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S1335.......................................by COMMERCE AND HUMAN RESOURCES EMPLOYEE PROBLEM SOLVING - Adds to and amends existing law relating to employee problem solving; to reference a panel for initial hearing in the problem solving process; to provide for an initial review; to require a rule governing a three member problem solving impartial review panel; and to specify the panel hearing process. 02/16 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing 02/17 Rpt prt - to Com/HuRes
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]] Fifty-seventh Legislature Second Regular Session - 2004 IN THE SENATE SENATE BILL NO. 1335 BY COMMERCE AND HUMAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE 1 AN ACT 2 RELATING TO EMPLOYEE PROBLEM SOLVING AND DUE PROCESS PROCEDURES; AMENDING SEC- 3 TION 67-5315, IDAHO CODE, TO REFERENCE A PANEL FOR INITIAL HEARING IN THE 4 PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS; AND AMENDING CHAPTER 53, TITLE 67, IDAHO CODE, BY 5 THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 67-5315A, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE FOR AN INI- 6 TIAL REVIEW, TO REQUIRE A RULE GOVERNING A THREE MEMBER PROBLEM SOLVING 7 IMPARTIAL REVIEW PANEL AND TO SPECIFY THE PANEL HEARING PROCESS. 8 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho: 9 SECTION 1. That Section 67-5315, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby 10 amended to read as follows: 11 67-5315. ESTABLISHMENT AND ADOPTION OF EMPLOYEE PROBLEM SOLVING AND DUE 12 PROCESS PROCEDURES. (1) Each participating department shall, on or before July 13 1, 1999, establish and adopt an employee problem solving procedure within such 14 department, which shall be reduced to writing and shall be in full compliance 15 with the provisions of the uniform problem solving procedure as adopted by 16 rule by the administrator pursuant to subsection (4) of this section. The 17 department problem solving procedure shall be approved by the administrator 18 prior to implementation. A copy of the approved problem solving procedure plan 19 shall be furnished and explained to each employee of the department concerned. 20 No employee shall be disciplined or otherwise prejudiced in his employment for 21 exercising his rights under the plan, and department heads shall encourage the 22 use of the plan in the resolution of grievances arising in the course of pub- 23 lic employment. A classified employee may file under the problem solving pro- 24 cedure any matter, except that compensation shall not be deemed a proper sub- 25 ject for consideration under the problem solving procedure except as it 26 applies to alleged inequities within a particular agency or department, and 27 except for termination during the entrance probationary period, and except for 28 those matters set forth in subsection (2) of this section. 29 (2) No action of a participating department relating to a disciplinary 30 dismissal, suspension or demotion, or an involuntary transfer shall be effec- 31 tive until the affected employee shall have received notice and an opportunity 32 to be heard. The employee may then appeal to the Idaho personnel commission 33 those disciplinary matters set forth in section 67-5316(1)(a), Idaho Code. 34 (3) If the filing concerns a matter which is reviewable pursuant to sec- 35 tion 67-5316, Idaho Code, the time for appeal to the commission shall not com- 36 mence to run until the employee has completed the problem solving procedure 37 provided by the department in accordance with the terms thereof or, in the 38 case of disciplinary actions set forth in subsection (2) of this section, 39 until the disciplinary action becomes effective; provided, however, the fail- 40 ure of an employee to pursue the problem solving procedures established within 41 the department shall constitute a waiver of the employee's right of review by 42 the commission. 43 (4) On or before July 1, 1999, the division of human resources shall 2 1 adopt a rule defining uniform problem solving and due process procedures for 2 use by all participating departments. With respect to the problem solving pro- 3 cedure, the rule shall provide a complete procedure for all stages of the 4 process, including problem solving meetings with department representatives in 5 the employee's chain of command. The rule shall guarantee the employee the 6 right to a hearing before a panel of three (3) persons as provided in section 7 67-5315A, Idaho Code, at the initial phase of the problem solving process. 8 With respect to the due process procedure, the rule shall provide that the 9 employee receive notice and an opportunity to be heard before the department 10 decides in favor of disciplinary action. The rule shall also provide for time 11 periods for each step of the procedures. The rule shall provide for the use of 12 an impartial mediator upon agreement between the agency and the employee. The 13 employee shall be entitled to be represented by a person of the employee's own 14 choosing at each step of the procedures, except the initial informal discus- 15 sion with the immediate supervisor prior to filing under the problem solving 16 procedure. 17 SECTION 2. That Chapter 53, Title 67, Idaho Code, be, and the same is 18 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des- 19 ignated as Section 67-5315A, Idaho Code, and to read as follows: 20 67-5315A. INITIAL REVIEW -- RULE REQUIREMENTS -- PROBLEM SOLVING PANEL. 21 (1) Prior to filing for the problem solving process, an employee shall make a 22 good faith effort to discuss the problem(s) with his immediate supervisor and 23 seek resolution at that level, if possible. Supervisors shall also make a good 24 faith effort to resolve problems with employees. If the initial discussion is 25 not successful, within two (2) days the employee, his immediate supervisor, 26 and the supervisor's supervisor shall meet to attempt to resolve the problem. 27 If there is no resolution following this meeting, the employee has five (5) 28 days within which to file for a three (3) member problem solving impartial 29 review panel hearing. It shall be the responsibility of the department to set 30 up the hearing in a timely manner. 31 (2) The rule shall provide for a three (3) member problem solving impar- 32 tial review panel before a mediator is involved. The division of human 33 resources shall maintain a list of volunteers drawn from throughout the 34 departments of state government. Volunteers shall participate in a training 35 program conducted by the division addressing problem solving and impartial 36 review procedures. Five (5) names shall be taken from the top of the list, 37 excluding anyone employed by the department in which the employee works. The 38 employee and supervisor shall each eliminate one (1) name from the list of 39 five (5). The three (3) remaining members shall be notified of the date, time 40 and location of their meeting. They shall select their chairman. The supervi- 41 sor and the employee may each select a spokesman, who shall not be an attor- 42 ney, to represent them at the meeting. Each party may call witnesses. The mem- 43 bers of the panel shall be supplied with applicable department personnel poli- 44 cies and may ask questions of any party appearing before the panel. Within 45 seven (7) days, the panel shall submit a written recommendation to the direc- 46 tor of the department including findings of fact and a recommendation for a 47 solution. Within five (5) days of his receipt of the written report, the 48 director shall issue his finding.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE RS 14102 The Purpose of this legislation is to improve the problem solving procedure for Idaho's state employees. The Problem Solving Procedure has been established to give our state employee/employer a vehicle for employee and employer to resolve conflicts and problems that occur in the working environment. Issues can usually be resolved by an open, honest and timely discussion. Supervisors are expected to make a good faith effort to resolve problems with the employees soon after they occur before they become bigger, unmanageable problems. This legislation would add to the Problem Solving procedure for State Employees by establishing the first three steps of that procedure, including the establishment of a Three Panel Impartial Review Problem Solving Panel as a third step in the process. It defines the panel and sets up the procedure for selecting panel members and establishing their duties. FISCAL IMPACT None Contact Name: Vicki Patterson, Idaho Public Employees Association Phone: 321-7464 Senator John Andreason STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE S 1335