision 2 is not contrary to law, and we order the Agency to rescind its disapproval of Provision 2.

II.     Provision 1

Article 6, Section g
Supervisors will, to the greatest extent possible, make the effort to grant military reservists requests for work schedule adjustments to attend weekend military drills. Supervisory decisions shall be fair and equitable. As the "Model Employer," every effort shall be made to insure reservists do not need to use annual leave and leave without pay to attend drill. It is incumbent upon the employee to inform their supervisor as soon as practical for scheduling purposes.

A.     Positions of the Parties

1.     Agency

      The Agency contends that the provision affects management's right to assign work under § 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute and that the provision is not an appropriate arrangement under § 7106(b)(3). In particular, the Agency argues that the provision affects management's right to determine the particular qualifications and skills necessary to perform work and to determine whether, and when, overtime assignments will occur. Statement of Position (SOP) at 7.

      According to the Agency, the phrases "to the greatest extent possible," "make the effort," and "every effort shall be made" in Provision 1 mean that a supervisor would be required to do more than the Union contends. Specifically, the Agency asserts that Provision 1 would require a supervisor to do whatever it takes to accommodate a reservist's request, including canceling other employees' leave. Post-Petition Conference Record (Conference Record) at 2-3.

      In addition, the Agency argues that the provision is outside the duty to bargain because it is covered by or conflicts with the master collective bargaining agreement.

2.     Union

      The Union states that Provision 1 provides for an alternate method to those provided in 38 U.S.C. § 2024(d) and 5 U.S.C. § 6323(a) concerning scheduling adjustments for unit employees who are military reservists to attend weekend military drills. The Union states that currently an employee can swap weekends with another employee. According to the Union, Provision 1 would operate when a swap could not be made. See Conference Record at 2. The Union explains that when a reservist could not swap weekends, the provision would require that the supervisor, to the greatest extent possible, make the effort to adjust the employee's schedule so the employee could attend a weekend drill without having to use annual leave or leave without pay (LWOP). [ v58 p129 ]

      According to the Union, the phrase "to the greatest extent possible" means that a supervisor's effort will be made within the context of the parties' agreement, law, and regulation. Id. The Union further states that the provision, by requiring the supervisor's decision to be "fair and equitable," does not imply that the supervisor would have to cancel other employees' leave, pay overtime, or vacate posts to accommodate the employee's request. Id.

      The Union also contends that Provision 1 does not affect management's rights because the provision "provides for the selection of particular employees to perform work, from a group of employees who are determined by management to be qualified to perform that work." Response at 4. As such, the Union contends that the provision is "fundamentally identical" to a proposal found negotiable in NAGE, Local R1-109, 43 FLRA 1140 (1992). Id. at 4-5.

      With respect to whether the provision constitutes an appropriate arrangement under § 7106(b)(3), the Union states that in agreeing to this provision the local parties focused on the efforts "by the supervisors [and] this was not to imply that the provision was an appropriate arrangement." Id. at 5.

B.     Analysis and Conclusions

1.      Meaning of the Provision

      Under the provision, if an employee who also holds a position in the military reserve is not able to find another employee with whom to substitute weekend work, the supervisor would be required to make an effort, to the greatest extent possible, to adjust the reservist employee's schedule so that employee could attend a weekend drill without having to use annual leave or LWOP. The provision also requires the supervisor's decision to be fair and equitable.

      The parties dispute the meaning of certain phrases in the provision. Based on the record as a whole, we find that the Union's characterization of the provision's meaning is consistent with its plain wording and we adopt that meaning. See, e.g., Association of Civilian Technicians, Wichita Air Capitol Chapter, 56 FLRA 1027, 1029 (2000) (Wichita Air Capitol Chapter) (Authority determined the meaning of a disputed provision based on the record as a whole, including whether the union's statements as to the meaning of the provision comported with its wording). Noting the Union's explanation set forth above, and the absence of any wording in the provision that requires that work schedule adjustments be made on request, we find that the provision does not impose a requirement that employee requests be granted in all instances.

