Administrative Rules And Procedures to Implement Policy 402.05

Employee Grievance Procedure

Purpose

The Elkhorn Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, veteran status, national or ethnic origin, marital status, age, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, childbirth or related condition, or any other category protected by law in access to employment, hiring and promotion, tenure, compensation, reduction in force, job assignments, leaves of absence and fringe benefits.

The purpose of this procedure is to secure, as soon as possible, equitable solutions to the problems which may from time to time arise affecting the welfare or conditions of service of staff members. These proceedings will be kept as informal and confidential as may be appropriate at any level of the procedure.

Nothing herein contained will be construed as limiting the right of any staff member having a grievance to discuss the matter informally with any appropriate administrators and having the grievance adjusted without external intervention, provided the adjustment is not inconsistent with the terms of any applicable rule, regulation or policy of the school district and that the individual has been given the opportunity to have representation at such adjustment and to take part in the proceedings.

Definitions

A “grievance” is a claim based on a dispute or difference of opinion raised by an employee or group of employees, involving the meaning, interpretation or application of established district policies, rules or regulations, and/or civil rights legislation including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975.

A “grievant” is the person(s) making the claim.

A “party in interest” is the person(s) making the claim and any person(s) who might be required to take action or against whom action might be taken in order to resolve the claim.

“Days” in this procedure shall refer to days when school is in session. During summer vacation “days” shall refer to Monday through Friday (excluding federal holidays).

Procedure

The inclusion of time limits in this procedure is for the purpose of insuring prompt action. In circumstances where the grievant does not pursue the next step of the procedure within the time period specific, unless there is a mutually agreed extension of time, the grievance shall be deemed to have been settled and no further action shall be required. In the absence of a written reply to a grievance by the appropriate administrator within the required time period, the grievance shall be considered to have been denied and the grievant may submit the grievance in writing to the next level.

In the event a grievance is filed at such time that it cannot be processed through all the steps in this grievance procedure by the end of the school year and, if left unresolved until the beginning of the following school year could result in irreparable harm to a party in interest, the time limits set forth herein will be reduced so that the grievance procedure may be exhausted prior to the end of the school year or as soon thereafter as is possible.

Informal Procedure

Any staff member using the informal procedure may discuss the concern as a grievance with his/her immediate supervisor within ten (10) days from the occurrence or within ten (10) days from the staff member(s) becoming aware of the issue giving rise to the disagreement through the use of reasonable diligence in an effort to resolve the problem informally. The discussion shall take place at a mutually agreeable time. The immediate supervisor shall respond orally.

If, after such discussion, the grievant is not satisfied with the disposition of the grievance, the grievant shall have the right to have a representative assist in further efforts to resolve the problem informally with the immediate supervisor.

Formal Procedure

STEP ONE

If the grievant is not satisfied with the disposition of the issue through informal procedures, the grievant shall reduce the grievance to writing, sign it, and submit it to the building principal or immediate supervisor within five (5) days of the oral response in the informal procedure. A written grievance shall contain a detailed description of the factual circumstances upon which the grievance is based.

If a grievance is filed against a person other than the principal or immediate supervisor, it will be the responsibility of the principal or immediate supervisor to hold a meeting where both the grievant and the person whom the grievance is filed against may present their case.

The principal or immediate supervisor must within five (5) days after receiving a written grievance render a written response to the grievant.

STEP TWO

If the grievant is not satisfied with the disposition of the grievance at step one, the grievant may file the written grievance with the superintendent of schools within ten (10) days of the receipt of the written response at step one. The Superintendent shall, within ten (10) days after receiving the written grievance, meet with the grievant, and representative(s) chosen by the grievant, and the person against whom the grievance is filed. A complete record of this meeting shall be kept by the superintendent and signed by both parties. The record will be made available to the parties involved upon written request. The superintendent shall within five (5) days of the hearing render a decision and reasons therefore in writing to the grievant and the parties in interest.

STEP THREE

If the grievant is not satisfied with the disposition of the grievance at step two, the grievant may file the written grievance with the Board of Education within ten (10) days of the receipt of the written decision from the superintendent.

Within ten (10) days after receiving the written appeal, a panel of 3 or more members of the board shall meet with the grievant, any representative(s) chosen by the grievant, and the person(s) against whom the grievance is filed for the purpose of resolving the grievance. The decision of the board shall be rendered in writing to all parties involved within five (5) days of the meeting.

Miscellaneous

  1. No reprisals of any kind will be taken by the board or by any member of the administration against any party in interest, any building representative or any other participant in the grievance procedure by reason of such participation.
  2. Any party in interest may be represented at all steps of the grievance procedure by himself/herself or by a representative of his/her own choosing.
  3. Decisions rendered at steps one, two and three of the grievance procedure will be in writing, setting forth the decision and the reasons therefore and will be transmitted promptly to all parties in interest.
  4. If the grievant is a teacher, he/she may seek assistance from the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee of the Elkhorn Education Association, when they consider it in their best interest to do so.

 

Approved: July 13, 1992
Revised: August 12, 1996
Revised: April 11, 2005
Revised: September 14, 2015
Revised: September 11, 2017