In American Federation of Government Employees v. Federal Labor Relations Authority, D.C. Circuit, No. 20-1396 (2/1/22) the union challenged a Federal Labor Relations Authority (“FLRA”) policy statement dealing with a management-initiated change to the “conditions of employment affecting … employees.” (quoting the statute.) Prior to 2020, the FLRA interpreted the statutory provisions to require collective bargaining over any workplace changes that have more than a de minimis effect on such working conditions. The 2020 policy being challenged provided that the duty to bargain is triggered only if a workplace change has “a substantial impact on a condition of employment.” The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held that “the FLRA’s decision to abandon its de minimis exception in favor of a substantial-impact threshold was not sufficiently reasoned, and thus is arbitrary and capricious in violation of section 706 of the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”).” The court said the “policy statement fell short on explaining the purported flaws of the de minimis standard,” and “The FLRA’s condemnation of the de minimis test also fails to grapple with the agency’s own past policy choices and this court’s decisions upholding them.” The court also found that the FLRA’s preference for the substantial-impact standard was not properly explained.