2023 - 2026 WCE Memorandum of Understanding: Appendix A: County Grievance Procedure
What’s on this Page
- Section 1: Definitions
- Section 2: Representation
- Section 3: Discrimination
- Section 4: Time Off
- Section 5: Informal Grievance Procedure
- Section 6: Formal Grievance Procedure
Section 1: Definitions
- GRIEVANCE. A grievance is a complaint by an employee, a group of employees, or by a recognized employee organization on behalf of an employee(s) (all herein after referred to as a "grievant") concerning any term or condition of employment which the appointing authority has complete or partial authority and power to change or which the appointing authority may seek to resolve through action by another Department Head. Where a grievance concerns a matter which is controlled in whole or in part by another department head(s), such department head(s) shall be made a party to the grievance. A grievance may relate to a management interpretation or application of law, ordinance, regulations, the resolutions of this Board, or departmental rules and regulations. Specifically excluded from the definition of grievance and from the grievance procedure are:
- Complaints, the resolution of which would require a change in or an amendment to law, ordinance, or the resolutions, rules or regulations of this Board;
- Discrimination complaints which shall be filed through the County's equal Opportunity Discrimination Complaint Procedure;
- Dismissals, suspensions, and reductions in rank or compensation; and
- In addition to (4), above, all other matters appealable under the Civil Service Ordinance and/or the Rules of the Civil Service Commission.
- GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE. The grievance procedure is the method by which a grievant may seek management action to relieve or eliminate the grievance.
- GRIEVANCE APPEALS COMMITTEE. A Grievance Appeals Committee of three members shall be a forum for consideration and resolution of grievances. Committee members shall be composed as follows:
- One person selected by the recognized employee organization representing the grievant. If the grievant is unrepresented, then the grievant may select a Committee member of the grievant's choosing.
- The Director of Human Resources or designee. If the grievant is employed in the Human Resources Department, then the County Administrator shall select this Committee member.
- The third member of the Committee shall be mutually selected by the first two Committee members chosen by the grievant and the Human Resources Director. The third member of the Committee must be so selected within ten (10) days of the day the first two members were selected. If the first two Committee members are unable to agree upon a selection, then the first two Committee members shall strike names off of a list of the current members of the County Civil Service Commission until only one (1) name remains, who shall be the third member of the Committee. The order of striking shall be determined by a coin toss. No Committee member may be selected who is employed in the department in which the grievant is employed. Committee members shall select a chairperson. The Human Resources Department shall provide secretarial services to the Committee. The Committee shall meet on call of its chairman and with mutual agreement, as to date and time of the meeting, among the grievant, the appointing authority and the other Committee members. Deliberations of the Committee shall be informal, confidential and provide a full and fair hearing of the grievance and proposed solutions without formal rules of evidence or a stenographic or electronic recording of the proceedings.
- DAYS. The term "days" as used in this procedure shall mean regular County business days, Mondays through Fridays, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but excluding formal County holidays or weekends.
Section 2: Representation
An employee may be represented in any step of this grievance procedure by a representative of the recognized employee organization which represents the grievant as a County employee, or, if the grievant is an unrepresented County employee, the grievant may be represented by a person of the grievant's own choosing. No member of the Grievance Appeals Committee may represent the grievant.
Section 3: Discrimination
No employee shall be subjected to discrimination, coercion, restraint, or reprisal by reason of good faith utilization of this grievance procedure.
Section 4: Time Off
Reasonable time off without loss of regular pay from normal County work duties shall be accorded to an employee for the purpose of presenting a grievance, representing the grievant in grievance proceedings or serving as a member of the Grievance Appeals Committee. Time off is subject to the condition that before leaving the employee's usual duties, the employee shall obtain the permission of his/her immediate supervisor. Such permission shall not be unreasonably withheld.
Section 5: Informal Grievance Procedure
It shall be the mutual responsibility of employees and management to endeavor to resolve grievances informally at the lowest practicable level of management. To this end, the grievant shall first present the grievance to the grievant's immediate supervisor in an informal meeting within ten (10) days after the occurrence of the circumstances giving rise to the grievance or the grievant's first knowledge thereof. The grievant may request the meeting be held at any reasonable time, and the supervisor shall meet with the grievant as soon as reasonably practicable after receipt of the request. In the meeting, the grievant and the supervisor shall review the grievance. The employee shall fully and fairly explain: the alleged action or inaction by the County which caused grievance; the policy, rule, law or regulation allegedly violated by the County; and the remedy the grievant believes will resolve the grievance. The parties shall cooperate in seeking a resolution of the grievance. If questions beyond the scope of the supervisor's authority or knowledge are involved, the supervisor may consult the supervisor's superiors or other County officers. The supervisor shall present an informal, verbal decision with supporting reasons to the grievant within five (5) days after the meeting.
