Rules Corner – Grievance Timeline

In the past few months, several members have brought employment issues to the Utah Public Employees Association’s (UPEA’s) attention. While a number of these concerns had merit, the member could not pursue a remedy through the grievance procedure because he or she failed to comply with the deadline to file a grievance. In light of this, it seems appropriate to remind our members about the requirements for timeliness in grievance matters.

Timelines relevant to the grievance procedure can be found in Utah Code. Specifically, time limits for submission of appeal (grievance) by an aggrieved employee are set out in 67-19a-401 et seq. For purposes of this discussion, pertinent aspects of the statute are as follows:

67-19a-401 (4)(a) states: Unless the employee meets the requirements for excusable neglect established by rule, if the employee fails to process the grievance to the next step within the time limits established in this part, he has waived his right to process the grievance or to obtain judicial review of the grievance.

67-19a-401(4)(b) states: Unless the employee meets the requirements for excusable neglect established by rule, if the employee fails to process the grievance to the next step within the time limits established in this part, the grievance is considered to be settled based on the decision made at the last step.

67-19a-401(5)(a) states: Unless the employee meets the requirements for excusable neglect established by rule, an employee may submit a grievance for review under this chapter only if the employee submits the grievance:

(i) Within 20 working days after the event giving rise to the grievance; or

(ii) Within 20 working days after the employee has knowledge of the event giving rise to the grievance.

67-19a-401(5)(b) states: Notwithstanding Subsection (5)(a), an employee may not submit a grievance more than one year after the event giving rise to the grievance.

67-19a-401(6) states: A person who has voluntarily terminated his employment with the state may not submit a grievance after he has terminated his employment.

The most important aspect of the statute relates to the 20 working day period. Remember that as an employee, you will not be the person determining when the timeline started, so if you are in doubt, simply contact your UPEA representative for advice. On the bright side, the rule requires that the agency give notice of your right to appeal/grieve any intended or imposed disciplinary action and this includes the timeline for your response.

Questions Regarding the Grievance Process?

Call Your UPEA Employee Representative at

801-264-8732.

 

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