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A. Grievances. The City will promptly consider and respond to employee grievances relating to discipline, discharge, application of the Title 3 of the Ashland Municipal Code, or to terms and conditions of employment. The City prefers to informally correct the causes of grievances and encourages supervisors and employees to address and resolve problems as they arise. If the cause of a grievance cannot be resolved informally, for represented employees, the grievance procedures of the applicable collective bargaining agreement shall apply.

B. Procedure. For nonrepresented employees, the following procedure for processing formal grievances shall be followed:

1. Step I. The aggrieved employee, or group of employees, shall verbally present the grievance to the immediate supervisor within fifteen (15) calendar days of the occurrence of the issue or action giving rise to the grievance or within fifteen (15) calendar days of the time the employee or group of employees become aware of the issue or action. The supervisor shall give his/her response within fifteen (15) calendar days of the date of the presentation of the grievance, not including the date of presentation.

2. Step II. If the grievance is not fully resolved at Step I, the grievance shall, in detail, be reduced to writing, signed and dated by the aggrieved employee or group of employees, and presented to the Department Head within fifteen (15) calendar days after the supervisor’s response is given, not including the date of the response. The Department Head shall respond in writing to the grievance within fifteen (15) calendar days of the date the written grievance is presented to the Department Head, not including the date of presentation. The decision of the Department Head regarding the grievance of a written reprimand shall be final and binding.

3. Step III. If the grievance is not fully resolved at Step II, employees, other than those appointed by mayor and city council, may appeal a suspension without pay, demotion or discharge to the City Administrator. The written grievance shall be presented by the aggrieved employee or group of employees, along with all pertinent correspondence, records and information, to the City Administrator within fifteen (15) calendar days after the Department Head’s response is given, not including the date of the response. The City Administrator may meet with the aggrieved employee or group of employees, the immediate supervisor, and/or the Department Head before responding to the grievance. The City Administrator shall respond to the grievance in writing within fifteen (15) calendar days after the date the written grievance is presented to the City Administrator, not including the date of presentation. The City Administrator’s decision shall be final and binding.

C. Limitations on Grievances.

1. Oral warnings are not subject to the grievance process.

2. Written reprimands can only be grieved through Step II of the grievance procedure.

3. Discipline or discharge of probationary, temporary, hourly and on-call employees is not subject to the grievance process.

D. Time Limits. If the grievance procedures established by this section are not initiated by an aggrieved employee or group of employees within the time limits set forth in this section, the grievance shall be dismissed and it shall be considered that the grievance did not exist. If the City fails to respond to any grievance within the time prescribed for a response, the grievance will automatically advance to the next step.

E. Extension of Time Limits. The time limits for the initiation and completion of the steps of the grievance procedure may be extended by mutual consent of the parties involved, which must be documented in writing.

F. Prohibited Practices. No employee may be disciplined, retaliated against or discriminated against in any way because of the employee’s use of the grievance procedure. (Ord. 3078, added, 11/20/2012)

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