New Law Gives Workers the Right to Appeal Abusive Conduct Investigation Findings

Although a new law allows appeals in workplace abusive conduct cases, no one asked for a review in the first six months after the law took effect, Akiko Kawamura told the Legislature’s Retirement and Independent Entities Interim Committee at its Nov. 26 meeting.

Kawamura, administrator for the Career Service Review Office (CSRO), said she  “hopes [this] indicates the process is working, and that employees are happy with the investigations, and they have been thorough and fair.”

Kawamura addressed committee members about House Bill 383, which passed during the 2018 Legislature. Work Environment and Grievance Procedure Amendments took effect May 8, 2018, enacting changes to the state’s abusive conduct procedure.

Since 2016, the Department of Human Resources Management (DHRM) has held the authority to conduct investigations into allegations of abusive conduct in the workplace for executive branch employees. Before HB 383 took effect, investigations could not be reviewed.

Now, however, abusive conduct investigation decisions can be appealed directly to the CSRO.

The legislation also updated training for employees on grievances. Kawamura and managers participated in a pilot training program that is ready to launch. The training is thorough and easy to understand, Kawamura said.