All state employees have the Right to Representation, and this right is of the employee’s choosing.
The representative does not have to be a union member, either. This right to representation also extends to predetermination hearings, as well as all levels of the state grievance procedure.
Important: Management DOES NOT have the right to deny an employee the right to have a representative of their choice for a predetermination hearing or any meeting where discipline could be undertaken. If management disguises the meeting as a “meet and greet” or any other definition, the employee should exert their right to a representative if the meeting turns towards discipline.
Management is also required to postpone any predetermination hearing if an employee’s representative is unable to attend the scheduled meeting. Additionally, the Public Employees Grievance Board has ruled numerous times that any participant from management who can issue discipline is required to honor an employee’s request for representation. If they fail to honor this request for a representative, any disciplinary action that management takes against an employee will be dismissed and stricken from the employee’s record.
Lastly, the time an employee and their representative spend in a predetermination hearing or grievance, as a witness or as a representative, is paid time. The employee or his/her employee representative is not required to use any form of annual or compensatory leave while they are filling these positions. The employee and their representative are also permitted to use up to four hours of on-the-clock time to prepare for their grievance.
Additionally, the employee and their employee representative are permitted to use their employers’ equipment to file and prepare for their grievance.