Sometimes, Experience Counts
Following are some of the significant legal cases Mr. Kete has argued:
Phil Kete has served as an AFGE local president and council president and has been a delegate to several AFGE conventions.
He has worked in the general counsel's office of AFGE, NFFE, and the Teamsters, and has himself served as general counsel for AFGE Local 1923 - the largest local in AFGE.
Mr. Kete has also served as director of AFGE's collective bargaining department, which included primary responsibility for fighting the DHS and DOD phony personnel reforms.
Phil is a member of the bars of Maryland, DC, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court of Federal Claims and various U.S. district courts and courts of appeal.
Phil Kete's law firm has two focuses: litigation on behalf of individual employees (including class actions), and providing bargaining advice and consultation to local union leaders.
For more information, visit our Litigation Services or Bargaining Services pages.
AFGE Local 2782 v. FLRA, 702 F.2d 1183 (D.C. Cir. 1983)
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In an opinion written by judge Antonin Scalia, the court overturned the FLRA's interpretation of 5 U.S.C. § 7106, and specifically held that unions could bargain over appropriate arrangements that would otherwise violate management rights.
Covington v. HHS, 818 F.2d 838 (Fed. Cir. 1987) and Burgess v. Merit Systems Protection Bd., 758 F.2d 641 (Fed. Cir. 1985)
and Burgess v. Merit Systems Protection Bd., 758 F.2d 641 (Fed. Cir. 1985)
Where an employee has retired or resigned, but claims that this is really a constructive discharge, the employee is entitled to a hearing on that issue unless the discharge claim is facially frivolous.
Crispin v. Department of Commerce, 732 F.2d 919 (Fed. Cir. 1984)
The court held that employees have a right to a hearing even if the agency claims there are no material facts in dispute, and that, therefore, the MSPB has no power to grant summary judgment against appellants.
Friends v. Astrue, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48161 (D.C.C. 2007)
Summary judgment denied in discharge of deaf employee for alleged poor performance. (Case was later settled for several hundred thousand dollars, plus attorney fees.)
Globus v. Burnley, 704 F. Supp. 267 (D.D.C. 1988)
Even if the court finds substantial evidence supporting an MSPB decision finding a discharge is proper, the employee is still entitled to trial de novo on her claim that the discharge was discriminatory.
Gray v. Dept. of Defense, 2011 MSPB 64 (2011)
Agency violated employee's constitutional rights, requiring his reinstatement, when deciding official in a discharge relied on factors not set out in the proposed removal letter.
Greenstreet v. SSA, 543 F.3d 705 (Fed.Cir. 2008)
Arbitrator wrongfully reinstated employee without back pay, rather than rationally establishing length of suspension to replace discharge.
Johnson v. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, 625 F.3dm 1373 (Fed. Cir. 2010)
An employee sent management an email beginning, "I am appealing the recently received removal from you ..." The court overturned an arbitrator's holding that this did not constitute filing an appeal under the grievance procedure.
Local 32 AFGE v. FLRA, 774 F.2d 498 (D.C. Cir. 1985), and AFGE Local 32 v. FLRA, 853 F.2d 986 (D.C. Cir. 1988)
The court twice overturned the FLRA's scope of bargaining decision on the ground that the decision did not intelligibly distinguish Local 32's proposal from others which had been found within the scope of bargaining.
Local 2578, AFGE v. General Services Admin., 711 F.2d 261 (D.C. Cir. 1983)
An arbitrator wrongfully failed to consider mitigating factors when upholding an employee's discharge.
Moyers v. Secty, DVA, No. 531-2008-00018X (5/29/09, EEOC Maryland)
DVA wrongfully delayed restoring accommodation to employee suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, after short-term emergency suspension of accommodation.
NLRB Union v. FLRA, 834 F.2d 191 (D.C. Cir. 1987)
The law allows a union to challenge an FLRA regulation years after the regulation was issued.
Salmon v. Social Security Administration, 663 F.3d 1378 (Fed. Cir. 2011)
The court seemed to hold that the legal requirement that performance standards must, "to the maximum extent feasible, permit the accurate evaluation of job performance on the basis of objective criteria," does not mean that sometimes performance standards must be based on objective criteria.
Service Employees Int'l Union, Local 722 v. Childrens' Hospital, 640 F.Supp. 272 (D.D.C. 1984)
Hospital which failed to immediately reinstate an employee as required by the district court's order enforcing an arbitration award, claiming that merely noting an appeal resulted in an automatic stay, must pay the attorney fees incurred by the union in challenging the delay.
Smith v. Dept. of Navy, 2010 MSPB 55
Award of nearly $100,000 in attorney fees is warranted where agency should have known it would not prevail on merits of a performance discharge.
Washington Hospital Center v. Service Employees International Union, 746 F.2d 1503 (D.C. Cir. 1984)
In a decision written by judge Robert Bork, the court upheld district court orders mandating arbitration of a number of grievances and enforcing arbitration awards in several other cases. The court upheld the grant of attorney fees in several of the cases, on the ground that the employer's position was frivolous.
Williams v. Social Security Administration, 586 F.3d 1365 (Fed. Cir. 2009)
The MSPB cannot justify punishing a participant in a fraud more severely than the perpetrator simply on the ground that they were in different chains of command.