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Bonner AmeriCorps Manual - Grievance

Page history last edited by Abby Rice 8 years, 7 months ago

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Grievance Procedures

In the event that informal efforts to resolve disputes are unsuccessful, AmeriCorps members, labor unions, and other interested individuals may seek resolution through the following grievance procedures. These procedures are intended to apply to service-related issues, such as assignments, evaluations, suspensions, or release for cause, as well as issues related to non-selection of members, displacement of employees, or duplication of activities by AmeriCorps Members.


A.  Setting Up a Grievance Procedure  

In accordance with 42 U.S.C. 12636 and implementing regulations at 45 C.F.R. 2540.230, the Grantee must establish and implement a process for filing and adjudicating grievances from members, labor organizations and other interested parties.  A grievance process may include dispute resolution programs such as mediation, facilitation, assisted negotiation and neutral evaluation.  A grievance process must provide an opportunity for a grievance hearing and binding arbitration.  If the grievance alleges fraud or criminal activity, it must be brought to the attention of the Inspector General of the Corporation immediately.  Discrimination complaints may also be raised through the grievance procedure. In order to officially file a grievance, the Member must complete and return the Grievance Form which can be obtained from the Bonner AmeriCorps National Program Staff.


B.  If Sub-Grantee Is No Longer in Existence

In the event that a Sub-Grantee of a direct Grantee of the Corporation is no longer in existence or otherwise does not provide a grievance procedure that complies with this Provision, the direct Grantee is responsible for handling any grievance in accordance with 45 C.F.R. 2540.230.  


C.  Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

i. Informal Resolution

    • Resolution must be made available through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) such as mediation or facilitation;
    • ADR must be initiated within 45 days of the alleged occurrence.

ii. Neutral Facilitation

    • If ADR is initiated, there must be a neutral party present to help with the resolution;
    • ADR proceedings must be confidential, advisory and binding only with the agreement of both parties;
    • ADR must bring resolution within 30 calendar days, or the neutral party must inform the aggrieved party of the right to file a formal grievance.  


D.  Formal Grievance Proceeding

i. Time Limits

    • A formal grievance procedure must be made no later than one year after the date of the alleged occurrence (except in the case of fraud or criminal activity);
    • A hearing must be conducted no later than 30 calendar days after the filing of such grievance;
    • A decision must be made no later than 60 days after filing.

ii. Effect on Informal Process

    • If the aggrieved party files a grievance after an ADR resolution, the neutral party may not participate in the grievance hearing;
    • No communication or proceeding of the ADR may be introduced into evidence or referred to at the formal proceeding.


E.  Arbitration

i. Selection of Arbitrator

    • The grieved party may request an arbitrator if no decision has been reached after 60 calendar days or if there is an adverse decision against the grieved party;
    • If the parties cannot agree on an arbitrator, the Corporation will appoint one.

ii. Time Limits

    • Arbitration proceedings must be held no later than 45 days after the request for arbitration;
    • If the arbitrator is appointed by the Corporation, the proceeding must occur no later than 30 calendar days after the appointment;
    • A decision must be made by the arbitrator no later than 30 calendar days after the date the proceedings began.

iii. Cost

    • The cost of the arbitration proceedings must be divided evenly between the parties to the arbitration unless the party requesting a grievance proceeding prevails.

iv. Effect of Noncompliance with Arbitration

    • In the event of non-compliance with arbitration, a suit may be brought in any Federal district court having jurisdiction over the parties without regard to the amount in controversy or citizenship (pursuant to 42 U.S.C.12636(f)(7)).


F.  Suspension of Placement

    1. If a grievance is filed regarding a proposed placement of a member in a Program or project, such a placement must not be made unless the placement is consistent with the resolution of the grievance.


G.  Remedies

    1. Prohibition of a placement of a member;
    2. In grievance cases where there is a violation on non-duplication or non-displacement requirements and the employer of the displaced employee is the Grantee:

a)  Reinstatement to the position held prior to the displacement;

b)  Payment of lost wages and benefits;

c)  Re-establishment of other relevant terms, conditions and privileges of employment; 

d) Any other equitable relief that is necessary to correct any violation of the non-duplication or non-displacement requirements or to make the displaced employee whole.


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