6.771.1  Agency Grievance System (AGS)

Manual Transmittal

October 23, 2012

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 6.771.1, Internal Revenue Service, Agency Grievance System (AGS).

Material Changes

(1) This changes IRM 6.771.1.12(1) to read: the number of days to submit a grievance to the Performance Review Board (PRB) within 15 work days from receipt of the rating...

(2) Change any reference within the IRM from LR/ER Strategic Policy Office to LR Strategy & Negotiations Office.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 6.771.1 Internal Revenue Service, Agency Grievance System, dated October 29, 2010.

Audience

All Operating Divisions and Functions.

Effective Date

(10-23-2012)

Phyllis Brown
Director, Workforce Relations Division

6.771.1.1  (10-29-2010)
Proponent and Exception Authority

  1. The proponent of this memorandum is the IRS Human Capital Officer (IRHCO). The IRHCO has the authority to approve exceptions to this manual which are consistent with controlling law(s) and regulation(s). The IRHCO may delegate this authority to the Workforce Relations Division Director, Human Capital Office, or its successor organization.

6.771.1.2  (10-29-2010)
References

  1. Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 771, Agency Administrative Grievance System.

6.771.1.3  (10-29-2010)
Overview

  1. This IRM provides instructions and guidelines for the timely and equitable consideration of grievances of Non-Bargaining Unit (NBU) employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). A copy of this IRM will be provided to any eligible employee (as defined in IRM 6.771.1.7) who has a grievance that falls within the coverage of the Agency Grievance System (AGS) as defined in IRM 6.771.1.8.

6.771.1.4  (10-23-2012)
Policy

  1. Employees are entitled to present grievances without restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal. Grievances should be considered fairly and objectively, and processed expeditiously. Employees may be accompanied, represented, and advised by a representative of their own choosing with the following limitations - the proposed representative’s service must not result in:

    1. a conflict or apparent conflict of interest or position, or

    2. unreasonable costs to the government, or

    3. the inability to timely complete priority work assignments.

  2. Employees may designate a personal representative at any step of the Agency Grievance System procedure. The designation must be in writing and must be submitted to the supervisor/management official involved in the process. Disallowance of an employee's designated representative may be made by a management official, within 5 days of the date of receipt of the employee's written designation because of unavailability due to priority needs of the Service, unreasonable cost to the Government, conflict of position, or conflict of interest.

  3. When a management official believes that a representative must be disallowed, the servicing Labor Relations office will be consulted for advice and for procedural requirements. The decision on the designated representative should be made prior to any merit considerations of the grievance. When a representative is disallowed, a letter will be prepared by the management official who is disallowing the representative and will specify on what basis this disallowance is being made. The letter should also include a statement as to the employee's right to appeal the disallowance of the designated representative. The employee will be informed that an appeal must be submitted by the employee and not by the representative, as submission by the representative would constitute representational activity.

  4. Should the grievant wish to appeal the disallowance of the representative determination, the appeal must be submitted in writing within 7 days of receipt of the disallowance decision directly to the Associate Director, LR Strategy & Negotiations Office, Workforce Relations Division (OS:HC:R:N), 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room 5617, Washington, DC 20224. The decision denying the selected representative must be attached to the appeal. The Associate Director will make a final decision regarding the disallowance within 15 days of the date of receipt of the grievant's appeal.

  5. All grievances will be addressed within the Business Unit, Operating Division, or equivalent levels. If the Commissioner or equivalent of that unit (e.g., the Commissioner of the SB/SE, Chief Information Office, etc.) is the first step official, there will be only one step in the Agency Grievance Process.

  6. Under no circumstances, will a grievance be elevated to the Commissioner of the IRS, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) for Operations Support (OS), or to the DC for Services and Enforcement (SE).

    Note:

    Exceptions: When the Commissioners are in the immediate chain-of-command of the grievants (e.g., the Commissioner, LMSB reports directly to the Deputy Commissioner SE; therefore, he can file the grievance with the Deputy Commissioner SE)

  7. With advance approval from the appropriate manager(s), the grievant and his representative, if an IRS employee, are entitled to a reasonable amount of administrative time to meet and discuss, prepare, and present the grievance. Total time to meet, discuss and prepare the grievance should normally not exceed four (4) hours. Advanced approval must also be obtained to use Government equipment, e.g., franked envelopes & stationary, word processing and facsimile machines, printers and copy machines.