      Further, although the parties dispute the effect of the provision, in terms of determining the particular qualifications and skills necessary to perform work, nothing in the plain wording of the provision indicates that the Agency would be restricted in any manner in determining the qualifications and skills necessary to perform work or from determining whether particular employees meet those qualifications. [n2] 

2.     Provision 1 Affects Management's Right to Assign Work

      The right to assign work under § 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute encompasses the right to determine the particular duties to be assigned, when work assignments will occur, and to whom or what positions the duties will be assigned. See AFGE, Local 1164, 54 FLRA 1327, 1331 (1998) (Local 1164); Laurel Bay, 51 FLRA at 739. Provisions or proposals for selecting the particular employee to perform a particular work assignment may not foreclose an agency from taking into consideration the unavailability of an employee because of that employee's involvement in another assignment if they are to avoid conflict with management's rights. See, e.g., AFGE, Local 3509, 46 FLRA 1590, 1599 (1993) (citing National Treasury Employees Union v. FLRA, 810 F.2d 1224 (D.C. Cir. 1987); AFGE, National Council of Field Labor Locals, Local 644, 37 FLRA 828, 833 (1990).

      Provision 1 would require the Agency to assign qualified employees who are not scheduled for weekend duty to weekend work to enable other employees to attend weekend military drills without having to use leave. Although the Agency would have the right to determine the necessary qualifications for the work to be performed and to assess whether employees possess those qualifications, the provision would apply without regard to whether qualified employees are available to [ v58 p130 ] perform weekend work. The provision does not take into consideration the unavailability of qualified employees for the weekend work or provide management with any options if those employees are involved in other work assignments.

      Furthermore, the Agency would be required to assign work to an employee during the week in order to accommodate that employee's request to be off on the weekend to perform reservist duties. The provision would affect management's ability to decide not to assign work to that employee during the week. At the same time, if management were to assign work during the week to a military reservist, the provision would impair management's ability to have other employees, who are non-reservists, perform work during that time. Although, as stated above, management retains the right to determine employee qualifications, nothing in the provision or the Union's explanation indicates that all employees are equally qualified to perform the duties that management might assign to them. In any event, the provision affects management's ability to determine when and to whom it will assign work.

      The proposal in NAGE relied on by the Union differs from Provision 1. That proposal required the agency to adjust employee work schedules so that the employees could attend weekend National Guard drills during their off-duty time rather than on annual leave or on LWOP. That proposal, by its express wording, applied only if there were qualified employees available to work a weekend in question. See NAGE, 43 FLRA at 1146. As found above, the provision here leaves the Agency with no options for assigning weekend work if there are no qualified employees available to perform such work.

      The fact that the Provision 1 uses the phrases "to the greatest extent possible," "make the effort," and "every effort shall be made" does not alter the fact that the provision affects the right to assign work. Authority precedent holds that proposals or provisions that require an agency to make reasonable efforts to assign particular work to an employee constitute substantive limitations on, and therefore affect, management's right to assign work. See, e.g., AFGE, Local 2879, 49 FLRA 279 (1994) (second sentence of Provision 3, requiring management to make a reasonable effort to assign employees adjudication time to compensate for adjudication time that the employees lost because they were reassigned to other duties, directly interfered with management's exercise of its right to assign work); AFGE, Local 1760, 46 FLRA 1285, 1288-89 (1993) (provision requiring agency to make "every attempt" to secure replacement for employees to allow them to take breaks found nonnegotiable as it directly interfered with the right to assign work).

      In sum, we conclude that Provision 1 affects management's right to assign work. The Union does not claim that the provision is negotiable under § 7106(b) of the Statute. In this regard, the Union expressly states that its reference in the petition for review to the term appropriate arrangement, "was not to imply that the provision was an appropriate arrangement." Response at 5. As we understand this statement, the Union is expressly disclaiming any contention that the provision should be assessed under § 7106(b)(3).

      Accordingly, for the reasons explained above, we conclude that Provision 1 is contrary to law. We dismiss the petition for review as to this provision. [n3] 

III.     Provision 2

Article 6, Section k
While being interviewed during the course of an official investigation, the Employer shall to the greatest extent possible, grant an employee request for at least one ten (10) minute break every hour and a half. The Employer shall, within reason, grant additional requests.

