Virginia Grievance Procedure
The Commonwealth of Virginia has established a dispute resolution policy and grievance procedure for qualified state employees, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management - Office of Employment Dispute Resolution. Certain probationary, non-classified and executive personnel may be exempt from the policy.
If a qualified complaint cannot be resolved through the management resolution steps, the employee may request a formal administrative hearing. Employees may be represented by an attorney at this stage of the grievance process. The hearing is adversarial in nature but not subject to the formal rules of evidence that you would find in a court trial. Each side has the opportunity to call relevant witnesses and to cross-examine all witnesses.
Hearings are administered by Hearing Officers, typically employees of the Department of Employment Dispute Resolution. By statute, hearing officers have the power to:
1. Hold conferences for the settlement or simplification of issues;
2. Dispose of procedural requests;
3. Issue orders requiring testimony or the production of evidence;
4. Administer oaths and affirmations;
5. Receive probative evidence; exclude irrelevant, immaterial, insubstantial, privileged, or repetitive proofs, rebuttals, or cross-examinations; rule upon offers of proof; and oversee a verbatim recording of the evidence;
6. Receive and consider evidence in mitigation or aggravation of any offense charged by an agency in accordance with rules established by the Department of Employment Dispute Resolution pursuant to § 2.2-1001; and
7. Take other actions as necessary or specified in the grievance procedure.
For those issues qualified for a hearing, the hearing officer may order appropriate remedies, including:
(ii) back pay;
(iii) full reinstatement of fringe benefits and seniority rights;
(iv) mitigation or reduction of the agency disciplinary action; or
(v) any combination of these remedies.
In grievances challenging discharge, if the hearing officer finds that the employee has substantially prevailed on the merits of the grievance, the employee shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorneys' fees.