6.771.1.5  (10-23-2012)
Definitions

  1. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) – is a catchall term that describes a number of methods used to resolve disputes out of court, including negotiation, conciliation, mediation, etc. The common denominator of ADR methods is that they are more expeditious, less formalistic, more cost effective and often less adversarial than a court trial.

  2. Control of Agency Management –a decision that is exclusively within the delegated authority of the IRS.

  3. Days –means workdays. Workdays excludes Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, and days on which the office is closed such as for inclement weather.

  4. Deciding Official (DO) –A management official designated to decide the formal grievance. The deciding official must be at a higher organizational level than the official involved in the matter(s) being grieved. The management official, who recommended, advised, or decided on the matter being grieved is considered to have been involved and must disqualify himself as the deciding official, unless he is the head of the agency. When a deciding official is disqualified, the person at the next higher administrative level will be the designated deciding official.

  5. Employee –(a) an individual employed in an agency; or (b) whose employment in an agency has ceased yet whose remedy can be provided.

  6. Fact-finder –an individual assigned by the manager or deciding official (DO) to gather information and provide an independent, unbiased review pertaining to the issue(s) being grieved and prepare a report that will enable the manager/DO to make an informed decision.

  7. Grievance –is a request by an employee, or group of employees acting as individuals, for personal relief in a matter of concern or dissatisfaction relating to the employment of the employee(s) which is subject to the control of agency management, including any allegation of coercion, reprisal (except in EEO cases) or retaliation, or any claimed violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of any law, rule, or regulation affecting conditions of employment.

  8. Grievance Examiner –an individual who conducts an inquiry and recommends a course of action in any grievance which has not been resolved prior to receipt by the Deciding Official. (see IRM 6.771.2)

  9. Grievance file – contains all documents related to the grievance, including, but not limited to, all correspondence, any statements of witnesses, records or copies thereof, and the decision.

  10. Group Grievances –when a group of employees filing a grievance have identical issues, the grievances may be combined and heard as one complaint. The decision will be binding on all employees. The group will select one case for processing under the provisions of the Agency Grievance Procedure. That grievant and his representative will present the case and participate in meetings, discussions, and interviews on behalf of the group.

  11. Mediation –is a voluntary process in which a neutral third party helps two (or more) parties hear, sort through and understand each other’s issue(s) and concern(s). Mediation is designed to encourage open communication to allow the parties to achieve resolution.

  12. Mediator –an individual trained and certified in mediation techniques, conflict management and mediation skills and possesses the requisite skills to effectively mediate disputes.

  13. Personal relief -a specific remedy directly benefiting the grievant(s) and may not include a request for disciplinary or other action(s) affecting another employee.

  14. Representative –except as provided in 6.771.1.4(1) above, is any person designated by an employee in writing to assist, or to act for, that employee in the presentation of a grievance.

  15. Threshold issue –is a procedural issue of grievability, timeliness, and/or completeness that must be decided prior to reaching a decision on the merits of the grievance.

6.771.1.6  (10-29-2010)
Responsibilities

  1. The IRS Human Capital Officer (IRHCO) will:

    1. Ensure the full and effective implementation of the Agency Grievance System (AGS).

    2. Provide policy guidance to appropriate business units.

    3. Train and maintain internal mediator and fact-finder cadre.

    4. Ensure that all business unit managers and employees are aware of the AGS.

    5. Ensure that all supervisors and managers are addressing grievances objectively, and expeditiously.

    6. Provide guidance to the operational Labor/Employee Relations (LR/ER) offices regarding specific policies that may affect the AGS.

    7. Conduct periodic assessments of the effectiveness of the AGS.

  2. The servicing LR/ER Specialist will:

    1. Provide operational support and guidance to supervisors and managers.

    2. Ensure that each AGS case is accurately and timely captured in the Automated Labor Employee Relations Tracking System (ALERTS).

    3. Update ALERTS data as changes occur.

    4. Provide information to grievants on all aspects of this Agency Grievance System, including rights of grievants, timeframes, etc.

