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Pay & Leave Claim Decisions

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Office of the General Counsel

Matter of: [XXX]
File Number: S9701312

OPM Contact: Murray M. Meeker

[XXX], an employee with the [agency], sustained a work-related injury for which he received compensation under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act from the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs of the Department of Labor. The employee was advised that he could buy back more than 600 hours of sick leave. However, while the employee was initially billed only for the net value of his leave, he was subsequently required to pay the gross value of his leave. The employee claims that he is entitled to the difference between what he was initially billed and the amount that he was subsequently required to pay, a difference of approximately $4,645.00.

The employing agency has advised OPM that during the relevant time period, the employee was subject to a negotiated grievance procedure under a collective bargaining agreement. OPM cannot take jurisdiction over the claim of a current or former federal employee on a matter that is or was subject to a negotiated grievance procedure under a collective bargaining agreement between the employees agency and union, unless that matter is or was specifically excluded from the agreements grievance procedure.

The courts have found that Congress intended that such a grievance procedure is to be the exclusive remedy for matters not excluded from the grievance process. Carter v. Gibbs, 909 F.2d 1425, 1453 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (en banc), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 811 (1990) [construing the provision in the Civil Service Reform Act, codified at 5 U.S.C.  7121(a)]. That Act mandates that the grievance procedures in negotiated collective bargaining agreements be the exclusive remedy for matters covered by the agreements. Accord, Cecil E. Riggs et al., B-222962.3, April 23, 1992.

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