By:  Barrientos                                        S.B. No. 180
       73R2400 MJW-D
                                 A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
    1-1                                AN ACT
    1-2  relating to grievance and complaint resolution procedures for
    1-3  certain state employees.
    1-5        SECTION 1.  DEFINITIONS.  In this Act:
    1-6              (1)  "Aggrieved employee" means an employee of a state
    1-7  agency who presents a grievance or a complaint under this Act.
    1-8              (2)  "Commission" means the Texas Employment
    1-9  Commission.
   1-10              (3)  "Complaint" means a written expression of
   1-11  dissatisfaction presented by an employee regarding:
   1-12                    (A)  compensation;
   1-13                    (B)  work hours; or
   1-14                    (C)  another issue related to employment
   1-15  conditions that does not constitute a grievance.
   1-16              (4)  "Employee" means a person employed either
   1-17  full-time or part-time by a state agency who is in a position
   1-18  subject to the state position classification plan or an analogous
   1-19  classification plan in effect at an institution of higher education
   1-20  or who is exempt from a classification plan but compensated at a
   1-21  rate not to exceed the amount prescribed by the General
   1-22  Appropriations Act for step 1, salary group 21, of the position
   1-23  classification salary schedule.  The term does not include a
   1-24  probationary or seasonal employee.
    2-1              (5)  "Executive director" means the chief
    2-2  administrative officer of a state agency.  The term includes the
    2-3  president of an institution of higher education.
    2-4              (6)  "Grievance" means a written expression of
    2-5  dissatisfaction presented by an employee regarding the fact that
    2-6  the employee has been:
    2-7                    (A)  terminated from employment;
    2-8                    (B)  demoted; or
    2-9                    (C)  suspended without pay.
   2-10              (7)  "State agency" means a department, commission,
   2-11  board, office, or other agency in the executive branch of state
   2-12  government created by the constitution or a statute of this state.
   2-13  The term includes an institution of higher education as defined by
   2-14  Section 61.003, Education Code.
   2-15              (8)  "Supervisor" means the immediate supervisor of an
   2-16  aggrieved employee.
   2-18  employee is entitled to due process under this Act in the review of
   2-19  a decision that affects the employee's working conditions or
   2-20  employment and may not be dismissed from the employment without
   2-21  cause.
   2-22        (b)  This Act does not affect a right existing on the
   2-23  effective date of this Act relating to an employee's ability to use
   2-24  an established dispute resolution process concerning the
   2-25  employee's:
   2-26              (1)  wages;
   2-27              (2)  work hours; or
    3-1              (3)  other conditions of employment.
    3-2        SECTION 3.  RULES.  A state agency by rule shall adopt
    3-3  standards and procedures in accordance with this Act relating to
    3-4  the resolution of a grievance or complaint presented by an employee
    3-5  of the agency.
    3-6        SECTION 4.  INTERNAL AGENCY PROCEDURE.  (a)  The executive
    3-7  director shall issue a written decision concerning the resolution
    3-8  or denial of a grievance or complaint not later than the 60th day
    3-9  after the date on which the grievance or complaint is filed with
   3-10  the state agency under rules adopted by the agency under Section 3
   3-11  of this Act.
   3-12        (b)  Review by the executive director or the executive
   3-13  director's designee is the final review to which an employee is
   3-14  entitled for a complaint.
   3-15        (c)  The executive director's decision on a complaint is
   3-16  final and binding.
   3-17        (d)  The executive director's decision on a grievance is
   3-18  final and binding in the absence of a timely appeal.
   3-20  grievance is not resolved to the employee's satisfaction by the
   3-21  executive director, the aggrieved employee may appeal the grievance
   3-22  to the Texas Employment Commission.  The employee must request the
   3-23  appeal on a form provided by the commission not later than the 20th
   3-24  day after the date on which the employee receives the executive
   3-25  director's decision.
   3-26        (b)  The commission shall conduct a hearing on the grievance
   3-27  not later than the 20th day after the date on which the request for
    4-1  an appeal is received by the commission.  A hearings examiner
    4-2  employed by the commission shall conduct the hearing and render the
    4-3  final decision of the commission.
    4-4        (c)  A hearing conducted under this section is subject to the
    4-5  contested case provisions of the Administrative Procedure and Texas
    4-6  Register Act (Article 6252-13a, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes),
    4-7  notwithstanding Section 21(g) of that Act.  The decision of the
    4-8  hearings examiner is considered to be the final decision of the
    4-9  commission.
   4-10        (d)  If the commission renders a decision favorable to the
   4-11  employee, the decision is binding on the state agency and the state
   4-12  agency shall pay the costs of the hearing conducted under this
   4-13  section.  If the decision is favorable to the agency, the costs
   4-14  shall be divided equally between the state agency and the aggrieved
   4-15  employee.
   4-16        (e)  An employee who has exhausted all administrative
   4-17  remedies under this Act and who is aggrieved by the final decision
   4-18  of the commission is entitled to judicial review as provided by the
   4-19  Administrative Procedure and Texas Register Act (Article 6252-13a,
   4-20  Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes) for judicial review of a contested
   4-21  case.
   4-22        SECTION 6.  TIME OFF.  (a)  An employee is entitled to a
   4-23  reasonable amount of time off with pay to prepare for and to attend
   4-24  a meeting or hearing conducted under this Act for the resolution of
   4-25  a grievance or complaint.
   4-26        (b)  A state agency shall adopt rules relating to an
   4-27  employee's entitlement to time off under this section.
    5-1        SECTION 7.  RETALIATION PROHIBITED.  (a)  An employee may not
    5-2  be disciplined, penalized, or prejudiced for exercising a right to
    5-3  which the employee is entitled under this Act.
    5-4        (b)  If the rules adopted by a state agency under Section 3
    5-5  of this Act authorize the supervisor of an employee presenting a
    5-6  grievance or complaint to render a decision relating to the
    5-7  resolution of the grievance or complaint, the supervisor may not
    5-8  be:
    5-9              (1)  disciplined, penalized, or prejudiced for
   5-10  rendering a decision favorable to an aggrieved employee; or
   5-11              (2)  coerced or restrained in making a decision under
   5-12  this Act.
   5-13        SECTION 8.  DATE FOR ADOPTING RULES.  A state agency shall
   5-14  adopt rules as provided by Sections 3 and 6 of this Act not later
   5-15  than January 1, 1994.
   5-16        SECTION 9.  EFFECTIVE DATE; TRANSITION.  This Act takes
   5-17  effect September 1, 1993, and applies to a grievance or complaint
   5-18  discovered by an employee on or after January 1, 1994.  A grievance
   5-19  or complaint discovered by an employee before January 1, 1994, is
   5-20  covered by the law in effect immediately before September 1, 1993,
   5-21  and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
   5-22        SECTION 10.  EMERGENCY.  The importance of this legislation
   5-23  and the crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
   5-24  emergency   and   an   imperative   public   necessity   that   the
   5-25  constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
   5-26  days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.