A.     Positions of the Parties

1.     Agency

      The Agency contends that Provision 2 affects management's right to determine its internal security practices. The Agency states that investigative "techniques aimed at obtaining truthful and reliable information from interviewees constitute internal security practices." [ v58 p131 ] SOP at 14-15. In support, the Agency cites AFGE, Federal Prison Council 33, 51 FLRA 1112 (1996) (Federal Prison Council 33) and NAGE, Locals R14-22 and R14-89, 45 FLRA 949, 960 (1992) (NAGE, Locals).

      The Agency argues that management must be able "to conduct administrative interviews in the manner it deems appropriate in order to preserve the safety of its prison." SOP at 15. In this regard, the Agency asserts "[t]his may mean [an] interview would have to proceed for two or three or more hours without a break if that is how the Agency determines it needs to proceed in order to attain its internal security objectives." Id. The Agency disagrees with the Union's contention that Provision 2 does not mandate that the Agency grant an employee's request for a break to use the restroom or to get a drink after talking for an hour and a half. According to the Agency, the meaning of the phrase "to the greatest extent possible" means that the Agency will almost always have to grant an employee's request for a break, which could compromise the integrity of an investigation. Conference Record at 3.

      Further, the Agency contends that the Union's claim that Provision 2 is an appropriate arrangement under § 7106(b)(3) constitutes a bare assertion that the Authority should not consider. The Agency asserts that the Union fails to address "how the [provision] is sufficiently tailored to specific, identified adverse effects on bargaining-unit employees." SOP at 16. The Agency also asserts that the Union fails to explain "how the expected benefits of the [provision] outweigh the broad, significant constraints it places on the Agency's ability to determine its own internal security practices." Id. 16-17. In any event, the Agency argues that the provision's restrictions on management's ability to conduct investigative interviews "excessively interfere with its right to determine its internal security practices." Id. at 17.

2.     Union

      The Union contends that Provision 2 was negotiated pursuant to section 7106(b)(3) of the Statute and is an appropriate arrangement. The Union states that the "[t]ime needed for a bathroom break is routinely put aside by investigators as one of their tools to keep an employee uncomfortable and depriving them of a human need." Response at 6. The Union asserts that the provision "allow[s] the employee to take care of basic human needs every hour and a half[,]" and does not excessively interfere with management's rights. Id. at 7.

      The Union explains that the phrase "to the greatest extent possible" in Provision 2 provides "the Agency latitude while upholding the integrity of the interview and providing employees subject to such interviews the opportunity to keep their dignity[.]" Conference Record at 2. In this regard, the Union adds that the provision does not mandate that the Agency grant the employee's request. See id.

B.     Analysis and Conclusions

1.     Meaning of the Provision

      The "official investigation" referred to in the provision means an Agency-initiated investigation but would not include an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. See id. at 3. The parties dispute whether the Agency would be required to grant an employee's request for a break. Based on the record as a whole, we find that the provision would generally require the Agency to grant an employee's request for a break but that it would not impose an absolute requirement that such requests be granted in all instances. See, e.g., Wichita Air Capitol Chapter, 56 FLRA at 1029. Moreover, in the absence of any response by the Agency to the Union's claim that the breaks would be limited to those permitting employees to use the bathroom or get a drink of water, Response at 6, we construe the provision as limiting breaks to those two situations. [n4] 

2.      Provision 2 Affects Management's Right to Determine its Internal Security Practices

      It is well-established that management's right to determine its internal security practices under § 7106(a)(1) of the Statute includes the authority to determine the policies and practices that are part of its plan to secure or safeguard its personnel, physical property or operations against internal and external risks. See, e.g., Federal Prison Council 33, 51 FLRA at 1115. The right also includes the authority to determine the investigative techniques management will employ to attain its internal security objectives. See NAGE, Locals [ v58 p132 ] 45 FLRA at 960. Where management shows a link, or reasonable connection, between its objective of safeguarding its personnel, property, or operations and the investigative technique designed to implement that objective, a proposal that conflicts with the technique affects management's right under § 7106(a)(1). See id. at 961. In addition, techniques aimed at obtaining truthful and reliable information from interviewees constitute internal security practices under § 7106(a)(1). See Federal Prison Council 33, 51 FLRA at 1115-16.

