Michigan Works! Southwest – Equal Opportunity Statement / Grievance and Complaint Procedures

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT

All applicants and participants of Michigan Works! Workforce Development
Programs will be provided equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from all
programs, activities, and services without regard to race, gender and gender identity,
color, religion, national origin, age, sex/sexual orientation, height, weight, marital
status, disability, political affiliation or belief, genetic information, citizenship/status
as a lawfully admitted immigrant authorized to work in the United States, or other
legally protected status or non-merit factor.

GRIEVANCE AND COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

This Grievance and Complaint Procedure is established and maintained for resolving
any complaint or grievance alleging a violation of any program that is administered
by the Michigan Works! Agency. All program participants shall be provided a
written description of the procedures. The procedures will be included in
Subrecipient agreements as well as Partner agreements. The procedures will also be
posted in areas where administration and program services are provided and are
accessible to the public.

The Michigan Works! Agency (MWA) insures that all participants, subgrantees,
subrecipients, One-Stop partners, service providers, employees, providers of
training services, and other interested parties in programs operated under the MWA
shall receive fair and expeditious handling of all grievances and complaints related
to programs operated with the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Workforce
Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
(TANF), Food Assistance Employment and Training (FAE&T), Trade Act (except
requests for redeterminations), and State of Michigan GF/GP funds from the
Workforce Development Agency / Talent Investment Agency (WDA/TIA), and
other State funding sources.

Informal Complaint Resolution

Participants, subgrantees, subrecipients, One-Stop partners, service providers,
employees, providers of training services and other interested parties in programs
operated by the MWA shall first attempt to work out a resolution with the person or
organization the complaint is against. The complaint procedures for that
organization shall be followed and the full appeal process exhausted in an attempt
to resolve the complaint satisfactorily. If the complaint cannot be resolved at this
level, the complainant (person filing the complaint) shall be directed to the following
grievance procedures.

Step 1: Local Level Grievance Procedure
All grievances related to WIA, WIOA, TANF, FAE&T, Trade Act (except request
for redeterminations), and State of Michigan GF/GP programs funded by the
WDA/TIA are required to be filed within one year of the date of the event that gave
rise to the grievance.
All grievances shall be in writing and contain, to the extent practicable, the following
information:
• The full name, address, and telephone number of the party/parties filing the
grievance.
• The full name, address, and telephone number of the party/parties against whom
the grievance is made.
• A clear and concise statement of the facts, as alleged, including the pertinent
dates, constituting the alleged violation.
• The provision of the act, regulations, grant, contract, or other agreements under
the act believed to have been violated.
• The relief requested.

The completed grievance should be delivered or mailed to:

Jakki Bungart-Bibb
Michigan Works! Southwest
Equal Opportunity Officer
222 S. Westnedge Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 385-0457

A grievance may be rejected by the MWA if it lacks merit, if the petitioner (person
filing the grievance) fails to state a grievable issue, there is no relief that can be
granted, or if the petitioner fails to comply with these procedures.

The MWA will inform the petitioner and the party against whom the grievance is
made in writing of the reason(s) the grievance was rejected. The notification will be
issued as soon as possible but no later than 60 calendar days from the date the
grievance was filed and will include the opportunity to appeal to the WDA/TIA.
An opportunity for informal resolution of grievances shall be available. If a
grievance is settled through the informal resolution process, a written decision shall
be issued to the petitioner within 60 days of filing the grievance.

For WIOA-related grievances, an opportunity for a local level hearing shall be made
available unless the grievance is informally resolved or withdrawn. Hearings shall
be conducted within 30 calendar days from the date the grievance was filed (received
by the MWA), and a decision shall be rendered no later than 60 calendar days from
the date filed.

If a hearing is to be conducted the MWA must provide written notice to the petitioner
and party/parties against whom the grievance is made. The notice shall include the
date, time and place of the hearing and outline the process to present evidence,
including witnesses. The notice of the hearing shall indicate the issues to be decided.
Notice shall be given not less than 10 calendar days prior to the scheduled hearing
date.

At a minimum, the hearing process shall include:
• A hearing officer.
• An opportunity for each party to present witnesses and evidence.
• An opportunity for each party to ask questions of all witnesses providing
testimony at the hearing.
• A record of the hearing and a list of all evidentiary exhibits presented at the
hearing.

At the discretion of the hearing officer, there may be an opportunity to exchange
evidentiary information prior to the hearing.

A written decision shall be issued by the hearing officer, sent certified mail, return
receipt requested and shall include the following information:
• Date, time, and place of hearing;
• Name and address of the petitioner (person filing the grievance);
• Name and address(es) of the party/parties against whom the grievance is made;
• Names and addresses of all witnesses called by the parties;
• Information sufficient to identify all evidence presented;
• A reiteration of the issues raised;
• A determination of the facts;
• An analysis of the issues as they relate to the facts;
• A decision addressing each issue; and
• A statement regarding the opportunity to appeal the decision to the WDA/TIA.

If a response to the grievance is not received by the petitioner within the time
prescribed (60 days from the filing of the grievance), or should either party be
dissatisfied with a decision, there is an opportunity to appeal to the WDA/TIA.

