Other Fields
Agency Scheme: 
Hearing Level: Basic Structure
Name of Hearing Office (local name): 
Office for Human Resources Management
Name of Hearing Office (global name): 
Department of Commerce: Office for Human Resources Management
Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant for Secretary for Administration
Hearing Officer #1 (Title): 
Deciding Official
Hearing Officer #2 (Title): 
Deciding Officer's Designee
Are administrative appeals permitted from final decisions at the hearing-level stage?: 
Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure: 

This adjudicative scheme provides an avenue for Department of Commerce employees to file grievances with the Department in order to receive relief in a matter of concern or dissatisfaction regarding their employment.

This scheme arises after an informal grievance is filed with a supervisor or manager at the lowest organizational level, usually the employee's immediate supervisor. Within 10 days of the receipt of the decision of the supervisor, an employee can request a formal grievance proceeding before a person who is at least one organizational level higher than the supervisor/manager.

All procedures are contained in a Department Administrative Order: DAO 202-771 (June 08, 2011).

PROCESS & PROCEDURE - General Information
Are private parties permitted to have representation at hearings?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Who may serve as a private party representative?: 
Is the agency permitted to have representation at hearings?: 
Other published guidance for hearings (if any): 
DAO 202-771 (June 08, 2011); http://www.osec.doc.gov/opog/dmp/daos/dao202_771.html
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Pre-Hearing Procedure
Is discovery permitted by either party at the hearing-level stage?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Briefly describe the scope and type(s) of discovery available (e.g., depositions, interrogatories, etc.): 
"An employee pursuing a grievance is entitled to communicate with the [Servicing Human Resources Office] SHRO to obtain information about the grievance process and to get clarification about any provision of this Order. An employee filing a grievance also has the right to review all regulatory material regarding the grievance process and/or the matter being grieved and to review the grievance file." DAO 202-771, 5.03
Does the hearing officer have subpoena authority?: 
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Hearing Procedure
What types of hearings are permitted at the hearing-level stage?: 
Written (Document-Only) Hearing
How is the type of hearing selected: 
Required by Rule
How many hearing officers preside at each hearing?: 
Is witness testimony permitted at hearings?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
Witness testimony is not permitted. This question is not applicable to document-only hearings.
Can parties cross-examine witnesses?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
Cross-examination is not permitted. This question is not applicable to document-only hearings.
Can third-parties submit amicus briefs and/or evidence?: 
Are hearings recorded and/or transcribed?: 
N/A (Document-Only Hearings)
Are hearings open to the public?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
Oral proceedings are confidential. See DAO 202-771, 5.07. This question is not applicable to document-only hearings.
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Post-Hearing Procedure
Who typically drafts the decision at the hearing-level stage?: 
Adjudication Officer
Who has authority to issue final decisions?: 
Adjudication Officer
If "Other," please specify: 
The Deciding Official may appoint an examiner to go over the actual inquiry, in which case the Deciding Official still has control over the actual decision. See DAO 202-771, 7.02(f)(2).
Do agency regulations or guidance provide time limits for issuance of final decisions?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
If "Yes," please specify these time limit(s): 
Within 45 days after the receipt of the formal grievance. DAO 202-771, 7.02(f(6)).
Is judicial review available after issuance of a final decision?: 
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Case Management
Does the agency permit web-based electronic filing of hearing-related briefs or other documents?: 
Are final decisions published and/or posted on the agency website?: 
Do agency regulations/rules of practice specify the contents of the administrative record at the hearing-level stage?: 
Do agency regulations/rules of practice provide for closure of the record at the hearing-level stage (subject to applicable exce: 
Comments/Notes on Hearing-Level Process & Procedures (Optional): 
The DAO notes that formal grievances must be in writing in order for the appropriate official to be able to maintain a grievance file. The Deciding Official should: " Provide an opportunity for the grievant and/or grievant’s representative to provide comments, in writing, on the contents of the grievance file (including all documents, report of any inquiry, and all witness statements on which the deciding official will rely in making a decision). Include any comments received from the grievant and his/her representative in the grievance file." See DAO 202-771, 7.02(f)(4). There is no transcript, but rather, a written summary of the proceeding, should oral argument be offered. See DAO 202-771, 7.01(f).
Comments/Notes on Hearing-Level Adjudicators (Optional): 
The deciding officer is first referred the hearing file by a Serving Human Resources Manager, or the head of the local HR Office. The deciding officer should be a supervisor at least one level above the initial employee who refused the informal grievance of the complaining employee. The Serving Human Resources Manager will appoint this Officer. The Deciding Officer may then in turn appoint an Examiner to conduct the actual inquiry or hearing if he so chooses who should not have been involved in the matter giving rise to the grievance, in the control of the original official who decided the informal grievance, or otherwise a subordinate to management that decided the initial grievance. See DAO 202-771, 7.02(f)(2).
ADR: General Information
Is ADR available at one or more points during the hearing process?: 
If "Yes," when is ADR available?: 
Is ADR a mandatory or voluntary process?: 
What type(s) of ADR are available?: 
Settlement Conference
If "Other," please specify:: 
It depends upon the approval of the unit's ADR operating policy though it specifically allows mediation, settlement conferences, and facilitated discussion of remedies and issues. See DAO 202-771, 8.01.
Who conducts the ADR?: 
If "Other," please specify:: 
It depends upon the approval of the unit's ADR operating policy.
Other published guidance on ADR process (if any):: 
DAO 202-771 at Section 8.
Comments/Notes on ADR Process (Optional): 
There is no specific ADR techniques required for this hearing procedure. All requests for ADR must be made in advance of any final agency decision on the grievance. Within 10 days of receipt of the request the HR Manager will consult with both parties to decide what ADR is authorized and what process will be used. DAO 202-771, 8.03(b). The decision to use ADR will stay a grievance proceeding for up to 30 days. Even after 30 days, settlement attempts may continue.
Verified by Agency: 
Not verified