2.09 – Employee Complaint and Grievance Policy
The complaint and grievance policy was established to ensure that the policies and procedures of the agency are applied in a fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory manner. It prohibits retaliation against any employee for filing a complaint or a grievance.
It is not the intent of the Complaint and Grievance Policy and Procedure hereby established to prohibit, or in any way obstruct, a manager or supervisor from prudently exercising his or her management rights. “Management rights” are defined as, but not necessarily limited to, the right of a manager or supervisor to:
- Hire employees within established Open Door policies and procedures
- Develop in-house policies which adhere to current Open Door policies
- Set work schedules, lunch hours, and breaks
- Transfer or promote an employee to achieve optimum use of the employee’s skills and talents
- Redesign/reassign jobs to insure operational efficiency
- Discharge an employee because of changes in the organizational structure or to comply with Open Door policies
- Discipline or discharge an employee because of their performance is insufficient for the standards of his or her job
Regular employees who have completed their introductory period are eligible to use either the complaint procedure or the grievance procedure (if the subject matter is a valid item), as defined herein. Employees who have not completed their introductory period are eligible to use the complaint procedure but are not eligible to use the grievance procedure.
No employee shall be disciplined, penalized, restrained, coerced or otherwise prejudiced in his or her employment, in any manner whatsoever, for exercising the rights or remedies provided in this Complaint Policy. However, employees may not use this policy and procedure for the purpose of disrupting the operations of the work unit or the company. In such cases, the employee may receive disciplinary action. Employees who follow the complaint/grievance procedures shall be allowed time off from regular duties, with pay, to attend scheduled meetings regarding their complaint/grievance.
A complaint is an employee’s formal expression of disagreement or dissatisfaction with aspects of employment, such as working conditions, hours of work, environment, relationships with supervisors and other employees, or policies or decisions of the department considered by the employee to be inappropriate, harmful or unfair.
It is expected that any time an employee has a question or a complaint, as defined above they will follow the internal chain of command by first meeting with their immediate supervisor. If the complaint is regarding the employee’s immediate supervisor, they are to go the next subsequent chain of command. If the complaint is regarding a co-worker who works in a different department, the Risk Management Coordinator(s) will investigate.
If the inter-department complaint is not resolved, the employee’s complaint as well as the results of the supervisor’s investigation will be forwarded to the Risk Management Coordinator, within seven (7) calendar days.
If the recommendation from the Risk Management Coordinator includes meeting between co-workers, all parties involved must voluntarily agree for management meeting and sign a confidentially agreement before management meeting can be held. The role of the Management Facilitator (Executive Director or Operations Director) is that of a neutral facilitator, not that of a judge, arbitrator, lawyer or therapist. At no time will the Management Facilitator give legal or financial advice. If the meeting is not agreeable by all parties, meeting will not be conducted.
If the employee is still not satisfied with the outcome, the employee may make a final appeal by filing in writing to the Executive Director within seven (7) calendar days from the receipt of the recommendations of the Management Facilitator. The Executive Director will review the employee’s complaint and will provide the employee with a final decision within seven (7) calendar days following the receipt of the employee’s appeal.
A Grievance is an employee’s formal expression of disagreement or dissatisfaction with an adverse personnel action involving a corrective action. (A corrective action as a result of Investigative/SRSR committee decision [CM1], Introductory Period termination, or “Employer Discharge at Will termination is NOT eligible for dispute).
If the employee wishes to dispute/appeal his/her corrective action, the employee’s grievance must be presented in writing to the Executive Director within seven (7) calendar days of receiving the corrective action. Within 14 calendar days of receipt of the written grievance, the Executive Director will review the grievance, make recommendations and notify the employee, in writing, of the outcome. If upheld, the corrective action will remain in place and in file. If overturned, the corrective action will be removed from file and record. If the complaint is regarding the Executive Director, the Operations Director will review and respond to the request for appeal.
- Extension of time limits in any of the above steps may be authorized, due to extenuating circumstances, upon written request to the Director.
- Failure of an employee to process a complaint to the next step within the prescribed time limit shall constitute abandonment of the complaint.
- Failure of management to give an answer within the time limits authorizes the employee to process the complaint to the next step.
In order to ensure that all timelines are met, the agency reserves the right to assign a substitute on management behalf, in case of an absence or emergency.
Last Revised: 2/23/24