      The Union does not dispute the Agency's contention that Provision 2 affects management's right to determine its internal security practices under § 7106(a)(1). Therefore, we find that the provision affects this right. AFGE, Council of GSA Locals, Council 236, 55 FLRA 449, 451-52 (1999). The fact that the provision uses the phrase "to the greatest extent possible" does not alter the fact that the provision affects management's right to determine its internal security practices.

3.     Provision 2 Constitutes an Appropriate Arrangement Under § 7106(b)(3)

      The Union expressly asserts that the provision is "an appropriate arrangement by both sides to allow an employee who is already in a potentially nerving situation to have the opportunity to use the restroom facilities or to get a drink after possibly talking for an hour and a half." Petition for Review at 4.

      In determining whether a provision is an appropriate arrangement under § 7106(b)(3) of the Statute, the Authority uses the analysis set forth in NAGE, Local R14-87, 21 FLRA 24 (1986) (KANG). The Authority first determines whether the provision is intended to be an arrangement for employees adversely affected by the exercise of a management right. See United States Dep't of the Treasury, Office of the Chief Counsel, IRS v. FLRA, 960 F.2d 1068, 1073 (D.C. Cir. 1992); AFGE, Local 1900, 51 FLRA 133, 141 (1995).

      The claimed arrangement must also be sufficiently "tailored" to compensate employees suffering adverse effects attributable to the exercise of management's rights. See AFGE, Local 2280, Iron Mountain, Michigan, 57 FLRA 742, 743 (2002). As the Authority has explained, relying on United States Dep't of the Interior, Minerals Mgmt. Serv., New Orleans, Louisiana v. FLRA, 969 F.2d 1158, 1162 (D.C. Cir. 1992), § 7106(b)(3) brings within the duty to bargain proposals that provide a balm only to the hurts arising as a consequence of the management actions under § 7106 giving rise to a bargaining obligation. AFGE, Nat'l Border Patrol Council, 51 FLRA 1308, 1319 (1996). See also NAGE, Local R14-23, 53 FLRA 1440, 1443 (1998).

      If a provision is determined to be an arrangement pertaining to the exercise of management's rights, then the Authority determines whether it excessively interferes with the relevant management right. The Authority reaches this determination by weighing the "competing practical needs of employees and managers." KANG, 21 FLRA at 31-32.

      We find, as an initial matter, that the Union's claim that Provision 2 is an appropriate arrangement is more than a bare assertion, as the Agency contends. The Union expressly states, and we find, that Provision 2 is intended to be an arrangement for employees who are adversely affected by management's internal security practice of conducting investigative interviews without any interruption. We also find that the Union has established that the provision, which provides brief breaks for the limited purposes of giving an employee who is being interviewed the opportunity to use the restroom or to obtain a drink of water, is sufficiently tailored. In this respect, the provision applies only to employees subject to an investigative interview conducted by the Agency that lasts for periods in excess of one and one-half hours and only for those employees who feel the need for, and request, a brief break. See, e.g., Professional Airways Systems Specialists, 56 FLRA 798, 802 (2000); NAGE, Local R1-203, 55 FLRA 1081, 1093 (1999).

      We also find that the arrangement is appropriate. In determining whether the provision excessively interferes with the Agency's right to assign work, we find that the benefit afforded affected employees by the provision is significant. In particular, the provision offers some degree of assurance to employees that the Agency will grant requests to take brief breaks, as needed, for interviews that, according to the Agency, could take several hours. Although the provision would require the Agency to grant a request, "to the greatest extent possible," the restriction placed on management's right is limited. The provision does not impose an absolute requirement that such requests be granted in all instances, and the Agency does not provide any specific examples of burdens the provision would impose. Furthermore, nothing in the provision would prevent the [ v58 p133 ] Agency from imposing safeguards -- such as escorting an employee to the restroom or to obtain a drink of water -- in order to ensure the integrity of the investigation.