Step 2: State Level Review of a Local Level Decision

If a local level grievance decision is appealed, the written appeal shall be filed with
WDA/TIA no later than 10 calendar days from receipt of an adverse decision at Step
1, or 10 calendar days from the date a Step 1 decision was due but not received.
All appeals of a local level grievance decision shall be submitted by certified mail,
return receipt requested to:

State EO Officer
Talent Investment Agency
Executive Office
Victor Office Building,
201 N. Washington Square
Lansing, Michigan 48913

All appeals shall contain, to the extent practicable, the following information:
• The full name, address, and telephone number of the party/parties filing the
appeal.
• The full name, address(es), and telephone number of the party/parties against
whom the grievance is made.
• A clear and concise statement of the facts, as alleged, including the pertinent
dates, constituting the alleged violation.
• The provision of the act, regulations, grant, contract, or other agreements under
the act believed to have been violated.
• The relief requested.

Within 15 days from the date the appeal is received by WDA/TIA, the parties will
be contacted to submit all relevant information and documentation generated at the
local hearing to the WDA/TIA Executive Office.

Following consideration of the appeal, the WDA/TIA will take one of the following
actions:

Rejection of the Appeal: A grievance may be rejected on appeal and a final
determination issued if it is determined that the grievance lacks merit, it fails to state
a grievable issue, there is no relief that can be granted, or if the appellant (person
filing the grievance) fails to comply with the applicable procedures in this document.
The party filing the appeal will be informed, in writing, as soon as possible or within
60 days from the date the appeal was filed of the reason the appeal was rejected.

Waiver of the Hearing: In lieu of a hearing for an appeal of a WIOA related local
level decision, the parties to the appeal may mutually consent to having WDA/TIA
decide the matter based on the record created at the local level. If both parties and
WDA/TIA are in agreement, the hearing is waived. Both parties must provide
WDA/TIA with written confirmation that demonstrates their consent to waive the
hearing.

WDA/TIA will issue a final decision within 60 days of the receipt of the appeal
taking into consideration the evidentiary documentation previously submitted.
Hearing: For an appeal of a WIOA related local level decision, an opportunity for
a hearing must be provided. Unless the appeal is rejected by WDA/TIA, the parties
agree to waive a hearing or the appeal is withdrawn. If a hearing on the appeal is to
be held it shall be conducted within 30 calendar days of the filing of the appeal.
The appellant (the person filing the grievance) and the party against whom the
grievance is made will be provided written notice of the date, time and place of the
scheduled hearing and of the opportunity to present evidence, including witnesses.
The notice of the hearing shall indicate the issues to be decided. Notice shall be given
no less than 10 calendar days prior to the scheduled hearing date.

At a minimum, the hearing process shall include the same components as described
in Step 1: Local Level Grievance Procedure hearing. At the discretion of the
hearing officer, there may be an opportunity to exchange evidentiary information
prior to the hearing.

A written decision shall be issued not later than 60 calendar days after the filing of
the appeal. The decision shall include the same categories of information as
described in Step 1-Local Level Grievance Procedure written decision.

In general a State level decision is final. However, if a decision is not issued by the
due date, a WIOA related appeal may be reviewed by the Secretary of the U.S.
Department of Labor (USDOL). A WIOA related decision may be appealed to the
USDOL by the adversely affected party within 60 calendar days after a decision was
due or the receipt of the WDA/TIA decision. The written appeal must be submitted
to the following by certified mail, return receipt requested.

Secretary
U.S. Department of Labor
Attention: ASET
Washington, D.C. 20210

A copy of the appeal must be simultaneously provided to both of the following:

Regional Administrator
Employment and Training Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
230 South Dearborn St., Room 628
Chicago, IL 60604

AND

State EO Officer
Talent Investment Agency
Victor Office Building
201 N. Washington Square
Lansing, MI 48913

Special Provisions

Employment Related Rights

Grievances involving Wagner Peyser Act activities, including but not limited to
employer wage and hour violations, migrant and seasonal farm worker complaints,
and other possible violations of general labor laws must be resolved using the
process outlined in the State of Michigan Employment Service Manual. This
Manual and assistance in filing a complaint is available at Michigan Works!
Service Centers.

WIOA program participants employed in situations covered by a collective
bargaining agreement, who are alleging a violation of labor standards, may submit
the grievance to a binding arbitration procedure, if allowable under the collective
bargaining agreement covering the parties to the grievance.

Complaints alleging violation of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity (EO)
provision of state/federal grant programs must be resolved in accordance with the
nondiscrimination and EO policy guidelines issued by WDA/TIA.
Displacement from Employment

A grievance may be filed by an affected individual if a TANF recipient is placed in
a position when (1) any other individual is on layoff from the same or any
substantially equivalent job or (2) if the employer has terminated the employment
of any regular employee or otherwise caused an involuntary reduction of its
workforce in order to fill the vacancy so created with an adult receiving TANF
assistance. Either party to the grievance, the TANF recipient or the displaced
employee, may appeal a local level decision to the WDA/TIA.

A grievance may be filed by a regular employee or program participant displaced
by a WIOA participant placed in an employment activity operated with WIOA
funds.

Jurisdiction

TANF and Food Assistance program applicant and recipient grievances shall be
handled in accordance with MWA or Department of Health and Human Services
(DHHS) procedures, as appropriate, given the nature of the grievance.

Fraud and Abuse

Known or suspected fraud, abuse, or criminal conduct under the WIOA shall be
reported immediately to the MWA EO Officer for incident processing using the
incident reporting guidelines issued by WDA/TIA.

 

 

For assistance or more information contact:

Jakki Bungart-Bibb
Michigan Works! Southwest
Equal Opportunity Officer
(269) 385-0457

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