POLICY AND PROCEDURE REGARDING EMPLOYEES COMMUNICATING CONCERNS AND SUBMITTING GRIEVANCES PURPOSE The purpose of this policy is to establish and communicate the avenues available for communicating concerns, the internal process used to submit and investigate grievances, and the rights and responsibilities of the individual and Dungarvin with regard to the grievance process. For purposes of this policy, the term “employee,” includes job applicants, current employees, and terminated employees. The term “supervisor” refers to the local human resources department for an applicant, the primary supervisor for a current employee, and the supervisor at the time of termination for a terminated employee. The term “personnel file” refers to the personnel file for current and terminated employees, and the applicant file for applicants. POLICY Teamwork is required for achieving our goals with persons served and as an organization. With this concept in mind, the importance of communication cannot be underestimated. It is, therefore, Dungarvin's policy to openly discuss any issues, ideas, or areas of concern that an individual may have. This sharing of ideas and concerns is conducive to growth and is necessary to facilitate the concept of teamwork. Should an employee feel an issue or area of concern has not been resolved through informal discussion or meeting with peers and/or the supervisor, the employee is encouraged to submit a timely, formal grievance as outlined within this policy. A grievance is defined as an expressed dissatisfaction concerning an interpretation or application of a work-related policy or practice by management, supervisors, or other employees. Examples of matters that may be considered appropriate grievances under this policy include alleged harassment or discrimination, or employment issues such as hiring, disciplinary action, or termination. The formal grievance should identify the problem, name the person(s) affected, briefly outline the history of the problem, state the desired outcome, and include the date and signature of the person filing the grievance. It is Dungarvin’s policy to assess each grievance and attempt to reach a resolution quickly through the grievance procedure. Each grievance will be addressed within established time frames and the employee will be notified of the grievance outcome. A copy of the formal grievance, as well as documentation as to the final resolution of the grievance will become a permanent part of the grieving employee’s individual personnel record, or an applicant’s personnel file. Staff will receive training regarding this policy during the personnel orientation. An employee submitting a grievance shall be free from any restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal. If an employee feels he or she is subject to any of these, the employee should immediately report such conduct to the director* of the alleged perpetrator. PROCEDURE
- If an employee has an issue or area of concern, the first step of this process should be discussion with the supervisor.
- Should an employee feel an issue or area of concern has not been resolved through informal discussion with the supervisor, the issue or area of concern should become a formal grievance. An applicant for employment or a former employee may also use this grievance procedure.
III. Time periods for submitting a formal grievance or requesting additional review of a grievance. A. In order to ensure an adequate opportunity to investigate issues raised in the grievance and address issues quickly, a grievance should normally be filed within 90 days of the occurrence. If an employee submits a grievance beyond the 90-day deadline, the regional director and the chief operating officer, in consultation with national human resources, will consider whether there was a compelling reason for the grievance to be submitted late and whether Dungarvin will consider the grievance. If a grievance is received after the time period expires, the person receiving the grievance will notify the person submitting the grievance, in writing, whether or not the grievance will be considered. B. An employee must submit a grievance to the next level (see V.A. of this procedure) of the grievance procedure within 14 calendar days of receiving the decision (which is being contested) from the previous level. IV. Submitting a formal grievance.
- The employee will first submit a written grievance to the immediate supervisor.
- If the complaint is a violation of POLICY AND PROCEDURE CONCERNING EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, AND FREEDOM FROM HARASSMENT (A-13), the employee is strongly encouraged to submit the complaint in writing, however all complaints regarding harassment or discrimination will be promptly investigated.
If the employee is alleging that the immediate supervisor is harassing or discriminating in violation of POLICY AND PROCEDURE CONCERNING EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION,
AND FREEDOM FROM HARASSMENT (A-13), the employee should submit the written grievance to the next level of supervision. The steps outlined below in IV.C-G will then be followed by that level of supervision.
- The supervisor will forward a copy of the grievance to the human resources department for placement in the personnel file.
D. The supervisor will initiate an investigation in response to the grievance. E. The supervisor will investigate and review facts, interviews, and documents relevant to the grievance. The supervisor will conduct an interview, preferably face to face, with the person registering the grievance. Depending on the nature of the grievance, this investigation and review may also include: 1. Interviews with other employees or persons served. 2. Review of relevant Dungarvin policies and procedures. 3. Review of relevant documents/evidence. 4. Review of laws and regulations. 5. Consultation with the director*,and/or human resources manager.
F. The supervisor will document discussions with the employee, investigation of the grievance, the action taken or decision made, and follow-up meeting(s) and communication with the employee registering the grievance. G. Within 14 days, the supervisor will notify the employee of the findings, decision, and any action taken regarding the grievance. The supervisor will notify the employee in writing, if an extension is necessary to conclude the grievance review. The supervisor will send a copy of the response to the employee registering the complaint and to human resources for the employee’s personnel file. V. Additional levels of review of grievance. A. If the grievance is not resolved to the employee’s satisfaction after following the steps outlined in Sections I.-IV., the employee may request the grievance be reviewed first by the director*, then by the senior director, then by the regional director, and then by the chief operating officer. An employee that bypasses any of the levels of the grievance review will be re-directed to the appropriate next level for review. B. The employee will submit a written request for each additional level review of the grievance to the person conducting the review. C. The person reviewing the grievance will consult the supervisor to ensure all relevant documents and information regarding the grievance are considered.
- The person reviewing the grievance will provide a response within 30 calendar days of receipt of the employee’s written request for review. The response will notify both the employee and the supervisor of the findings resulting from the grievance investigation and will be documented in the employee’s individual personnel record.
- The person reviewing the grievance will notify the employee in writing, if an extension is necessary to conclude the grievance review.
VI. Final review of grievance by the CEO. A. If an employee is not satisfied with the disposition of a grievance by the chief operating officer the employee may submit a written request for review of the grievance by the CEO of Dungarvin. The chief operating officer is responsible to ensure all documents and information relevant to the grievance are forwarded to the CEO. B. The CEO may meet with interested parties individually or may appoint an individual or committee to review the grievance. Within 30 days after receipt of the request for review, the CEO will review the grievance and provide a written response to the employee and the chief operating officer. Such response will be filed in the employee’s individual personnel record. VII. Grievance does not suspend disciplinary action. The initial disposition or subsequent review of a grievance may involve action concerning employee discipline, including the modification or reversal of disciplinary action. However, disciplinary action, including termination, is not suspended or deferred as a result of filing a grievance under this policy. VIII. Policy exception. Any exception to this policy must be made in consultation with the chief operating officer. *If the employee works in a department not supervised by a director, the employee will contact the supervisor’s superior wherever this policy refers to the director. If the employee submitting the grievance is a supervisor, the grievance process begins with her or his immediate supervisor. The intent of this policy is to provide a means for review of any grievance, through the chain of supervision, up to the level of the CEO. RELATED POLICIES POLICY AND PROCEDURE CONCERNING EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, AND FREEDOM FROM HARASSMENT A-13