      In view of the substantial benefits afforded to employees and because the provision preserves the Agency's ability to deny employee requests or impose safeguards, we conclude, on balance, that the benefit to employees outweighs the intrusion on management's right. As such, we find that Provision 2 is an appropriate arrangement.

      Based on the foregoing, we order the Agency to rescind its disapproval of Provision 2.

IV.     Provision 3

Article 7, Section k
Normally, any time OIA (Office of Internal Affairs) is expected to arrive in Pekin to conduct an investigatory interview of a bargaining unit member, the Agency shall provide the Union President or designee with notice no later than 24 hours prior to said arrival, to the greatest extent possible. This agreement is not intended to provide immunity to the employee(s) under investigation should the agency not be able to provide notice within the 24 hour time frame.

A.     Positions of the Parties

1.     Agency

      The Agency contends that the provision affects management's right to determine its internal security practices. In support, the Agency cites Federal Prison Council 33, 51 FLRA 1112 and NAGE, Locals, 45 FLRA at 960. Specifically, the Agency asserts that investigative "techniques aimed at obtaining truthful and reliable information from interviewees constitute internal security practices." SOP at 23. The Agency argues that "[o]ften times the element of surprise is one of the greatest tools of an Agency's investigation, and requiring the Agency to give up that element clearly interferes with its right to determine its internal security practices." Id. at 24. (footnote omitted). The Agency states that it will provide the Union the opportunity to represent the employee at a "surprise" interview if the employee requests representation. Id. at 24 n.8. The Agency further asserts that the requirement to provide prior notice "to the greatest extent possible" would hinder management's ability to conduct investigations.

2.      Union

      The Union states that the term "to the greatest extent possible" does not require the Agency to provide notice in all circumstances. The Union maintains that "the negotiability of the provision is based on 7106(b) rights which the Agency negotiated[.]" Response at 11. Specifically, the Union contends that Provision 3 constitutes a "procedure for giving the Union notice of OIA's arrival." Id. In support, the Union cites Association of Civilian Technicians, Montana Air Chapter No. 29 v. FLRA, 22 F.3d 1150, 1151-52 (D.C. Cir. 1994) (ACT).

      The Union also asserts that the Agency would not lose the element of surprise because the Union is not seeking "who is the subject of the investigation nor the nature of the investigation." Response at 12 (emphasis omitted). Rather, the Union claims that, under the provision, "all the Union would know is that OIA is expected to arrive." Id. According to the Union, it has limited representatives knowledgeable of such investigations and 24-hour notice would ensure that the appropriate Union representative would be available.

B.     Analysis and Conclusions

1.     Meaning of the Provision

      Provision 3 would require the Agency to provide the Union President or designee notice, to the greatest extent possible, no later than 24 hours prior to the expected arrival of an OIA investigator at the local facility to conduct an investigative interview of a bargaining unit employee. The notice would not contain information identifying which employees would be interviewed or the nature of the investigation. Consistent with Provisions 1 and 2, we adopt the Union's explanation that the phrase, "to the greatest extent possible," does not impose an absolute requirement that notice be provided in all instances. See Wichita Air Capitol Chapter, 56 FLRA at 1029.

2.     Provision 3 Affects Management's Right to Determine its Internal Security Practices

      As stated earlier, an agency's right to determine its internal security practices includes the authority to determine the investigative techniques management will employ to attain its internal security objectives. See Federal Prison Council 33, 51 FLRA at 1115; NAGE, Locals, 45 FLRA at 960. Where management shows a link, or reasonable connection, between its objective of safeguarding its personnel, property, or operations and [ v58 p134 ] the investigative technique designed to implement that objective, a proposal that conflicts with the technique affects management's right under § 7106(a)(1). See NAGE, Locals, 45 FLRA at 961. In addition, techniques aimed at obtaining truthful and reliable information from interviewees constitute internal security practices under § 7106(a)(1). See Federal Prison Council 33, 51 FLRA at 1115-16. The Authority will not examine the extent to which the practices adopted by management to achieve its security objectives actually facilitate the accomplishment of those objectives. See AFGE, Local 1030, 57 FLRA 901, 902 (2002).

