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. 1-4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: 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. 2-17 SECTION 2. POLICY; EXISTING RIGHTS UNAFFECTED. (a) An 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. 3-19 SECTION 5. APPEAL TO COMMISSION; JUDICIAL REVIEW. (a) If a 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.