    5. Ensure all aspects of the grievance resolution are implemented.

  3. Supervisors who are presented with an employee problem should determine timeliness and grievability of the matter. If there are any concerns about the employee's representative, that should be addressed at the 1st Step as well. If there are no threshold issues, the supervisor should make a determined effort to resolve the grievance. If the issue is outside of the supervisor's authority and/or responsibility, he must contact the official(s) who may be able to address and/or resolve the issue and forward the case file to that official.. Supervisors and managers must contact their servicing LR/ER specialist for advice and assistance while processing the grievance. Supervisors/managers must also forward a copy of the written grievance, submitted by the grievant, to the servicing LR office so that an ALERTS case file is established.

  4. An employee's request for information must be submitted as a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request through the Disclosure Office.

6.771.1.7  (10-31-2008)
Employee Coverage

  1. Included:

    • Current IRS non-bargaining unit employees may use the AGS.

    • Former IRS employees may continue to use the system to grieve a matter that arose during their employment with the IRS provided that the grievance was timely filed when still employed by the Agency and a remedy may still be granted after the separation from the IRS (e.g., pay issues.)

    • Bargaining unit employee may submit a grievance under the Agency Grievance Process as long as the subject of the grievance is not covered under the existing negotiated agreement, e.g., the ranking procedures used in filling a supervisory position.

  2. Excluded:

    • Employees of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) office and the Chief Counsel office are not IRS employees, and therefore, may not use this procedure.

    • The AGS is not available to applicants for employment.

    • IRS Bargaining Unit employees, except for grievances not covered by the existing negotiated agreement.

6.771.1.8  (10-29-2010)
Grievance Coverage

  1. Except as listed below, the AGS applies to any matter of concern or dissatisfaction relating to the employment of a covered employee that is subject to the control of IRS management.

  2. Employees cannot file an EEO complaint and an agency grievance on the same issue at the same time (whichever complaint is filed first prevails),

    Note:

    ACCORDING TO 3b below, EMPLOYEES CANNOT FILE EEO COMPLAINTS VIA THE AGENCY GRIEVANCE SYSTEM. If an EEO complaint was filed and later not accepted by the EEO office, employees may file a grievance within 15 days after the receipt of the EEO written notice.

  3. The AGS excludes matters pertaining to:

    1. The content of established agency regulations and policies.

    2. Any matter subject to a formal review and adjudication by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

    3. Appealable decisions of the type referred to in b. above including, but not limited to:

      • A denial of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for certain personnel records, appealable under Part 294 of the FOIA;
      • A denial of access or amendment to a personnel record in the OPM's system of records as defined in Part 297, appealable under Part 297;
      • A Reduction-in-Force action appealable under Part 351;
      • An alleged violation of reemployment or reinstatement rights appealable under Part 330 or Part 352;
      • An alleged violation of military or compensable injury restoration rights appealable under Part 353;
      • A reduction in grade or removal for unacceptable performance appealable under Part 432;
      • A position classification decision appealable under Part 511;
      • A grade or salary retention decision appealable under Part 536;
      • A job-grading decision appealable under Part 532;
      • An action appealable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) compliance and complaint procedures covered in 5 CFR 551;
      • An adverse action appealable under Part 752;
      • A life insurance decision appealable under Part 870;
      • A health benefits decision appealable under Part 890;
      • An allegation or complaint of discrimination appealable under 29 CFR 1614.

      Note:

      All Parts referenced are in Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations (5 CFR) unless otherwise indicated.

    4. A matter administered by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), or the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, Department of Labor.

    5. Any matter that has been forwarded to the IRS Deputy Ethics Official (DEO) for a review and decision.

    6. Non-selection for promotion from a group of properly ranked and certified candidates, or failure to receive a non-competitive promotion.

    7. The termination of probationary employees; separation or termination of an employee during a trial period; or return of an employee serving a supervisory or managerial probation to a non-supervisory or non-managerial position.

    8. The termination or expiration of a time-limited excepted service appointment, or term appointments, unless the employee does not have appeal rights under Part 752 or Part 432 of Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations.

    9. A diminished penalty or other lesser action which resulted from a decision on a grievance.

    10. The termination of a term or temporary promotion that returns the employee to the position from which the employee was temporarily promoted, or reassigns or demotes the employee to a different position that is not at a lower grade or pay than the position from which the employee was temporarily promoted.

    11. The substance of critical job elements and performance standards of an employee’s position which have been established in accordance with the requirements of subchapter 1 of Chapter 43 of Title 5 USC and 5 CFR 430.

    12. The granting of, failure to grant, or the amount of any type of discretionary award or recognition.

    13. The adoption of or failure to adopt an employee suggestion or invention.

    14. Any Senior Executive Service (SES) performance-based action or any decision regarding SES pay, awards, or performance evaluations.

    15. The expiration of a SES limited emergency or term appointment, on the date specified as a condition of employment at the time the appointment or promotion was made.

    16. Return of SES members to another pay system during the one year period of probation or for less than fully successful executive performance, or failure to be recertified, conditional recertification, or termination during probation for unacceptable performance.

    17. A receipt of a preliminary notice of an action that has not yet taken place [e.g., proposal notice of an adverse action or disciplinary action, intent to deny within grade increases (WGI)].

    18. Receipt of a counseling notice (including mid-year performance appraisals).

    19. An action taken in accordance with the terms of a formal agreement voluntarily entered into by an employee, which: (1) assigns the employee from one geographical location to another; or (2) returns an employee from an overseas assignment.

6.771.1.9  (10-23-2012)
Grievance - Step 1

  1. Employees must present a work-related problem(s) and/or issue(s) to their immediate supervisor within 15 days of the date of the act or event giving rise to the problem, or the date the employee became aware of the act or event. When calculating time limits, the day of an action or receipt of a document is not counted. (See Note below.) Exception: Grievances on Annual Performance Ratings must be presented at the 2nd Step with the reviewing or deciding official.

    1. Employees may present a matter of concern regarding a continuing practice or condition at any time.

    2. The problem must be presented in writing by using the IRS Form 5877, Agency Grievance and Authorization for Representatives Access to Official Records.

  2. If the grievance is untimely, not grievable, outside of the scope of the grievance procedure, incomplete, or the personal representative causes conflict of interest or position concerns, the grievant should be so informed of this threshold determination in a written response memorandum addressing these issues and provide employee with appeal rights within 15 days of receipt of the grievance. (No meeting will be held).

    Note:

    If the grievance is found unacceptable because it is incomplete, the grievance will be returned to the employee with an explanation of the necessary changes and/or additions that might be made. The employee will have five (5) days from the receipt of the notice of unacceptability to submit a fully detailed grievance.

    1. Within 15 days after the receipt of the grievance, if all threshold issues are met, the supervisor must communicate (either face to face or via conference call) with the employee and the employee's representative, and prepare a response memorandum, which briefly summarizes the problem, the consideration given, the conclusions reached, a decision on the issue, and if any remedy should be granted.

    2. Employees may appeal any threshold issue discussed in item (2) above or denial of a representative issue to the following address, via fax or mail, within ten (10) days after the receipt of the notice from his/her supervisor.

      Internal Revenue Service

      Associate Director, LR Strategy & Negotiations Office

      Workforce Relations Division, HCO (OS:HC:R:N)

      1111 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room 5617

      Washington, D.C. 20224

      Fax: (202) 622–6098.

    3. After careful consideration of all available information, if the LR Strategy & Negotiations Office concurs with the supervisor/manager, the case will be closed. If the LR Strategy & Negotiations Office decides in favor of the grievant, the case will be returned to the supervisor/manager so that the merits can be addressed. The LR Strategy & NegotiationsOffice decision on threshold issues is final, binding, and not subject to further review. A written response will be prepared for all AGS appeals of threshold issues and/or denial of a representative within 15 days of receipt of the employee's appeal. The original will be sent to the grievant and copies to the supervisor and the servicing Labor Relations Specialist for inclusion in the grievance file.

6.771.1.10  (10-29-2010)
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

  1. If the grievance is not resolved at Step 1, either party may discuss with the other available ADR processes as an alternative to the Agency Grievance process. If either party requests ADR, it will be used.

  2. If the parties use ADR, they must choose one of the following processes:

    1. Panel Review: This process involves a panel consisting of three members. Within 5 days of election, the supervisor, who heard Step 1 of the Grievance, will appoint a person to represent management's position, and the grievant will appoint an Agency employee to represent his position.

      Note:

      The employee must designate a representative (other than himself), in writing, and must submit the designation to the deciding official handling the grievance. The employee's chosen representative must be willing to serve in that capacity and be available to do so. The neutral third person will be appointed by the LR/ER Strategic Policy Office.


      As soon as possible, but no later than 10 days after the appointment of the last member, the panel members will independently review the case file including relevant documents, and convene a conference call (face -to-face meeting if all members are in the same geographical area), discuss the case, and recommend a resolution. At least two members of the Panel must approve the recommended outcome.

      The Panel's written recommendation will be sent to the servicing LR/ER office for review. After the LR/ER review, if no statutory, regulatory, or policy prohibitions or conflicts are identified, a final response letter will be prepared and sent to the grievant and to the deciding official. The outcome will then become final and binding to all parties, and the grievance process will conclude and will not be reviewed.

      Any administrative and technical support for the Panel will be provided by the servicing LR/ER office of the supervisor/manager receiving the grievance.

    2. Mediation: The mediation process provides an opportunity for a third-party neutral to assist the parties in reaching their own resolution of the dispute. In mediation, the parties are responsible for designing their own solution. The mediator does not make a binding decision for the parties, but guides them to their own mutually acceptable resolution of the grievance. Instead of creating winners and losers, the grievance mediation process develops cooperative problem solving between the supervisor and the employee. The goal is to use mediation as a means to help the parties improve their workplace relationship, and to use the process as a tool to help parties establish better methods for managing and resolving conflict themselves.

      If this option is elected within 10 days after the receipt of the request, the LR/ER Strategic Policy Office will appoint a Mediator to assist management and the grievant to resolve the dispute. Managers should go through the servicing LR/ER office to request a Mediator. If there are qualified local mediators (IRS employees) who are not listed with the LR/ER Strategic Policy Office, they are encouraged to request that their names be added to the cadre so their services may be used.

      Once a Mediator is assigned, the servicing LR/ER specialist will forward a copy of the case file to the Mediator and a mediation session will be scheduled within 10 days. This time limit may be extended under special circumstances (e.g., the supervisor is on leave, schedule conflicts). In order to be effective, all parties (the supervisor, grievant, and the mediator) must meet face-to-face to conduct the session, which ordinarily should be concluded in one day. However, in rare instances additional time may be authorized to enable the parties to reach an agreement.

      Note:

      All expenses related to mediation will be paid by the grievant's organization.

      If elected, both the supervisor and the grievant must make a good faith effort to resolve the grievance during mediation. The first order of business will be for the parties to read and sign the "Agreement to Mediate" form (see Exhibit 1). If a mutually agreeable solution is reached, a settlement agreement will be documented in writing, signed by both parties, and will be reviewed by the servicing LR/ER office. LR/ER's role is limited to review for statutory, regulatory, contract or policy violations. The LR/ER review will be completed within 5 days.

      The signed and approved written agreement is final, binding and closes the grievance.

      If good-faith efforts to resolve the grievance are unsuccessful, the mediator will end the mediation session and will immediately prepare a memorandum stating that the issue was not resolved through ADR and provide a copy to the supervisor/manager, grievant, and the servicing LR/ER office. Upon receipt of this memorandum, the grievant may continue with the formal grievance process as described below.

6.771.1.11  (10-29-2010)
Grievance - Step 2

  1. Any grievance involving formal disciplinary action will start at the 2nd Step of the AGS process and must be submitted on Form 5877 within 15 days of the date of receipt of the decision letter in a formal disciplinary action. The procedural rights of reply (oral and/or written) available to the employee prior to affecting a formal disciplinary action (e.g., suspension of 14 days or less) is considered to the equivalent of discussion at the first-step of the grievance. All other grievances will follow the steps described below:

    1. After the receipt of the 1st Step response, the employee retains the right to advance the grievance to the deciding official (second level supervisor), who receives, adjudicates, and renders the final Agency decision.