      The Agency asserts that it needs to preserve the "element of surprise" as one of its investigative techniques. SOP at 24. According to the Agency, by "requiring the Agency to give up that element[,]" the provision "clearly interferes with its right to determine its internal security practices." Id. (footnote omitted). Accordingly, the Agency asserts that it should not be required to give the Union advance notice of visits by an OIA investigator to conduct investigative interviews. The Union asserts that the Agency would not lose the element of surprise because the Union is not seeking "who is the subject of the investigation nor the nature of the investigation." Response at 12 (emphasis omitted). Rather, the Union claims that, under the provision, "all the Union would know is that OIA is expected to arrive." Id.

      We agree with the Agency that, by requiring the Agency to provide the Union with prior notice of an investigation by an OIA investigator, the provision affects its right to determine its internal security practices. The Agency has chosen an investigative technique that includes the element of surprise as a way of obtaining truthful and reliable information from interviewees. As noted above, such a determination constitutes an internal security practice, and we do not examine the extent to which the practice adopted by management to achieve its security objectives actually facilitates the accomplishment of those objectives.

      The provision requires the Agency to give the Union advance notice that an OIA investigator will be appearing to conduct investigative interviews. The record is silent as to which Union representative(s) would receive such notice, and the provision does not restrict the Union from sharing the information it receives with unit employees. And, even if it did, the element of surprise would be lost with respect to any Union representative(s) who receive the notice and who are among those scheduled to be interviewed by the investigator. Additionally, to the extent that, as noted above, the provision does not restrict the Union from sharing the information it receives with unit employees, the element of surprise would be lost with respect to those employees as well. Thus, in at least some circumstances, the provision could eliminate the element of surprise that the Agency has determined is part of its exercise of its internal security practices. In these circumstances, we find that the Agency has shown a reasonable link between its determination not to provide advance disclosure to the Union of investigative interviews conducted by OIA investigators and its objective of safeguarding its personnel, property, or operations. See, e.g., NAGE, Locals, 45 FLRA at 961.

      As stated previously, the fact that the provision uses the phrase "to the greatest extent possible" does not alter the fact that the provision affects management's right to determine its internal security practices.

      In sum, we conclude that Provision 3 affects management's right to determine its internal security practices under § 7106(a)(1).

3.     Provision 3 Is Not a Procedure Under § 7106(b)(2)

      The Union argues that the provision constitutes a "procedure for giving the Union notice of OIA's arrival." Response at 11. Consistent with the foregoing, the right to determine internal security practices encompasses the right not to give the Union such advance notice. A requirement to give notice cannot constitute a procedure for exercising a right not to give notice. [n5] 

      In sum, and for the reasons discussed above, we find that Provision 3 is contrary to law. Accordingly, we dismiss the petition for review as to this provision.

V.     Order  [n6] 

      The Agency shall rescind its disapproval of Provision 2. We dismiss the petition for review with respect to Provisions 1 and 3.


File 1: Authority's Decision in 58 FLRA No. 24
File 2: Opinion of Chairman Cabaniss and Opinion of Member Pope


Footnote # 1 for 58 FLRA No. 24 - Authority's Decision

   The separate opinions of Chairman Cabaniss, concurring as to Provision 1 and dissenting as to Provision 2, and Member Pope, dissenting as to Provision 1, follow this decision.


Footnote # 2 for 58 FLRA No. 24 - Authority's Decision

   The meaning we adopt for this provision, and the other provisions in this case, would apply in resolving any other disputes over their meaning, such as in arbitration proceedings, where the construction of the provision is at issue. See NEA, Overseas Educ. Ass'n., Laurel Bay Teachers Ass'n., 51 FLRA 733, 741-42 (1996) (Laurel Bay).


Footnote # 3 for 58 FLRA No. 24 - Authority's Decision

   Of course, all employers, including the Federal Government, are obligated by 38 U.S.C. § 2024(d) to accommodate employee participation in National Guard and Reserve military training, which is scheduled during the time the employee otherwise would be at work, by granting the employees leaves of absence to attend the