Virginia Government Employment

For State employees, the Virginia grievance process provides valuable protection for one’s employment interests. Typically, an Agency must issue a Group Notice to detail its basis for disciplinary actions. Unless otherwise exempted by statute, classified (non-probationary) employees may challenge disciplinary actions and termination decisions by filing a timely grievance with their Agency. Other issues such as the misapplication of written policy, discrimination and retaliation for utilization of the grievance process also may qualify for a grievance hearing.


The Virginia grievance process culminates with a hearing before a Hearing Officer from the Department of Employment Dispute Resolution.   At the hearing, the employee has the right to cross-examine the Agency witnesses, call his or her own witnesses, and to introduce documents as evidence. The employee is entitled to be represented by counsel. The Hearing Officer has the authority to rescind Group notices, to order reinstatement, to award back-pay and to award attorney fees. However, the Hearing Officer cannot change Agency policy or award compensatory damages.