Virginia Department of Human Resource Management

Employment Dispute Resolution

Filing a Grievance

Complaints arising in the workplace should be resolved fairly and promptly. In selecting a suitable alternative to resolve a workplace issue or concern, employees and agency management may obtain information and guidance from Office of Employment Dispute Resolution (EDR) and the Human Resources Office at their agency. While EDR consultants do not provide legal advice, they can help to identify relevant policies and can discuss various options for addressing workplace concerns.

The grievance procedure is a process through which a Virginia state government employee can bring workplace concerns to upper levels of management. This process is more formal than mediation and requires that rules be followed strictly. The Grievance Procedure lists the rules that must be followed. Failure to follow these strict procedures will forfeit your right to this process.

A grievance can have up to four phases: (1) the management resolution steps; (2) qualification for hearing; (3) hearing; and (4) review of the hearing decision. Not all grievances are qualified for hearing. For example, under the grievance statues, grievances that relate solely to layoffs, transfers, assignments, or the content of personnel policies cannot proceed to a hearing. On the other hand, some issues are automatically qualified for hearing, such as formal discipline or dismissal for unsatisfactory performance. Attorneys serving as Administrative Hearing Officers conduct hearings in qualifying grievances.

Even if your concern is about an issue that cannot be qualified for hearing, many grievances result in resolution during the management steps, without a grievance hearing. For more information regarding the grievance process contact the EDR AdviceLine at 1-888-23-ADVICE (1-888-232-3842).

Go Back to Top of Page