The Director shall:
1. Establish a comprehensive program of employee relations management that includes alternative processes for resolving employment disputes;
2. Establish the grievance procedure and a statewide mediation program;
3. Adopt rules and set hearing officer fees for grievance hearings;
4. For employees who are covered by the grievance procedure, (i) provide forms necessary for the proper use of the grievance procedure; (ii) direct full compliance with the grievance procedure process; and (iii) investigate allegations of retaliation as the result of use of or participation in the grievance procedure or of reporting, in good faith, an allegation of fraud, waste, or abuse to the Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline and advise the agency head of the findings;
5. Render final decisions, containing the reasons for such decision, on all matters related to access to the grievance procedure, procedural compliance with the grievance procedure, and qualification for hearing;
6. Establish a process to select, on a rotating basis, hearing officers for grievance hearings from (i) the list maintained by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court or (ii) attorneys hired as classified employees by the Department through a competitive selection process; train and assign such hearing officers to conduct grievance hearings; evaluate the quality of their services to determine eligibility for continued selection; and, if deemed ineligible for continued selection, establish policies for removing such hearing officers from consideration for future selection;
7. Publish hearing officer decisions and Department rulings;
8. Establish a training program for human resources personnel on employee relations management and employment rights and responsibilities;
9. Implement a comprehensive training and instructional program for all supervisory personnel that includes the role of the grievance procedure in harmonious employee relations management. The training program shall also include methods for supervisors to instruct nonsupervisory personnel in the use of the grievance procedure. Use of the grievance procedure to resolve disputes shall be encouraged. In-house resources shall be developed to allow the Department and its personnel to conduct onsite training of this nature for units and agencies of state government throughout Virginia. The Department shall assist agencies in establishing performance criteria for such supervisory personnel;
10. Provide information upon the request of any employee concerning personnel policies, regulations, and law applicable to the grievance procedure and counsel employees in the resolution of conflict in the workplace;
11. Establish and maintain a toll-free telephone number to facilitate access by employees to the services of the Department;
12. Collect information and statistical data regarding the use of the grievance procedure and the effectiveness of employee relations management in the various state agencies;
13. Make recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly to improve the grievance procedure and employee relations management;
14. Conduct such training seminars and educational programs for the members and staff of agencies and public bodies and other interested persons on the use of dispute resolution proceedings as the Director determines appropriate;
15. Exercise such other powers and perform such other duties as may be requested by the Governor; and
16. Perform all acts and employ such personnel as may be required, necessary, or convenient to carry out the provisions of this section.
1995, cc. 16, 646, 770, 818, § 2.1-116.03; 1996, cc. 164, 869; 1998, c. 263; 2000, cc. 66, 657, 947, 1006; 2001, c. 844, § 2.2-1001; 2012, cc. 56, 349, 803, 835; 2013, cc. 572, 690, 717, 723.
The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.