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4003.2 AR - Employee Problem or Complaint Resolution Procedure

  • 4000 Personnel

Adopted: 5/23/01


The following procedure shall be followed when an employee has a problem or complaint about administration of a regulation, rule or procedure, or job relations that is not covered by a provision of negotiated agreements of an exclusive representative, Rules and Regulations of the Personnel Commission, or another specific complaint procedure. Complaints regarding the content of performance evaluations and accusatory charges relating to the moral or professional fitness of an employee are excluded from this procedure.



  1. All parties to the problem or complaint shall have the right, at each step of the procedure beyond Step 1, to be accompanied by a person or persons of their own choosing.
  2. All proceedings shall be private and confidential except by mutual consent of the participating parties.
  3. A decision rendered at any step of the procedure becomes final unless appealed to the next step within the prescribed time frame.
  4. If a decision is not submitted within the established time limit, the complainant may appeal directly to the next step.
  5. Time limits may be extended by agreement of the parties involved.
  6. Any employee may participate in the process without loss of salary provided that the employee notifies his/her immediate supervisor in advance. All documents, communications and records used in processing a problem or complaint under this administrative regulation shall be filed separately from the personnel files of the participants in the Human Resources Office.
  7. No reprisal, discrimination, or reduction in status shall be invoked against any employee for having instituted this process or for having participated as a representative, conferee, or witness.




Step 1 - Informal Review

Within twenty (20) working days from the occurrence giving rise to the problem or complaint or within twenty (20) working days of the complainant’s knowledge thereof, the complainant shall provide notification of the problem or complaint orally or in writing to his/her immediate supervisor. A form is available from the Human Resources Services Division (Exhibit 1).

The immediate supervisor shall arrange a meeting with the complainant to discuss the problem or complaint within ten (10) working days of receipt of the complaint.

If the complainant fails to notify the immediate supervisor of the problem or complaint within the allotted time, the right to pursue resolution procedures shall have been waived. Within five (5) working days of the information meeting, the immediate supervisor shall communicate his/her verbal or written decision to the complainant.


Step 2 - Appeal

The complainant may, within five (5) working days following the receipt of the immediate supervisor’s decision, appeal it to his/her division administrator. The appeal shall be submitted in writing and be accompanied by a summary of the course of action to date, including the immediate supervisor’s Step 1 decision.

The division administrator or the complainant may request a personal meeting to discuss the appeal.

Within ten (10) working days after receiving the written request for an appeal, the division administrator shall issue a written decision on the complaint.


Step 3 - Review of Appeal

The complainant may, within five (5) working days following receipt of the division administrator’s decision, request the County Superintendent of Schools to review the appeal. The request shall be submitted in writing.

The County Superintendent of Schools shall review the proceedings conducted by the division administrator and shall meet with the complainant.

Nothing in this procedure shall be interpreted as abridging the County Superintendent of Schools’ right to conduct an investigation.

Within ten (10) working days following receipt of the request for a review, the County Superintendent of Schools shall render a written decision to the complainant which shall be final.




Board Policy: 4003

Management Resources:
Merit System Rules and Regulations for the Classified Service, Personnel Commission of the San Diego County Office of Education, 1994

Negotiated Agreement Between San Diego County Office of Education and California School Employees Association (Chapter 568), 2000-2003

Negotiated Agreement Between San Diego County Office of Education and Association of Educators, 2000-2003

San Diego County Office of Education Management Handbook, 1991

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