Section 6: Formal Grievance Procedure
An employee whose grievance is not satisfactorily resolved by the informal procedure may institute a formal grievance. The formal grievance shall conform to the following:
- All formal grievances shall be in writing on the form appended to this resolution. A supply of forms shall be maintained in each department and shall be readily accessible to all employees.
- Within five (5) days after receipt of the supervisor's decision in the informal proceeding, the grievant may file a formal grievance on the form prescribed. The grievant shall provide the necessary information called for at the top of the form and in Steps I and II of the Grievance form in clearly legible writing, printing, or typing. The grievant shall file the original form with the immediate supervisor.
- The immediate supervisor shall meet with the grievant within five (5) days after filing of the grievance form for discussion of the formal grievance. The immediate supervisor shall complete "Supervisor's decision" portion of the form and return it to the grievant within five (5) days after their meeting. A copy of the supervisor's decision and attached grievance documents shall also be filed in the file with the Human Resources Director.
- The grievant may appeal the decision of the immediate supervisor by completing the first part of Step III of the grievance form and filing it with the grievant's appointing authority within five (5) days after receipt of the supervisor's decision. The functions of the appointing authority hereunder may be performed by the appointing authority's duly authorized representative.
- The appointing authority shall meet with the grievant within five (5) days after filing of the appeal for discussion of the grievance. If the matter is controlled in whole or in part by another department head(s), such department head(s) shall be consulted and made a party to the grievance. The grievant's appointing authority shall complete the rest of the Step III ("Appointing Authority response") and return it to the employee within fifteen (15) days after such meeting. A copy of the appointing authority's response and any attached grievance documents shall also be filed with the Human Resources Director and any department head(s) made party to the grievance.
- The grievant may appeal from the decision of the appointing authority by filing a written request for such appeal to the Human Resources Director within five (5) days after receipt of the appointing authority's decision. The Human Resources Director shall immediately deliver a copy of the written appeal to the grievant's appointing authority. The Human Resources Director shall then obtain the name of the Grievance Appeals Committee member selected by the grievant or the grievant's recognized employee organization. The Human Resources Director shall select a Committee member to represent the Human Resources Director and then provide assistance as necessary to select the third Committee member in accordance with the selection process in Section 1(c), above. The grievant's written appeal shall provide full details of the facts of the grievance and why the appointing authority's response did not satisfactorily resolve the grievance.
- The Grievance Appeals Committee shall schedule the appeal for hearing not later than twenty (20) days after the filing of the grievance and shall forthwith notify the grievant and the grievant's appointing authority and any department head(s) made party to the grievance of the time and place at which the appeal will be considered. The Committee may reach and announce a decision at the close of the hearing or it may retire and deliberate in private before announcing its decision. In order to be properly reached, a decision by the Committee must be agreed upon by at least two (2) members, be in writing and show both the findings of facts and the reasoning behind the decision. The Committee shall deliver with proof of service, a copy of its decision to the appointing authority, and the grievant, and any department head(s) made party to the grievance, within ten (10) days after conclusion of the hearing.
- Either the grievant or the appointing authority or any department head(s) made party to the grievance may appeal the decision of the Grievance Appeals Committee by filing a written appeal with the other party, with the Human Resources Director and with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors within five (5) days after receipt of the decision of the Appeals Committee. The Board of Supervisors shall have the discretion to decide the grievance and render a final decision based solely on a review of the grievance records or it shall schedule the appeal for a public hearing in a manner the Board deems appropriate. If the Board chooses to decide the grievance based on the record, it shall render a final decision in the form of a Resolution within a reasonable period of time not to exceed 30 days from the date the Clerk of the Board received the appeal. If the Board of Supervisors chooses to hear the grievance, the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors shall give written notice of the time and place of the hearing to the grievant and the appointing authority. The Board of Supervisors shall hear and determine the grievance within a reasonable period of time not to exceed thirty (30) days from the date the Clerk of the Board received the appeal. The grievant, the appointing authority or any department head(s) made party to the grievance and their representatives, may appear and present their arguments in front of the Board. The decision of the Board of Supervisors shall be evidenced by a Resolution of the Board. The Clerk shall mail to the employee, the appointing authority, any department head(s) made party to the grievance, and the Human Resources Director a copy of the Board's Resolution. The decision of the Board of Supervisors shall be final.