Grievance Procedure


AmeriCorps Manual Main Page


All programs must establish a grievance procedure for members who believe that they have been unfairly released from the program and for other grievances filed by members or other interested parties. This grievance procedure should be attached to the AmeriCorps member's contract. The procedure must include an opportunity for a hearing and binding arbitration within statutory deadlines.

To ensure all AmeriCorps programs are in compliance with federal regulations regarding grievance procedures, member files will be reviewed during monitoring site visits to ensure members have signed a grievance policy. Grievance procedures will be submitted at the beginning of the program's three-year grant cycle, and will be reviewed for quality and compliance using the Grievance Procedure Review Checklist. Programs will be notified in writing of any required changes and given an appropriate time frame to complete those revisions.

Additionally, the Commission encourages programs to establish an alternative dispute resolution procedure, such as mediation. While a member is going through the grievance procedure, be sure to make it very clear what stage they are in, what the time-line is, and what the next steps are (i.e. whether they are in a mediation, grievance hearing or binding arbitration).

The following exhibit illustrates the timeframe that must be addressed in an AmeriCorps grievance procedure. Not every requirement is shown, but all major milestones are noted:

Grievance procedures are part of the member contract.

Members are required to read and sign a copy of the grievance procedures.

Commission ensures that grievance procedures address each of the following required components:

  • Grievance filed within one year of alleged occurrence.
  • Grievance hearing within 30 calendar days of filing a grievance.
  • Decision made within 60 calendar days of filing a grievance.
  • Hearing by person not involved in previous decisions on the issue.
  • Grievant can request binding arbitration if decision is adverse to grievant or if decision is not reached within 60 calendar days.
  • Binding arbitration hearing is held within 45 days after request for arbitration or within 30 days after CEO appoints arbitrator.
  • There is a decision within 30 days of the binding arbitration hearing.

Commission maintains records of its review of subgrantees' grievance procedures.

Commission holds subgrantees accountable for making any needed revisions in their grievance procedure.

In formatting your own grievance procedure, a sample can be found in the CNCS Program Director's Handbook. In addition, please see the AmeriCorps Provisions to make sure your grievance procedure follows appropriate guidelines.

NOTE:  Programs are required to contact the Commission if a member starts a grievance procedure process. The written grievance should be sent to the Commission and any correspondence with the member should also be included.


Grievance Procedure Review checklist

Program/Program Year: _____

The following items are mandatory for program staff to have as part of their program:

Grievance procedures are part of the member contract.

Members are required to read and sign a copy of the grievance procedures.

Commission ensures that grievance procedures address each of the following required components:

  • Grievance filed within one year of alleged occurrence.
  • Grievance hearing within 30 calendar days of filing a grievance.
  • Decision made within 60 calendar days of filing a grievance.
  • Hearing by person not involved in previous decisions on the issue.
  • Grievant can request binding arbitration if decision is adverse to grievant or if decision is not reached within 60 calendar days.
  • Binding arbitration hearing is held within 45 days after request for arbitration or within 30 days after CEO appoints arbitrator, Within 30 days of the binding arbitration hearing, there is a decision

Commission maintains records of its review of sub grantees' grievance procedures.

Commission holds sub grantees accountable for making any needed revisions in their grievance procedure.

Other

Notes: