Douglas County Personnel Rules

Douglas County Personnel Rule #11


11.1        Policy. Subject to the limitations in Rule 11.3, it is the policy of the Board to assure all employees of the County, through the use of a formalized procedure, a method and procedure whereby they may have their grievances considered as fairly and as rapidly as possible without fear of reprisal.  The following procedures will apply equally to a group grievance as well as to an individual employee.  Grievances involving suspensions, demotions or layoffs shall be processed only under the grievance procedure.

11.1.1                   Definition.  A grievance is a dispute or disagreement raised by an employee or group of employees against the County and/or their Department Head or supervisor, following the procedures set forth in Rule 11.2 of this rule, because of an interpretation or alleged violation of these personnel policies and procedures or other conditions of employment.

11.2        Procedure.  An employee may have a representative of their choosing present his complaint, but normally employees who have a complaint or grievance are expected to proceed as follows:

11.2.1                   The aggrieved employee shall within 30 working days of the date of the grievance or knowledge thereof, discuss the matter frankly and openly with the immediate supervisor.  Within ten working days of such discussion, the immediate supervisor shall attempt to resolve the matter and reply to the employee.

11.2.2                Should the employee decide that the reply of the supervisor is unsatisfactory or if the supervisor has not replied within the ten working days, the employee shall within ten working days from the date of the supervisor's answer or expiration of the supervisor's time to answer, submit the complaint in writing to the employee's Department Head.  The complaint at this point shall be in writing and shall be so framed as to include all information necessary to assist the Department Head in reaching an equitable decision.  The Department Head shall within ten working days of receipt of such written complaint attempt to resolve the matter and reply in writing to the employee.

11.2.3                   If the employee decides that the reply of the department head is unsatisfactory or if the matter cannot, because of budget or legal reasons, be resolved within the department, the employee shall within ten working days from the date of the Department Head's response or expiration of the Department Head's time to answer, refer the written complaint to the Board of Commissioners except where these rules specifically require another appeal procedure, then that procedure will be used.  The Board shall within ten working days of receipt of such written complaint affirm, modify or reverse the action and the Board's resolution shall be binding on all parties.

11.2.4                  If the employee has made a good faith effort to resolve the matter with his or her supervisor(s), and the employee believes that there is a complete breakdown of employee-supervisor relationships and cannot discuss the matter satisfactorily with their supervisors, the employee can immediately appeal to the Board, which will then proceed as in Rule 11.2.3.

11.2.5                   No employee shall be subject to harassment, reduction in employment status, benefits or pay, or loss of advancement opportunity solely as a result of good faith participation in a grievance procedure or testifying in a grievance proceeding.

11.2.6                   If the grievance is not presented within the time period set forth above, it shall be considered waived.  If a grievance is not appealed to the next step within the specified time limit, it shall be considered settled on the basis of the last answer.  If the proper authority does not answer a grievance or appeal thereof within the specified time limits, the employee shall treat the grievance as denied and may immediately appeal the grievance to the next step.  The time limit in each step may be extended by mutual agreement to the employee and authority involved in the step.

11.3        Limitations This rule does not apply to (as defined in Personnel Rule 2 (Definitions)) probationary, at will part time, on-call, temporary, at will managerial employees, appointed department heads or employees subject to collective bargaining agreements.  This rule does not apply regarding dismissals to employees of elected officials who have not adopted these rules.