NASA v. FLRA, 527 U.S. 229, 8 (1999)

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Opinion of the Court

examinations covered by 7114(a)(2)(B) are not also fairly characterized as agency "representative[s]." As an organization, an agency must rely on a variety of representatives to carry out its functions and, though acting in different capacities, each may be acting for, and on behalf of, the agency.

Third, NASA and NASA-OIG assert that their narrow construction is supported by the history and purpose of 7114(a)(2)(B). As is evident from statements by the author of the provision 1 as well as similar text in NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc., 420 U. S. 251 (1975), this section of the FSLMRS was patterned after that decision. In Weingarten, we upheld the National Labor Relations Board's conclusion that an employer's denial of an employee's request to have a union representative present at an investigatory interview, which the employee reasonably believed might result in disciplinary action, was an unfair labor practice. Id., at 252-253, 256. We reasoned that the Board's position was consistent with the employee's right under 7 of the NLRA to engage in concerted activities. Id., at 260. Given that history, NASA and its OIG contend that the comparable provision in the FSLMRS should be limited to investigations by representatives of that part of agency management with responsibility for collectively bargaining with the employee's union.

This argument ignores the important difference between the text of the NLRA and the text of the FSLMRS. That the general protection afforded to employees by 7 of the NLRA provided a sufficient basis for the Board's recognition of a novel right in the private sector, see id., at 260-262,

1 Congressman Udall, whose substitute contained the section at issue, explained that the "provisions concerning investigatory interviews reflect the . . . holding in" Weingarten. 124 Cong. Rec. 29184 (1978); Legislative History of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, Title VII of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (Committee Print compiled for the House Subcommittee on Postal Personnel and Modernization of the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service), Ser. No. 96-7, p. 926 (1979) (hereinafter FSLMRS Leg. Hist.); see NASA, 50 F. L. R. A. 601, 606 (1995).

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