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Rule Title: GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
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Department: LABOR AND INDUSTRY
Chapter: BOARD OF PERSONNEL APPEALS
Subchapter: Wage and Classification Appeals
 
Latest version of the adopted rule presented in Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM):

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24.26.508    GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

(1) Any employee, group of employees not represented by a labor organization, or an appropriately designated representative, may utilize this formal grievance procedure. Employees must obtain a state employee classification appeal form and follow the accompanying instructions. Appeal forms may be obtained from the Board of Personnel Appeals, P.O. Box 201503, Helena, Montana, 59620-1503, from the human resource office of any department within the executive branch, or from the department's web site at: erd.dli.mt.gov/labor-standards.

(a) The completed appeal form shall be submitted together with the current position description, signed by the employee and the immediate supervisor. If the current position description is disputed, the employee may also submit a proposed position description, which represents the employee's understanding of the duties and responsibilities of the position and is signed by the employee.

(b) To complete the appeal form, the employee must identify the issue or issues motivating the appeal and explain the reasons each listed issue is being appealed. A list of appealable issues will be provided with the appeal form.

(c) If a number of appeals affect multiple employees in the same manner, the appeals may be consolidated at any step of the grievance process by the employees, by an appropriately designated representative, by the department, by the State Human Resources Division, or by the Board of Personnel Appeals. If the appeals are consolidated, the timelines in this rule will run from the dates associated with the latest appeal included in the consolidation. If an employee who is not represented by a labor organization opposes consolidation, that employee's appeal will not be consolidated absent a board order. However, an employee represented by a labor organization may not contradict the employee's appropriately designated representative and either consolidate an appeal or opt out of a consolidated appeal unless by board order. Consolidation of appeals will be by written stipulation of the parties or by board order. A consolidation may be altered or amended at any time before the final order of the board. If an employee opposes altering or amending the consolidation, the employee may request a hearing to be held before the final order of the board is issued.

(d) Pursuant to 2-18-203(2), MCA, the pay band assigned to an occupation and benchmarks are not appealable subjects. The appeal shall be described in terms of the following appealable issues:

(i) substantial changes have occurred in this position to warrant reclassification. Specifically, this position should be allocated to (list band level and occupation title);

(ii) this position was incorrectly allocated to (list band level and occupation title) and should be allocated to (list band level and occupation title);

(iii) the classification rules have been incorrectly applied to this position (specific rule(s) should be cited); and

(iv) "other", but the issue must specifically relate to classification.

(2) Step one:

(a) The employee shall submit the appeal form and accompanying material to the department head or department designee. The department head or designee shall have 15 working days to review the appeal, record his or her findings, record steps taken to resolve the appeal, and return it to the employee.

(b) The department head or designee is not limited to the issues raised by the employee in the appeal form, but may address any other classification issue listed in (1)(c), deemed by the department head or designee to be important to the appeal.

(c) If the employee does not accept the findings of the department head or designee, the employee shall have 15 working days to forward the appeal to the State Human Resources Division, step two. The employee must identify and explain, in writing, how he or she disagrees with the findings of the department head or designee.

(3) Step two:

(a) The State Human Resources Division shall have 30 working days to review the matter, record its findings in the appropriate section of the form, and return it to the employee or the proper representative.

(b) The State Human Resources Division's review and findings are not limited to the issues raised by the employee in the appeal form, but may address any other classification issues listed in (1)(c), deemed by the State Human Resources Division to be important to the appeal.

(c) The State Human Resources Division must prepare clear written findings explaining its position regarding each relevant issue.

(d) If the employee accepts the State Human Resources Division's findings and recommendations, the formal appeals procedure is concluded upon the implementation of the State Human Resources Division's findings and recommendations.

(e) If the employee rejects the State Human Resources Division's findings and recommendations or if the State Human Resources Division fails to make its findings within 30 working days, the employee shall have 15 working days to forward the appeal to the Board of Personnel Appeals at step three.

(4) Step three:

(a) The employee must identify and explain, in writing, how the employee disagrees with the State Human Resources Division's findings.

(b) The board or its designee shall have 15 working days to accept or reject the appeal for hearing at step three.

(i) The board or its designee shall examine the issue(s) identified by the employee in the appeal form and the issues, findings, and explanations addressed by the department head or designee, or the State Human Resources Division in steps one and two. If the issue(s), findings, and explanations are adequately addressed, the board or its designee will accept the appeal at step three and serve notice of acceptance on the State Human Resources Division and the employee within ten working days. The board's notice to the State Human Resources Division will include a copy of the employee's written explanation of why the employee disagrees with the State Human Resources Division's step two response.

(ii) If the board or its designee finds that the issues, findings, or explanations raised by the employee, the department head or designee, or the State Human Resources Division are not adequately addressed, the board or its designee shall return the appeal to the appropriate party. In such case, the party will expand its issues, findings, or explanations and refile them with the board within 15 working days.

(c) If, in the discretion of the board or its designee, a decision is made to conduct a preliminary investigation of the appeal, it shall have 20 working days to investigate and issue a preliminary decision. The board or its designee may carry out any investigation deemed necessary for resolution of the appeal or complaint. The employee or group of employees and the State Human Resources Division shall have 15 working days to accept or reject the preliminary decision. If the employee or group of employees and the State Human Resources Division accept the preliminary decision, it shall be final and binding.

(d) If the employee, group of employees, or the State Human Resources Division rejects the preliminary decision; or the board or its designee, in its discretion, decides not to conduct a preliminary investigation, the board or its designee shall conduct a hearing in accordance with Title 2, chapter 4, MCA.

(e) Any investigation and/or hearing conducted by the board or its designee shall be restricted to the issues identified in the appeal form or during step one and step two.

(f) If the preponderance of evidence taken at the hearing shows the employee is aggrieved, the board or its designee shall issue an order requiring action to resolve the employee's grievance.

(g) Upon the conclusion of the hearings process, the board or its designee shall issue its proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommended order within 90 working days.

(h) The prescribed time limits at any step of the appeal process may be modified or waived upon mutual agreement of the affected parties.

History: 2-18-1011, MCA; IMP, 2-18-1011, MCA; NEW, Eff. 7/5/75; AMD, Eff. 12/4/76; AMD, 1978 MAR p. 74, Eff. 1/25/78; AMD, 1981 MAR p. 624, Eff. 6/26/81; AMD, 1993 MAR p. 3026, Eff. 1/1/94; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 918, Eff. 4/7/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 2841, Eff. 12/10/10.


 

 
MAR Notices Effective From Effective To History Notes
24-16-248 12/10/2010 Current History: 2-18-1011, MCA; IMP, 2-18-1011, MCA; NEW, Eff. 7/5/75; AMD, Eff. 12/4/76; AMD, 1978 MAR p. 74, Eff. 1/25/78; AMD, 1981 MAR p. 624, Eff. 6/26/81; AMD, 1993 MAR p. 3026, Eff. 1/1/94; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 918, Eff. 4/7/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 2841, Eff. 12/10/10.
4/7/2006 12/10/2010 History: 2-18-1011, MCA; IMP, 2-18-1011, MCA; NEW, Eff. 7/5/75; AMD, Eff. 12/4/76; AMD, 1978 MAR p. 74, Eff. 1/25/78; AMD, 1981 MAR p. 624, Eff. 6/26/81; AMD, 1993 MAR p. 3026, Eff. 1/1/94; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 918, Eff. 4/7/06.
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