    2. Within 15 days of receipt of the 1st Step response or unresolved mediation notice, the employee may submit the grievance, in writing, to the deciding official. New issue(s) that were not considered in the 1st Step may not be considered at the 2nd Step. The grievance must be presented by attaching the previous IRS Form 5877 with a cover memorandum and all other correspondence. The grievance must state that the matter was not resolved at the 1st Step and/or during the problem-solving/ADR process, and that the grievant has not filed an EEO complaint on the same or similar issue.

    3. Upon receipt, the deciding official will review the grievance case file and will discuss the grievance with the employee (and his/her representative, if applicable) and attempt to resolve the issue. If the grievance remains unresolved the deciding official will notify the grievant in writing within ten (10) work days of receipt of the grievance that he may request a grievance examiner to conduct an inquiry into the grievance. The grievant will then have 5 work days from receipt of the deciding official's notification to request, through the deciding official, the designation of a grievance examiner. (See IRM 6.771.2.4)

    Note:

    The use of a grievance examiner is mandatory before issuing a final agency decision in the following matters:

    • Suspension from duty (14 days or less).

    • Allegation of sexual harassment.

    • Allegation of retaliation for protected activity, such as filing a grievance.

  2. If a Grievance Examiner was used, the decision should be issued within 10 days after the receipt of the Report of Findings and Recommendation(s) from the Grievance Examiner. If no Grievance Examiner was utilized, the decision should be issued within 10 days of the 2nd step meeting. Either way, the decision is final, binding, and not subject to further review.

6.771.1.12  (10-23-2012)
Grievance Process/Performance Grievances/Paybanded Employees

  1. Request for Reconsideration of Rating: Paybanded employees must submit grievances concerning their performance rating in writing on Form 5877, Agency Grievance and Authorization for Representative's Access to Official Records, to their designated Performance Review Board (PRB) within 15 work days from receipt of the rating. Each Operating Division, Functional Division, or equivalent has the flexibility to establish its own PRB grievance processing guidelines. These guidelines must be established, in writing, prior to any PRB reconsideration process. Simultaneously grievants must provide a copy of the grievance to their supervisor(s) and to the servicing LR/ER office. It is the grievants' responsibility to ensure that the grievance packet includes all the relevant information and is timely filed. Within 2 days, the PRB will review written grievances to determine the following threshold issues:

    1. Timeliness;

    2. Grievance coverage (those grievances not involving performance ratings will not be addressed under these paybanded procedures); and,

    3. Completeness - is the grievance specific enough to know what the employee's concerns are? To be considered complete, the grievance must contain a signed copy of the rating being grieved, reasons grievant feels the rating is incorrect, and state the related remedy requested.

  2. Incomplete Grievances: If grievances are incomplete, they will be returned. Grievants may resubmit completed grievances within 3 days after the receipt of the incomplete grievance from the PRB.

  3. Grievability determination: If the original or resubmitted grievance is determined to be not grievable due to untimely filing, non-grievable issues, eligibility, etc., the PRB's decision on the threshold issue(s) will be sent to the grievant. The PRB should consult with its servicing LR/ER office before finalizing its decision. The LR/ER Strategic Policy Office will provide guidance to the servicing LR/ER offices as necessary. The PRB's threshold decision is final, binding, and not subject to further review. A copy of the decision will be provided to the supervisor of the grieving employee, and to the servicing LR/ER office within 2 workdays.

  4. Merit Determination: If the grievance is acceptable, the PRB will consider the written reconsideration request and will provide a written decision within 5 days. The response will include the PRB's decision, notification of right to proceed to the next step in the expedited process, and the time limits in which the grievance must be filed.

    Note:

    The total time spent in the Reconsideration Process (steps 1 through 4) should not exceed 10 days (2 days for PRB to determine threshold issues, 3 days for incomplete grievances to be resubmitted, and 5 days for PRB to consider the merits).

  5. Grievance: Upon receipt of the reconsideration response, grievants have 3 days to pursue a grievance. The grievance should include the original Form 5877, the reconsideration decision received from the PRB, and any other documents to support grievants' position. A designated representative or a group of representatives of the Division Commissioner or equivalent, who were not involved in the reconsideration process, will review the grievance, fully consider the documents submitted to support the grievant's position, and render a written decision within 5 days. A copy of the PRBs written decision should also be provided to the grievant’s manager. Each Operating Division or equivalent entity will identify its own designated representative(s). The Division Commissioner's representative's decision is final, binding, and not subject to further review.

