Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952651 | Print ISBN: 9781412924702 | Online ISBN: 9781412952651| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Employee Grievance Systems
Julie B. Olson-Buchanan
Grievance systems are formal organizational procedures designed to address employee complaints. These employee complaints, hereafter referred to as grievances , can range from general disputes about organizational policies (e.g., disputes about interpreting the vacation policy), to specific disputes about how the employee was treated (e.g., conflict with coworkers), to disputes that have legal implications (e.g., racial discrimination). Grievance systems vary by organization. However, grievance systems typically have several (four to five) hierarchical steps that are used to address conflicts in the organization. Often the lowest level or step of a grievance system in a nonunionized organization is a written complaint or informal discussion with the employee's immediate supervisor. The first step in a unionized organization usually requires employees to talk or file a complaint with the union steward (representative). Higher steps of a grievance system usually consist of the employee presenting his or her complaint to higher levels of management. ...