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. The law also conveys certain rights to the employee during the process, including the right to obtain assistance from a representative such as the Utah Public Employees’ Association (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.
During the 2018 legislative session, House Bill 383, Work Environment and Grievance Procedure Amendments, sponsored by Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, clarified and amended the grievance procedure for executive branch employees. This piece of legislation defined abusive conduct and added the state’s policy to statute.
The statute requires biennial training for employees and annual reports to a legislative committee concerning grievances and abusive conduct. It adds abusive conduct to the actions for which an employee may file a grievance or complaint. It allows an employee to appeal administrative findings of abusive conduct to the Career Service Review Office.
HB 383 focused on details of abusive conduct, and also extended the timeline for executive branch employees to file any grievance from 20 working days to 30 working days. Utah code now states that employees may file a grievance “within 30 working days of the most recent event giving rise to the grievance” or “the employee has knowledge of the most recent event giving rise to the grievance.
Remember that as an employee, you will not be the person determining when the timeline started, so if you have any doubts, contact your UPEA representative for advice.
Do you have questions regarding the grievance process? Call your UPEA employee representative at 801-264-8732.