When NTEU chapter leaders take on a grievance, it is not with the intention of leaving a legacy, but that was the case when Larry Baugh decided to challenge the firing of an IRS employee. Baugh, a former Chapter 24 (IRS Michigan) president and steward, passed away last week, but his groundbreaking arguments continue to protect IRS employees.
The passage of the 1998 IRS Restructuring and Reform Act marked not only the most massive restructuring in agency history but added provisions to federal law—Section 1203(b)—known as the “10 Deadly Sins”. Violations of Section 1203(b) by an IRS employee meant immediate termination with an appeal only to the IRS commissioner. Violations of 1203 were deemed non-negotiable.
Larry Baugh was undeterred.
He worked on one of the first, favorable decisions received by an IRS employee after the passage of that legislation. Able to develop an argument on behalf of an IRS employee accused of, and ultimately fired for, violating two of the deadly sins, Larry successfully got the employee's removal overturned.
That decision continues to serve as a template for arbitrators to follow today.
Larry was a man who fought tirelessly for his members, and left a legacy behind.