What can I do if I believe I am being discriminated against by being paid less than my peers?
Generally, a school district is free to compensate its employees as it chooses, as long as there is no evidence of discrimination. If you wish for one of our staff attorneys to provide further assistance to you, such as drafting a letter on your behalf or performing additional research to determine any available recourse you may have, please let us know.
The following is general information regarding grievance procedures:
An administrative grievance in the federal government, is a systematic agency procedure for the resolution of grievances from employees who are not members of a bargaining unit. Grievances are usually based upon a violation of a law, violation of a term in an employment contract, or a violation of a past practice.
Grievance procedures are a means of dispute resolution that can be used by a company to address complaints by employees, suppliers, customers, and/or competitors. The procedure typically defines the type of grievance it covers, the stages through which the parties proceed in attempting to resolve matters, individuals responsible at each stage, the documentation required, and the time limits by which the grievance must be presented and dealt with at each stage. In small businesses, the procedures may consist of a few lines in an employee manual or the designation of a single ombudsman to deal with problems as they develop. Peer review of employee concerns is another popular way to address grievances. On the other hand, some larger companies may create an entire department dedicated to fielding complaints from employees or customers. When an employee is a member of a labor union, the procedures for filing a grievance are defined in the agreement and policies established between the union and each employer. Procedures vary by employer, but an employee grievance is typically submitted to the union representative. If the employee is unsatisfied with the response, there may be an appeals procedure, which varies by employer, according to the collective bargaining agreement.
In a union environment, a typical grievance procedure begins with an employee presenting a problem to his or her immediate supervisor within a certain time period after the offending event has occurred. The supervisor then has a set amount of time to either respond or send the grievance on to be addressed by the head of the department. At this point, a union representative enters the negotiations on behalf of the employee. If the situation is still not resolved, the grievance continues up the chain of command to the plant manager and the president of the local union. If the labor union fails to follow the procedures at any point, the contract usually specifies that it must drop the grievance. Conversely, the company is usually obligated to resolve the grievance in the employee's favor if management fails to follow the procedures outlined in the collective bargaining agreement. If the situation still cannot be resolved, the final step in the grievance process is for both parties to present their side to a pre-designated arbitrator. The arbitrator's role is to determine the rights of both parties under the labor agreement, and his or her decision is usually final. The labor contract generally specifies the type of arbitrator used, the method of selecting the arbitrator, the scope of the arbitrator's authority, and the arrangements for the arbitrator's payment. A potential intermediate step involves presenting the grievance to a mediator, whose job is to help the parties solve their own differences before they reach the formal arbitration phase. Mediation is usually less time consuming and expensive than arbitration. In addition, the mediator may be able to teach the two parties dispute resolution skills that may be helpful in solving future problems.