National Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 145 (Union) and United States Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Laredo, Texas (Agency)

 
65 FLRA No. 213              
 
NATIONAL TREASURY
EMPLOYEES UNION
CHAPTER 145
(Union)
 
and
 
UNITED STATES
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION
LAREDO, TEXAS
(Agency)
 
0-AR-4492
(65 FLRA 898 (2011))
 
_____
 
ORDER DENYING
MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
 
July 14, 2011
 
_____
 
Before the Authority: Carol Waller Pope, Chairman, and Thomas M. Beck and Ernest DuBester, Members
I.     Statement of the Case
 
This matter is before the Authority on the Agency’s motion for reconsideration (motion) of the Authority’s decision in National Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 145, 65 FLRA 898 (2011) (NTEU). The Union did not file an opposition to the Agency’s motion.
 
Section 2429.17 of the Authority’s Regulations permits a party that can establish extraordinary circumstances to request reconsideration of an Authority final decision or order. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the Agency has failed to establish extraordinary circumstances warranting reconsideration. Accordingly, we deny the Agency’s motion.
 
II.    Decision in NTEU
 
        In the arbitration award at issue in NTEU, the Arbitrator held that § 7121(d) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (§ 7121(d)) barred a grievance concerning the propriety of the grievant’s suspension because the grievant previously had filed a formal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint regarding the suspension.[1] See 65 FLRA 898, 898. On the Union’s exceptions to the award, the Authority found that there was no dispute that the grievant’s formal EEO complaint had been untimely, and held that the award was contrary to law because § 7121(d) does not bar a grievance where the previously filed, formal EEO complaint is untimely. See id. at 899-900. In so holding, the Authority: (1) considered the plain wording of § 7121(d) and Authority and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) precedent interpreting that wording; (2) considered the plain wording of 29 C.F.R. § 1614.301 (§ 1614.301) and EEOC precedent interpreting that wording;[2] and (3) expressly rejected the Agency’s claim that § 7121(d) requires only that a grievant timely initiate an EEO “action[