Rules Corner: Grievance and Appeals Procedures Spell Out Employees’ Rights

Utah law entitles career service employees to seek a remedy for an agency action or any other concern through the state’s grievance and appeal procedure. Utah Code 67-19-3.1(1)(g) states: “The department [Division of Human Resource Management (DHRM)] shall provide a formal procedure for advancing grievances of employees without discrimination, coercion, restraint, or reprisal, and in a manner that is fair, expeditious, and inexpensive for the employee and agency.”

The law also conveys certain rights to the employee during the process, including the right to obtain assistance from a representative such as UPEA; to request a reasonable amount of time during work hours to prepare a grievance; and to call other employees as witnesses at a grievance hearing.

The statute also covers employees reporting retaliatory action. Employees who enter the grievance process are entitled to certain protections as stated in Utah Code 67-19a-303(3):

“No person may take any reprisals against any career service employee or a reporting employee for use of a grievance procedure described in this chapter.”

In addition, an agency may not place grievance materials or any documents related to a grievance in an employee’s personnel file. However, the agency may keep a separate file for purposes of the grievance. This protection prevents agencies from prejudicing an employee who prevails in a grievance.

If any disciplinary action is rescinded through the grievance process, the agency and DHRM must remove the record from the employee’s personnel file.

Questions? Call (801)-264-8732 to reach a UPEA Representative.

 

 

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