What is a grievance?

Author: Irene Stavrellis Englert, Englert Legal Consulting, LLC

A grievance is a dispute between an employee (or a union) and the employer in which the employee or union claims that the employer has breached or violated a specific provision of the collective bargaining agreement. Most grievances fall into two categories: (1) discipline and termination, and (2) contract terms violations.

The most commonly filed grievances address whether the employer has paid economic benefits including wages, overtime payment and paid sick leave and vacation. Other examples of union grievances relate to promotions, work rules, scheduling of hours, seniority provisions, and unjustified discipline or termination.