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Chapter 9 -Conflict Review

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The City recognizes that sometimes situations arise in which an employee feels he or she has not been treated fairly or under City rules and procedures. The City provides its employees with procedures for resolving issues arising in the workplace.

(a)  STEP 1:     An employee should first bring the problem or issue to his/her supervisor, unless the problem involves a direct conflict between the employee and the supervisor.

(b)  STEP 2:     When normal communication between an employee and the supervisor is unsuccessful, or when an employee still disagrees with applying City policies and procedures, or feels unjustly treated, the employee should attempt to resolve the problem with his/her department head, unless the problem involves a direct conflict between the employee and his/her department head. The department head will respond in writing to the employee within five working days after meeting with him/her.

(c)  STEP 3:     If the employee is not satisfied with the response from the department head, or if the conflict is with the department head, the employee may submit the problem, in writing, to the Mayor as a request for review. The request for review must contain, at a  minimum:

(1)  A description of the problem or issue of concern to the employee;

(2)  Any specific policy or procedure which the employee believes has been violated or misapplied;

(3)  The date of the circumstances leading to the complaint or the date when the employee first learned of those circumstances; and

(4)  The remedy sought by the employee to resolve the complaint.

An employee shall submit his or her request for review to the Mayor within ten working days of the department head’s response or within ten working days after the employee learns of a conflict. The Mayor, however, in his/her discretion may address and attempt to resolve the issue raised in the request even though the timeline has not been met.

(d)  The Mayor may meet with the parties, either individually or together, and will respond in writing to the aggrieved employee within ten working days of the receipt of the request for review. The Mayor’s response and decision shall be final and binding.

(e)  Certain employees may have over one source of dispute resolution rights, i.e., the City’s Civil Service rules, a collective bargaining agreement, and this complaint process.  Employees represented by a bargaining unit or who are covered under civil service rules, should follow grievance procedures set out in their respective labor contracts or civil service rules, where applicable.  In all other cases, the procedures described in this section shall be used. Under no circumstances shall an employee have the right to utilize both this process and any other complaint or appeal procedure that may be available to an employee.

(f)  Employees shall use this review process, if applicable, or any other review process, as set forth in paragraph (e) to resolve issues or conflicts arising in the workplace. Using alternative methods to resolve conflicts, resolve issues between employees, or to complain about performing any other employee will not be tolerated. Employees shall not engage in any form of communication in the workplace for, or having the effect of, criticizing the behavior or performance of any other employee. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT SUCH BEHAVIOR SHALL RESULT IN DISCIPLINE, POSSIBLY INCLUDING IMMEDIATE TERMINATION.