ARTICLE XIII, Grievances
§ 48-50. Exclusive remedy.
This chapter contains the exclusive procedure for presenting and resolving grievances. An employee may pursue a grievance only as specified here.
§ 48-51. Filing of grievance form required.
With the exception of Step One grievances, all grievances shall be made in writing on forms approved by DHR and signed by the aggrieved employee. The grievant must specify the nature of the dispute, the provisions of this chapter at issue and the remedy requested.
§ 48-52. Time limits.
Any time limit in this chapter may be extended by agreement of both sides in advance of its expiration. The Commissioners may extend the time limits for Step Four grievances. If an employee fails to comply with any time limit in this chapter, the grievance will be dismissed. If the County fails to comply with any time limit in this chapter, the grievance will automatically proceed to the next step.
§ 48-53. Special circumstances.
For suspension of more than 5 days or a discharge, an employee shall start with Step Three of the procedure.
§ 48-54. Procedure.
A. Step One Grievance.
(1) Presentation. An employee must present a grievance in person to his or her immediate supervisor within 5 workdays after the event giving rise to the grievance or within 5 workdays after the employee reasonably should have known of the event.
(2) Resolution. The supervisor shall attempt to resolve the grievance and must respond in person to the employee within 5 workdays after hearing the grievance. The supervisor must notify the Director of the grievance and the result. If the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved, the employee must so notify his or her Director within one day. The Director shall have 5 workdays in which to respond in person to the employee.
B. Step Two Grievance.
(1) Presentation. An employee whose grievance is not satisfactorily resolved at Step One may file a written grievance with DHR within 5 workdays after the Director delivers the response. The employee and Director or Deputy Director of DHR shall meet within 5 workdays after DHR receives the written grievance.
(2) Resolution. DHR shall mail or personally deliver a written response to the employee within 5 workdays after the meeting.
C. Step Three Grievance.
(1) Presentation. An employee whose grievance is not satisfactorily resolved after Step Two may appeal to the Grievance Review Board by serving a written notice of appeal on the Director of DHR within 10 workdays after DHR mails or delivers the Step Two response. An employee suspended for more than 5 days or discharged may file a Step Three grievance by serving a written notice of appeal on the Director of DHR within 5 workdays after the suspension or discharge.
(2) Compliance with procedural requirements. Upon receiving a Step Three appeal notice, the Director of DHR shall determine whether the appeal has been timely and properly processed. If it has not, the Director of DHR shall deny the appeal and notify the employee of the reasons in writing. If the appeal has been timely and properly processed, the Director of DHR shall schedule a hearing before the Grievance Review Board.
(3) Time of hearing. The Grievance Review Board shall hold a hearing within 30 days after DHR receives the appeal notice.
(4) Composition of Grievance Review Board. The Grievance Review Board consists of the Chief of Staff to the Commissioners, a Director from a department or office other than that in which the employee works, and an employee ombudsman chosen by the employee from a list maintained by DHR.
(5) Hearing and decision.
(a) In all grievances except those involving suspension for more than 5 days or discharge, the Grievance Review Board shall determine the procedure for the hearing, giving both sides the opportunity to present witnesses and evidence. The employee may be represented by anyone the employee chooses.
(b) In grievances involving suspension for more than 5 days or discharge, the Grievance Review Board shall tape record the hearing. The employee may be represented by anyone the employee chooses. Each side shall have the opportunity to present evidence and to question fully all witnesses.
(c) The Grievance Review Board shall mail its written decision within 30 days after the hearing. The decision shall be final and binding on all parties, except as provided in Subsection D(1) below.
D. Step Four Grievance.
(1) Appeal to Commissioners. In a grievance involving suspension for more than 5 days or discharge, either the employee or management may appeal the Grievance Review Board's decision to the Commissioners. Management may also appeal the Grievance Review Board's decision to the Commissioners in any case where the decision allegedly violates this chapter or county policies or adversely affects the efficiency of county government. The party appealing at the Step Four level must serve a written notice of appeal on the Chief of Staff to the Commissioners within 10 workdays after the Grievance Review Board mails its decision.
(2) Presentation. Within 3 workdays after receipt of the appeal notice, the Chief of Staff shall submit to the Commissioners the record of the hearing before the Grievance Review Board. The record shall include a sound recording of the Step Three hearing unless the party appealing pays for the transcript in advance or the Commissioners request a transcript.
(3) Hearing. The Commissioners may decide the appeal based on the record without further hearing or, at their sole option, may hold an additional hearing to determine such facts as they deem necessary.
(4) Disposition. The Commissioners shall render a final, binding decision on the grievance within 20 days after receiving the record of the hearing before the Grievance Review Board or, if the Commissioners hold a hearing, within 20 days after the close of the hearing. The decision of the Commissioners is not subject to judicial review.