EEOC cancels official time for union reps

The rule change will restrict the use of official time for union representatives working with complainants on discrimination charges.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission cemented a Trump administration rule change on Thursday that limits the use of official time for federal employees in the filing of discrimination complaints.

The change limits the ability of those filing a complaint to choose a union representative to help them before the EEOC by excluding union members that serve an "officer, steward or otherwise in an official capacity" from the use of official time in the process.

The previous EEOC rule required federal agencies to allow employees to use a "reasonable amount of official time," to file discrimination complaints. It also gave the complainant the right to be accompanied or advised by their choice of representative.

Commissioner Charlotte Burrows, initially nominated by President Barack Obama and then re-nominated for a second term by Trump, also referenced recent events as she remarked on her opposition to the rule change.

"We have seen what partisan overreach looks like in the ugliest possible way yesterday at the U.S. Capitol. I do not understand why we would be doing this now, particularly given that, as Commissioner [ Jocelyn] Samuels points out, [President Trump's] days are numbered," Burrows said. "This proposal is on the wrong side of history."

Supporters said the rule clarifies the use of official time.

"Agencies will be better able to plan and forecast staffing needs based on the agreements negotiated during collective bargaining," said commissioner Andrea Lucas, a Republican nominee. "This is a reasonable rule that will bring clarity and efficiency by harmonizing EEOC regulations with the [Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute] and will ensure that our regulations do not infringe on the statutory scheme laid out by Congress."

Opponents countered that the new rule could create a chilling effect on the complaint process.

"This rule will undoubtedly discourage union officials from serving as representatives," said Samuels, who worked in the Obama administration. "And it is all done to advance the current administration's anti-union posture."

Since its proposal in in Dec. 2019, the rule has garnered over 1,800 comments during two posting periods in the Federal Register, as well as attention on Capitol Hill on the potential impact of the changes.

National Treasury Employees Union President Anthony Reardon said in a comment that the change only affects the use of official time by union officials.

"The proposed rule targets no other group of potential representatives," he said. "Those union officials are, of course, the very people that an employee might naturally seek out for help in combatting illegal discrimination."

The comments included input from 185 members of Congress, led by Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-Md) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who is a former chair of the EEOC. The lawmakers wrote that the proposed rule would "undermine the rights of federal employees" and "harm the mission" of the EEOC.

"This is an outrageous and hypocritical position for EEOC to take during this national reckoning of racial injustice. EEOC should focus on robust civil rights enforcement, not create roadblocks for federal workers who raise internal discrimination complaints," said Everett Kelley, American Federation of Government Employees National President, in an AFGE press release on the rule change.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.