Bexar County Department of Human Resources
Civil Service Commission Rules and Regulations
Policy Number: 7.6.13
Effective Date: March 16, 2007
A personal grievance is a written complaint made by an employee concerning a condition of employment and includes grieving a written reprimand.
Filing a Grievance within an Office or Department
- An employee must file a written personal grievance with the elected/appointed official, department head or their immediate supervisor within 10 business days from the first date of occurrence or the first date the employee became aware of the occurrence of the incident or condition which is the subject of the grievance. The day of occurrence is not counted.
- Failure to meet the time limit for initial filing acts as a forfeit of the matter grieved.
- The grievance should clearly state Personal Grievance.
- An employee cannot grieve an occurrence of incident or conduct that occurred during an employee’s probationary period.
- An employee cannot grieve an oral counseling.
- The office or department has ten (10) business days to respond in writing to the employee’s personal grievance. The day of receipt is not counted. Failure to meet the time limit does not act as a default or forfeit of the matter grieved.
- The parties may, by written agreement, extend the deadline to respond.
Filing an Appeal with the Commission
- If the employee is not satisfied with the final written determination from the office or department or if no determination is issued, the employee may appeal to the Commission. The appeal shall be written on the Employee’s Appeal Form available from the Commission and shall be filed within ten (10) business days of receipt of the final determination or the date the determination was due. The day of receipt or determination due date is not counted. An appeal not on the Employee Appeal Form will not be accepted for filing.
- Any appeal filed after the deadline is null and void and shall not be accepted for filing by the Commission. Commission staff shall inform the Commission of any appeal that was not accepted.
- The Commission has no jurisdiction to hear an appeal regarding budgetary matters, reorganizations, and other matters not specified in Texas Local Government Code, sections 158.001 et. seq., as amended.
Requesting a Department Response Form
The Civil Service Director will request a response from the office or department. A response by the office or department should be made on the Department Response Form and filed in 10 business days. The day of receipt is not counted.
Setting the Matter for Hearing
The Commission will set the matter for hearing. Appeals from personal grievances are the last in the order of priority for hearing settings.
Notice of Hearing
- The employee must keep the Commission informed of their current address.
- The Commission will notify all parties of the hearing date, time and location. This notice will be provided with at least two weeks prior to the hearing date. A letter mailed to the last known address of the employee will constitute notice.
Request for Continuance
Any request to re-set a hearing must be made in writing seven (7) days prior to the scheduled hearing, unless an emergency arises. By agreement of the parties, the Commission will cancel and re-set the hearing date. However, the Commission will not re-set a hearing more than twice unless the parties agree.
Attendance at the Hearing
- The employee must be present at the hearing and may represent themselves or be represented by another person. The employee should notify the Commission of the selection of a representative and who the representative will be. Any representative shall act as the spokesperson for the employee during the appeal process.
- The Commission has the authority to administer oaths to all witnesses. Once sworn, witnesses will be subject to penalties for perjury.
- At the beginning of the hearing, the reason for the appeal from the personal grievance shall be read including the date of occurrence and the remedy requested by the employee from the Employee’s Appeal Form.
- The hearing shall be open to the public unless the employee notified the Commission in writing five (5) days prior to the hearing date that the employee wishes the hearing to be closed.
- Either party may invoke The Rule, Texas Rule of Evidence 613, which means that all witnesses, excluding the office or department representative and the employee, will not be allowed to remain in the hearing, or no witness shall discuss their testimony with other witnesses.
- The employee will present their appeal to the Commission first and the employee carries the burden of proof.
- The office or department will have an opportunity to respond.
- The employee will then be allowed to respond to the office or department.
- Each side may call witnesses and will be allowed to cross-examine each other’s witnesses.
- The Commission may ask any questions necessary of any party or witness or recall any witness if necessary for clarification.
- Any witness may be released by the Commission after giving testimony.
- Five copies of any documents must be submitted.
- Each side shall have an opportunity to make a closing statement to the Commission. The employee shall make the first closing statement followed by office or department. The employee may choose to make a short rebuttal after the closing statement of the office or department.
- The Commission may recess to deliberate in executive session.
- If an executive session is held, the Commission shall reconvene in open session and make a decision. The Commission may choose to deny the appeal or grant the relief requested, which may include an award of back pay if authorized by statute.
- If the employee is to receive back pay by order of the Commission, the employee shall receive full compensation at the rate of pay that was provided for their position at the time of their appeal or the amount of compensation considered fair by the Commission. Should the office or department refuse to reinstate the employee as ordered by the Commission, the employee shall be entitled to their full salary just as though they had been reinstated as ordered.
- A written order shall be entered which states the Commission’s ruling. Such order shall be signed by the members of the Commission who made the decision and sent to all parties.
Copy of the Record
A tape recording of all hearings will be on file in the Human Resources Office. A copy will be provided upon request as permitted by law and payment of all costs in advance.