    Note:

    All payband grievances will be addressed within the business unit, operating division, or the equivalent entity. Under no circumstances, will the Commissioner of the IRS, the Deputy Commissioner, Services and Enforcement, or the Deputy Commissioner, Operations Support get involved, unless he is in the immediate chain-of-command of the grievant. If the grievant is in the immediate chain of command the Deputy Commissioner will then delegate a representative to review the grievance.

6.771.1.13  (10-23-2012)
Cancellation or Rejection of a Grievance

  1. A grievance will be cancelled or rejected for any of the following reasons:

    1. At the employee's request.

    2. Upon termination of the grievant's employment with the Service, unless a remedy for the employee's concern may be granted after termination of employment.

    3. For failure to pursue the grievance in a timely and acceptable manner (e.g., the employee does not furnish required information within the required timeframe).

    4. The employee does not specify the personal relief sought.

    5. Consists of a matter(s) that is either not covered by the Agency Grievance Procedure or is not subject to the control of management.

    6. Is submitted by an employee or non-employee who is not covered by the Agency Grievance Process.

    7. Does not meet a processing requirement, e.g., the grievant did not first raise the matter as an informal grievance.

  2. The rejection/cancellation decision will cite the relevant section(s) of this IRM and provide an explanation and will advise the grievant of the right to appeal to, and request a reconsideration of the rejection/cancellation to the:

    Associate Director, LR Strategy & Negotiations Office

    Workforce Relations Division, HCO (OS:HC:R:N)

    1111 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room 5617

    Washington, D.C. 20224

    Fax: (202) 622–6098

  3. After careful consideration of all available information, if the Associate Director, LR Strategy & Negotiations Office concurs with the supervisor/manager, the case will be closed. If the Associate Director, LR Strategy & Negotiations Office decides in favor of the grievant, the case will be returned to the supervisor/manager so that the merits can be addressed. LR Strategy & Negotiations Office decision on threshold issues is final, binding, and not subject to further review. A written response will be prepared for all AGS appeals of threshold issues and/or denial of a representative within 15 days of receipt of the employee's appeal. The original will be sent to the grievant and copies to the supervisor and the servicing Labor Relations specialist for inclusion in the grievance file.

Exhibit 6.771.1-1 
Agreement to Mediate

This is a voluntary agreement between________________________ and ____________________________ to mediate the following issue(s) with the intent of reaching a consensual settlement of their dispute regarding ___________________________.

The provisions of this agreement are as follows:

  • The mediator is a neutral party who will assist the parties to reach their own settlement. The mediator will not issue decisions about the case nor will he impose decisions on the parties.

  • The mediator will not offer advice or legal counsel. If the parties need legal advice about their rights, obligations, and legal interests, they should seek the services of legal counsel.

  • It is understood that in order for mediation to work, open and honest communication is essential. All written and oral communication submitted during mediation will be treated as privileged information and is confidential. The parties agree that the mediator shall not be compelled to divulge such records or to testify in any judicial or adversary proceeding.

  • It is understood that both parties will provide complete and honest disclosure of all relevant information and documents. Prior to the first session, the parties will provide the mediator with enough information for the mediator to understand the issue(s) in dispute.

  • It is understood that the mediator will not serve as a representative or witness for either party before, during, or after the mediation.

  • While both parties intend to continue with mediation until a settlement is reached, it is understood that either party may withdraw from mediation at any time. It is also understood that the mediator may terminate mediation due to impasse or for any reason the mediator finds appropriate.

  • If an agreement is reached, the parties, or the mediator, will prepare and sign a settlement agreement before leaving the mediation session. The settlement agreement will be reviewed by Labor Relations for legality and conformance to policy and regulation; the settlement is binding if approved by Labor Relations. Labor Relations is required to respond within 5 days.

  • There shall be no tape recording or stenographic record of the mediation.

I have read, understand, and agree to each of the provisions of this agreement.

Employee Signature:____________________

Print Name:__________________________

Date: _______________________________

Manager Signature:_____________________

Print Name: ____________________________

Date: _______________________________


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