Virginia Department of Human Resource Management

Employment Dispute Resolution


Grievance Hearing Officer Fees

Among EDR’s most important objectives in administering the grievance procedure and its hearing process has been to assure that hearing officer services have been cost effective for agencies. For that reason, a flat rate fee schedule was established for both full-time and part-time hearing officers. This flat rate has helped to stabilize costs and establish a high degree of budget predictability. The amount and payment of fees is listed in the Hearings Program Administration Policy.

The established fee amount covers all services and disbursements incurred for the hearing officer to conduct an employee grievance hearing, including travel, trip, or office expenses.  The fee is paid by the agency involved in a grievance hearing.

Flat Fee:  $2100 (effective July 1, 2023: $4000)

Consolidated hearings:  $3150 for two consolidated grievances ($5000 effective July 1, 2023), and an additional $500 for each subsequent grievance consolidated into a single hearing.

Grievances that are settled or concluded prior to the hearing are billed on a prorated basis as a percentage of the unconsolidated hearing flat fee-

  • 10% after the appointment and opening of a case file.
  • 25 % after the prehearing conference is scheduled.
  • 50 % after the prehearing conference is conducted.
  • 100 % if the hearing officer travels to the hearing site.

Fees for EDR-employed hearing officers are paid to the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM).  Fees for OES hearing officers are paid directly to the hearing officer.  In addition, if EDR determines that a case is so complex that it is the equivalent of multiple hearings, EDR may direct the agency to pay up to an additional full case fee for the hearing.

Attorney Fees Limits For Representation at Hearing

In 2004, the General Assembly passed legislation authorizing the recovery of reasonable attorneys' fees by an employee who is represented by an attorney at a grievance hearing and substantially prevails on the merits of a grievance challenging his or her discharge. Pursuant to that legislation, the Office of Employment Dispute Resolution (EDR) adopted rules to govern fee awards. Those rules established hourly rates and the process by which a fee award can be requested, contested, and ordered by the hearing officer.  For more information, see Section 7.2(e) of the Grievance Procedure Manual and Section VI(E) of the Rules for Conducting Grievance Hearings.

Grievants will be allowed to recover at their attorneys' customary hourly rate not to exceed $131 per hour ($158 per hour if the attorney's practice is located in Northern Virginia).

Please call EDR's AdviceLine at 888-232-3842 (toll free) or 804-786-7994 with any questions regarding these limits.

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