Complaints and Grievances Policy

EFFECTIVE: MARCH 30, 2022

General principles

Naturally Boulder aims to provide a fair and equitable environment for all members, employees, and volunteers. This policy seeks to support the achievement of this goal by providing a transparent and consistent process for resolving grievances.

Negotiated solutions will aim to address the key issues and be acceptable to all individuals or parties involved without ascribing blame, victimization or discrimination. Complainants will not suffer any disadvantage, victimization or discrimination as a result of raising a grievance, with minimum stress and maximum protection for all concerned.

Every Naturally Boulder member has a responsibility to comply with this policy and to treat everyone in the Naturally Boulder community with dignity and respect. Seeking redress of a trivial or vexatious issue through a grievance procedure will not be tolerated and may result in disciplinary action.

Definitions

Grievance: A wrong or hardship suffered (real or perceived), which is the grounds of a complaint.

Complaint: An expression of grievance, dissatisfaction or concern.

Victimize: To act or omit to act towards a person in a way which is intended to cause disadvantage to that person because they have made a complaint, or may make a complaint, or may be or are the subject of a complaint.

Rights and responsibilities

All persons have the right to:

  • make a complaint to a manager or another member of the organization at an appropriate level
  • be treated with respect and impartiality and provided with support throughout the process
  • have the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness observed. This means:
    • complaints must be fully described by the person with the grievance
    • the person who is the subject of concern must be informed of all the allegations in relation to his/her behavior
    • the person who is the subject of concern must have a full opportunity to put forward their case
    • all parties to the complaint must have the right to be heard
    • all relevant submissions and evidence must be considered
    • irrelevant matters must not be taken into account
    • the decision-maker must be impartial, fair and just
  • investigations and proceedings that are conducted honestly, fairly and without bias.
  • no undue delay in investigations and proceedings.

It is the responsibility of all parties involved in a grievance to participate fully in the resolution process in good faith. Confidentiality must be respected and maintained at all times within the constraints of the need to fully investigate the matter, subject to any legal requirements for disclosure and consistent with the principles of natural justice.

Procedure

This is a four-level procedure.

  1. Level 1.  The member or  employee attempts to resolve the complaint as close to the source as possible, generally by discussing the issue with the person involved. This level is quite informal and verbal. Should the employee not feel confident in discussing the matter, they should proceed immediately to Level 2. If the matter is not resolved, proceed to Level 2.
  2. Level 2.  The employee notifies their manager (in writing or otherwise) as to the substance of the grievance and states the outcome sought. Discussion should be held between the employee and any other relevant party. This level will usually be informal but either party may request written statements and agreements.  Should the person who is the subject of the complaint be the employee’s manager, the employee should notify another manager, or another member of the company at an appropriate level. This level should not exceed one week. If the matter is not resolved, proceed to Level 3.
  3. Level 3.  The manager must refer the matter to the business manager or owner. A grievance taken to this level must be in writing from the employee. The manager will forward any additional information thought relevant. The business manager or owner will provide a written response to the employee. The business manager or owner also communicates with any other parties involved or deemed relevant. This level should not exceed one week. If the matter is not resolved, proceed to Level 4.
  4. Level 4.  The employee will be advised of his/her rights to pursue the matter with external authorities if they so wish.

AUTHORIZED BY: The Naturally Boulder Board of Directors

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