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4.25         Time Off for Grievance Investigation for Employee Representatives  

The Board interprets the Merit System Rule 3.129 as not providing employee representatives with unlimited and unconditional released time to investigate grievances personally.  The Board recognizes the merit of providing related time in certain situations for an employee’s representative to investigate a grievance, therefore:  

A.    An employee’s representative may be present at every stage of the grievance procedure, including the first, oral stage.  

B.    If deemed necessary by the grievant, the grievant may request released time from work for a representative to investigate a grievance at any time following the oral stage of Step I of the grievance procedure.  

                      C.   Such a request is to be made in writing to the representative’s supervisor, with a copy to the resident director, and should contain an indication of the reason released time is necessary.  

          D.    The representative’s supervisor, with the approval of the resident director when required by the institution, shall provide a reasonable amount of released time for the investigation, such time being scheduled as soon as reasonably possible and preferably within the same work day, consistent with the normal functioning of the employee’s department.  

Furthermore, it will be a violation of institutional policy to restrain, interfere, coerce, or discriminate against an employee acting as a grievant representative in accordance with this procedure.

On the other hand, an employee acting as a grievant’s representative shall not use time provided for grievance investigation for other matters and will conduct business with dispatch.  If such a representative’s use of regular working hours for consultation with employees or supervisors interferes unduly with the proper performance of official duties as an employee, the matter will be objectively discussed with the employee in order to find a satisfactory solution.