Applicability of 18 U.S.C. § 205 to Union Organizing Activities of Department of Justice Employee

Headnotes: 

The representational bar in 18 U.S.C. § 205 applies to union organizing activities of a federal employee in which he acts as “agent or attorney” for other federal employees before their agency.

The definition of “agency” in 18 U.S.C. § 6 is an expansive one, which establishes a presumption that a governmental entity is an agency for purposes of a given criminal offense, including offenses involving a conflict of interest, and includes entities in the legislative branch.

Even if certain provisions in Title VII of the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA) specifically protect a federal employee’s organizational and representational activities under that Act, notwithstanding the general bar in § 205, those provisions do not apply in this case because the employee group seeking recognition is not a “labor organization” under the CSRA.

Updated July 9, 2014