Q & A Session – Union Settles Grievance Without Grievant


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I have a grievance with my agency and my Union invoked arbitration on June 2010. After 18 months of waiting for a hearing, the agency cancelled the hearing three days before the date of the hearing. They attempted to settle, but what was offered was an insult to my intelligence. I have not communicated with my Union in any way since Nov. 2011, and today I was emailed a settlement agreement my Union President signed settling my grievance without my knowledge or consent. I do not agree with the settlement AT ALL. Can my Union settle a grievance without consulting me?


Yes. Your union is your exclusive representative and the case is between them and the agency. Your union does have a duty to represent you fairly and you may be able to file a claim with the Federal Labor Relations Authority if you believe this did not happen.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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