The informal process generally is the first step of the grievance process (except when the matter involves disciplinary actions of letter of reprimand to suspensions of 14 calendar days or less, which are filed initially at the formal stage) (See Section C). The purpose of this step is to provide employees and their supervisors an opportunity to discuss issues and resolve them as early as possible.
The grievant must file an informal grievance in writing to his/her immediate supervisor by completing a Grievance Transmittal form. If the supervisor does not have the authority to make a decision on the grievance, he/she will forward it to the person who has the authority within 5 calendar days of receipt, and will inform the grievant of this action.
The grievant must complete the informal grievance procedures before filing a formal grievance (except when the matter involves disciplinary actions of letter of reprimand to a suspension of 14 calendar days or less) (See Section C).
Supervisors should notify their servicing ER Specialist promptly upon receipt of an informal grievance.
The time limits for an informal grievance (in calendar days) are:
15 days - The time limit for filing the informal grievance (from the date that the grievant learned or should have learned of an incident, whichever occurs first).
10 days - The time limit for appealing an informal grievance to the formal level: 1) after receiving a written decision; or, 2) when no decision was issued within the prescribed time limit.
90 days - The amount of the time that the agency has to complete the processing of a grievance.
Note: For information on time limit changes and extensions see Time Limits in Section A, General Provisions.
The supervisor and grievant should discuss the grievance either telephonically or in person (including video conference). Sometimes these discussions can be aided through the use of various ADR techniques, such as mediation, team problem solving, facilitation, etc.
If after the initial filing of the informal grievance, the grievant indicates a desire to use any voluntary ADR processes, the supervisor shall contact the servicing employee relations specialist to begin the ADR process.
The official responding to the informal grievance will render a decision within the timeframe allotted. If the grievant is not satisfied with the informal decision, or if a decision is not rendered within the specified time frame, the grievant may appeal to the next appropriate level.
The deciding official will complete the Informal Grievance Summary and provide a copy to the grievant and the servicing ER Specialist.