Wednesday, June 11, 2014

NLRB Union v. Federal Labor Relations Authority case brief summary

NLRB Union v. Federal Labor Relations Authority case brief summary
Citation. 834 F.2d 191, 266 U.S. App. D.C. 165, 126 LRRM 3290 (D.C. Cir. 1987)

Synopsis:  The NLRB Union had challenged regulations that were issued by the Federal Labor Relations Authority on January 17th, 1980, which was nearly seven years prior to the appeal.

The FLRA claimed that judicial review was barred by a statute of limitations of sixty days.
An agency’s regulations may be attacked in two ways after the statute of limitations has passed.

One, a party that possesses standing can challenge the regulations directly on the ground that the issuing agency had acted in excess of its statutory authority in promulgating the regulations.

Two, a party can petition the agency for an amendment or a rescission of the regulations and then appeal the agency’s action.

"Final rules or regulations promulgated by the FLRA must be appealed within sixty days under 5 U.S.C. Section:7123(a)."

Case Facts:
The NLRB challenged regulations adopted by the FLRA which limited the remedies that were available to unions when agencies violated their statutory duty to bargain with the unions. The NLRB had asked the FLRA to amend the regulations because the regulations were inconsistent with the statute.  However, FLRA refused, and NLRB appealed.

Was NLRB barred by the statute of limitations?


The court distinguished three types of challenges on appeal. An allegation of a procedural infirmity is not to be heard after the statute of limitations period has run. A petitioner’s claim that a regulation suffers a substantive deficiency other than lack of statutory authority can be heard on appeal after an agency denies the petition, but the review is limited to the narrow issues defined by the denial of the petition. Lastly, a petitioner’s contention that the challenged regulation should be amended or rescinded because it conflicts from the statute from which its authority derives is reviewable outside the statutory limitations period. NLRB’s challenge had fallen within the third category and warranted judicial consideration.

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