22 CFR § 16.7 - Agency procedures.

§ 16.7 Agency procedures.

(a) Initial consideration.

(1) Grievances shall be considered through the steps provided in this section before they are filed with the Grievance Board.

(2) During the pendency of agency procedures under this section, the grievant may request a suspension of the proposed action of the character of separation or termination of the grievant, disciplinary action against the grievant, or recovery from the grievant of alleged overpayment of salary, expenses or allowances, which is related to the grievance. The request must be in writing and addressed to the responsible official of the agencies, as designated in § 16.8(a)(2) stating the reasons for such suspension. If the request is related to separation or termination of the grievant, and the agency considers that the grievance is not frivolous and is integral to the proposed action, the agency shall suspend its proposed action until completion of agency procedures, and for a period thereafter if necessary, consistent with paragraph (a) of § 16.11, to permit the grievant to file a grievance with the Board, and to request interim relief under paragraph (c) of § 16.11. If a request is denied, the agency shall provide the grievant in writing the reason for denial. Nothing in these regulations shall be deemed to preclude an employee from requesting the suspension of any proposed action.

(b) Consideration by responsible officer.

(1) While every effort should be made to resolve a complaint by an initial discussion between an employee and the supervisor or responsible officer, an employee may present the complaint as a grievance by submitting it in writing, to that person. (The term “responsible officer” as used herein includes any appropriate officer who has immediate jurisdiction over the complaint.) The presentation shall include a description of the act or condition which is the subject of the grievance; its effect on the grievant; any provision of law, regulation, or agency policy which the grievant may believe was violated or misapplied; any documentary evidence readily available to the grievant on which the grievance rests; the identity of individuals having knowledge of relevant facts; and a statement of the remedial action requested.

(2) The responsible officer, whenever possible, shall use independent judgment in deciding whether the grievance is meritorious and what the resolution of it should be. Within 15 days from receipt of the written grievance, the responsible officer shall provide the grievant with a written response, which shall include a statement of any proposed resolution of the grievance.

(3) If the response denies in whole or in part the remedial action requested, such response shall notify the grievant of the time within which to appeal the decision, and identity of the senior official, or designee, to whom the appeal should be addressed. In those cases in which the senior official, or designee, is the responsible officer to whom the grievance was initially presented or has participated in the decision process and has formally approved the written response of the responsible officer, the grievant shall be so notified and advised that the grievance may be submitted directly to the agency for review under § 16.8.

(c) Bureau or post review.

(1) If the responsible officer's written response does not resolve the grievance to the grievant's satisfaction, within 10 days of receiving it (or, if no response is received, within 25 days after first presenting the grievance), the grievant may pursue the grievance by transmitting it in writing to the senior official, or the designee in the bureau or post which has authority to resolve the grievance. The written transmission shall include all the information required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section and copies of any correspondence under paragraphs (b) (2) and (3) of this section.

(2) Within 15 days from receipt of the grievance that official shall provide the grievant with a written decision, including any proposed resolution of the grievance. If the decision denies in whole or in part the remedial action requested, the communication shall notify the grievant of the time within which to submit the grievance for agency review and the identity of the appropriate agency official to whom the grievance should be addressed.

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