NASA v. FLRA, 527 U.S. 229, 4 (1999)

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Opinion of the Court

ducted an investigation of certain threatening activities of an employee of the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, which is also a component of NASA. A NASA-OIG investigator contacted the employee to arrange for an interview and, in response to the employee's request, agreed that both the employee's lawyer and union representative could attend. The conduct of the interview gave rise to a complaint by the union representative that the investigator had improperly limited his participation. The union filed a charge with the Federal Labor Relations Authority (Authority) alleging that NASA and its OIG had committed an unfair labor practice. See 7116(a)(1), (8).

The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) ruled for the union with respect to its complaint against NASA-OIG. See App. to Pet. for Cert. 71a. The ALJ concluded that the OIG investigator was a "representative" of NASA within the meaning of 7114(a)(2)(B), and that certain aspects of the investigator's behavior had violated the right to union representation under that section. Id., at 64a-65a, 69a-70a. On review, the Authority agreed that the NASA-OIG investigator prevented the union representative from actively participating in the examination and (1) ordered both NASA and NASA-OIG to cease and desist (a) requiring bargaining unit employees to participate in OIG interviews under 7114(a)(2)(B) without allowing active participation of a union representative, and (b) likewise interfering with, coercing, or restraining employees in exercising their rights under the statute; and (2) directed NASA to (a) order NASA-OIG to comply with 7114(a)(2)(B), and (b) post appropriate notices at the Huntsville facility. NASA, 50 F. L. R. A. 601, 602, 609, 622-623 (1995).

NASA and NASA-OIG petitioned for review, asking whether the NASA-OIG investigator was a "representative" of NASA, and whether it was proper to grant relief against NASA as well as its OIG. The Court of Appeals upheld the Authority's rulings on both questions and granted the

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