Grievances: What you need to know

In unionized workplaces, grievance procedures are regulated by the union contract and are generally formal, rule-based processes. The collective bargaining agreement will govern the handling of grievances filed by employees within the bargaining unit.
For a Limited Time receive a FREE HR Report on the "Critical HR Recordkeeping”.  This exclusive special report covers hiring records, employment relationships, termination records, litigation issues, electronic information issues, tips for better recordkeeping, and a list of legal requirements.  Download Now
Employers with no union in place have greater latitude to set up mechanisms for resolving grievances. As long as the mechanism provides a method by which individual employees can present grievances to management on an individual basis, it is acceptable. The best grievance procedures allow employees to discuss their concerns with multiple members of the management team, not just their immediate supervisors. For example, a common form of grievance procedure provides that an employee can appeal a grievance to management levels beyond his or her immediate supervisor. When sufficiently communicated to employees, a grievance procedure can be an effective form of risk management. Courts have found that employers have a defense in certain cases, such as sexual harassment claims, if the employee bringing the charge did not take advantage of his or her employer's grievance procedure.
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Even in a nonunionized workplace, grievances may be sometimes subject to federal regulation under the NLRA. This might occur when the presentation of a grievance by an employee or a group of employees in a nonunion plant is deemed to be a “concerted action,” i.e., actions taken by or on behalf of employees to improve their working conditions, and thus a protected activity under the NLRA (Saigon Gourmet Restaurant, Inc., 353 NLRB No. 110 (Mar. 9, 2009)). If a grievance is brought by an ...

>> Read more about Grievances

More on this topic:

State Requirements

Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | District of Columbia | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming |

Grievances Resources

Policies Grievance Handling (Strict)

Grievances Products

Employee Alcohol & Drug Abuse Webinar Recording
BLR Webinar: "Employee Alcohol & Drug Abuse: How to Enforce Policies Without Violating ADA, FMLA & Other Laws""
Exempt vs. Nonexempt Webinar Recording
BLR Webinar: "Exempt vs. Nonexempt: How to Find and Fix Misclassification Mistakes""
FMLA Abuse Webinar Recording
BLR Webinar: "FMLA Abuse: How To Spot It - and Stop It""
FMLA Abuse Stops Now Webinar Recording
BLR Webinar: "FMLA Abuse Stops Now: Tips to Identify, Correct, and Prevent""
CA Employment Law for Multistate Employers Recording
BLR Boot Camp: "California Employment Law for Multistate Employers: Policy and Practice Essentials for HR""
Free Special Reports
Get Your FREE HR Management Special Report. Download Any One Of These FREE Special Reports, Instantly!
Featured Special Report
Claim Your Free Copy of Critical HR Recordkeeping

Record retention is complex and time consuming. However, in addition to complying with various federal and state laws, keeping good, well-organized records can be very helpful in documenting and supporting an organization’s employment actions.
Download Now!

This special report will discuss how you can ensure your records are in good order, and establish a record-retention policy.

Topics covered:
1. Hiring Records
2. Employment Relationships
3. Termination Records
4. Litigation Issues
5. Electronic Information Issues
6. Tips for Better Recordkeeping
7. A List of Legal Requirements

Make sure you have the information you need to know to keep your records in order.