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Article 3 Employee Rights
Updated On: Oct 29, 2013

Article 3

Employee Rights

Section 1. Respect in the Workplace

It is the intent of the Department of Labor that all employees shall be treated with

fairness and dignity. It is recognized that employees covered by this Agreement

are not without reciprocal obligations.

Section 2. Compliance with Laws, Rules, Regulations, and Agreement

Laws, rules, regulations, and the provisions of this Agreement should be enforced

by Management and employees are expected to comply with them. Where

Management finds that employee conduct is inconsistent with applicable law, rule,

regulation, or the provisions of this Agreement and that conduct has been due to

lack of enforcement, and where Management wishes to change or correct the

inappropriate conduct, Management should apprise the employees of what is

expected and that the law, rule, regulation, or the provisions of this Agreement will

be enforced.

Section 3. Right to Join or Assist Union

Each employee shall have the right to join or assist the Union or to refrain from

any such activity, freely and without fear of penalty or reprisal, and each employee

shall be protected in the exercise of such right. Except as otherwise provided

under law, such right includes the right:

a. To act for a labor organization in the capacity of a representative and the

right, in that capacity, to present the views of the labor organization to

heads of agencies and other officials of the executive branch of the

Government, the Congress, or other appropriate authorities; and

b. To engage in collective bargaining with respect to conditions of employment

through representatives.

Section 4. Conflict of Interest

This Agreement does not authorize participation in the management of a labor

organization or acting as a representative of a labor organization by a Management

official, supervisor, or a confidential employee, except as specifically provided in

the law, or by an employee if the participation or activity would result in a conflict

or apparent conflict of interest or would otherwise be incompatible with law or with

the official duties of the employee.

Section 5. Right to Remedial Relief for Employees in the Bargaining Unit

In seeking remedial relief under this Agreement, the grievant and the duly

designated Union representative, if any, shall be free from restraint, interference,

coercion, discrimination, and reprisal.

Section 6. Private Lives vs. Official Duties

a. The Department recognizes that an employee’s financial obligations or

obligations alleged by any creditor are private matters. In the event of a

dispute between an employee and a private individual or firm with respect

to an alleged debt or financial obligation, the Department will not take any

action against the employee which is contrary to law, rule, or regulation.

b. Any DOL official who has authority to take, direct others to take,

recommend, or approve any personnel action, shall not discriminate for or

against any employee on the basis of conduct which does not adversely

affect the performance of the employee or the performance of others.

Nothing in this Subsection shall prohibit the Department from taking into

account any conviction of the employee for any crime under the laws of any

State, of the District of Columbia, or of the United States in determining

suitability or fitness.

Section 7. Campaigns or Drives--Solicitation of Employees in the

Bargaining Unit

a. Definition. For the purpose of this Article, solicitation of employees in the

bargaining unit means requests for contribution for the Combined Federal

Campaign, participation in Savings Bond Drive, blood drive, or other

Department-approved solicitations which have been announced in generally

published Departmental directives.

b. Participation. Contributions from employees in the bargaining unit and

participation by employees in the unit to solicit contributions shall be

voluntary. There shall be no discrimination against any employee in the

unit for non-participation or for any level of contributions. An employee in

the bargaining unit may be requested to volunteer or solicit for

contributions. Absent a volunteer, the Department will request the Union to

assist in providing the needed volunteer. No Management or supervisory

employee shall participate in any direct solicitation of employees in the

bargaining unit who are under his/her supervision.

Section 8. Use of Personal Audio Devices

Employees have the right to play personal audio devices on the worksite so long as

the use does not disturb the productivity of the employee or other employees

within the worksite and does not distract clientele.

Section 9. Supervision and Assignment of Work

Consistent with the Management right to assign work to employees and to

determine methods and means of performing work, employees can expect

assignments to be made within reasonable bounds, consistent with grade level,

position description, and performance. Employees will usually receive instructions

from and make reports through established supervisory/managerial channels as

described or depicted in pertinent position descriptions, organizational charts, and

directives. Employees in the unit will be informed of whom they are to look to for

supervision and performance appraisal.

Section 10. Polygraph Tests

The Department will not ordinarily request or require an employee in the

bargaining unit to submit to a polygraph test.

Section 11. Required Membership and Participation in Professional


The Department agrees to pay for membership dues in professional associations

whenever an employee is required to join such an organization by an appropriate

level of Management in connection with the performance of his/her official duties.

Such memberships shall be in the name of the Department for the employee. The

Department also agrees to pay the expenses of employees for attendance at

professional meetings, consistent with budget limitations and accounting

regulations, provided it has been approved in advance by an appropriate level of

Management. To the extent allowable by law and provided it has been approved

in advance by an appropriate level of management, the Department may pay

professional development and certification fees when they are job related.

Section 12. Work Plans

Employees have the right to propose new and innovative ways to carry out the

mission or function of the Department. They may submit individual or joint work

plans which may include elements such as methods to better accomplish a mission

or function of the Department. Appropriate Management will review the plans as

to feasibility. If an employee’s plan is rejected, Management will inform the

employee why it was rejected.

Section 13. Personnel Records

a. Official personnel records will be collected, maintained, or retained in

accordance with law, Government-wide regulations, and this Agreement.

b. Employees and/or their authorized representatives, in accordance with 29

CFR 70a, may be granted reasonable amounts of official time, upon

approval of the supervisor, to:

(1) examine any of their personnel records, except those limited by

Office of Personnel Management and Department of Labor

regulations; and

(2) submit to the appropriate Human Resources Officer responses to

material placed in the records.

Section 14. Complaints

Any complaints directed at individual employees that become part of the personnel

records will be available for review upon request by the employee in accordance

with Section 13 of this Article.

AFGE Local 12
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