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City of Lake Wales, Florida Human Resources Department
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Secs. 2-212.01 Policy

The grievance procedure is established to provide opportunity to regular full-time and regular part-time employees who have successfully completed their initial probationary period to appeal disciplinary actions more serious than a written reprimand under Section 2-211. The submission of an appeal by an employee in good faith shall in no way adversely affect the employee or his employment with the City.

STEP 1 Department Head

(a) The employee may appeal the discipline in writing by filing his appeal with the Department Head, his Administrative Assistant, or the HR within five (5) working days from receipt of Notice of Disciplinary Action.

(b) The appeal shall be in writing, and shall include:

  1. The date the grievance arose.
  2. The policy, rule, and/or procedure claimed to have been violated.
  3. A statement of the facts as seen by the employee.
  4. The relief requested.

(c) The Department Head shall meet with the employee within five (5) working days after receipt of the grievance. The Department Head shall give the employee an opportunity to explain his position, and listen to any witnesses the employee brings to the meeting. The Department Head may require other employee witnesses to be present or may conduct further investigation into the matter on his own. The Department Head shall give a written answer to the employee within five (5) working days after the investigation is completed.

STEP 2 Appeal From Department Head Decision

(a) Appeals from the Department Head decision over suspension without pay and demotion, shall be made directly to the City Manager in writing within five (5) working days of the decision of the Department Head in Step 1.

(b) Appeals from the Department Head decision over a termination may be made to either the Hearing Board in Step 3 or directly to the City Manager as outlined in Step 4. The appeal shall be in writing to HR within five (5) working days of the decision of the Department Head in Step 2.

STEP 3 Hearing Board - Terminations

When a termination is appealed in a timely fashion to the Hearing Board, the Board shall meet with the employee and the Department Head, give them an opportunity to explain their respective positions, listen to any witnesses they wish to present, call any witnesses the Board feels will be helpful in making its recommendation, review all documents submitted, and make a recommendation to the City Manager.

STEP 4 City Manager

(a) In the case of an appeal to the Hearing Board, the recommendation of the Hearing Board and all documents it considered will be forwarded to the City Manager for his review. In such cases as well as a direct appeal to the City Manager of termination, suspension without pay or demotion, the City Manager will:

  1. Give both the employee and the Department Head an opportunity to explain their positins;
  2. Consider the information before him;
  3. Further investigate the matter if he feels it is necessary; and
  4. Make the final decision for the City. return to top
Secs. 2-212.02 Make Up of the Hearing Board

The Hearing Board shall be made up of one (1) employee selected by the grieving employee, one (1) employee by the Department Head and one (1) employee selected by the other two (2) selectees. Employees selected will not be employed in the same department as the employee submitting the appeal. If the two (2) selectees cannot agree on the third Board member, the third member shall be appointed by the HR Director. Only employees with five (5) or more years of continuous service with the City and whose last two (2) Annual Employee Performance Review's overall ratings were "above average" or above shall be eligible to be selected to serve on a Hearing Board. return to top

Secs. 2-212.03 General Provisions

(a) Attorneys will not be allowed to participate in the meetings without permission of the City Manager unless in a particular case the law requires it. However, an employee may be represented by a fellow employee or other representative if he wishes.

(b) The time limits of this grievance procedure may be extended for reasons considered appropriate by the Human Resources Director. Failure of an employee to file a grievance or an appeal in a timely fashion will constitute an automatic abandonment of the grievance unless he has obtained an extension in advance.

(c) Grievance forms are available from the Departmental Administrative Assistant or from HR. HR is available to assist employees in completing the written grievance forms and in processing the grievance through the various steps of the procedure.

(d) In the event the Department Head does not respond in writing within the time provided in Section 2-212.01, STEP 1(c) above, the response will be automatically deemed a denial of the grievance on the sixth day and the time for appealing to STEP 2 shall begin. return to top

Secs. 2-212.04 Police Officers

Employees in the Police Department covered by the Florida Policeman's Bill of Rights shall have the option of appealing suspensions without pay and demotions under this Section of the PAP or the Police Department SOP (Standard Operating Procedures), but not both. return to top

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