Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since January 1, 2020, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.

R137. Career Service Review Office, Administration.

Rule R137-1. Grievance Procedure Rules.

As in effect on January 1, 2020

Table of Contents

R137-1-1. Authority and Purpose of Rule for Grievance Procedures.

(1) The authority for the rule on these grievance procedures is found at Section 67-19a-203.

(2) This rule establishes official procedures and standardized practices for administering these grievance procedures.

R137-1-2. Definitions.

Terms defined in Section 63G-4-103 of the Utah Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA) are incorporated by reference within this rule. In addition, other terms which are used in this rule are defined below:

"Abandonment of Grievance" means either the voluntary withdrawal of a grievance or the failure by an employee to properly pursue a grievance through these grievance procedures.

"Administrative Review of the File" means an informal adjudicative proceeding according to Subsection 67-19a-403(3)(b).

"Administrator" means the person appointed under Subsection 67-19a-201(2)(b).

"Affidavit" means a signed and sworn statement offered for consideration in connection with a grievance proceeding.

"Affirmative Defense" means a responsive answer asserting facts in addition to those alleged that are legally sufficient to rebut asserted allegations.

"Appeal" means a formal request to a higher level of review of a lower level decision.

"Appointing Authority" means the officer, board, commission, person or group of persons authorized to make appointments on personnel/human resource management matters in their respective agency.

"Burden of Moving Forward" means a party's obligation to present evidence on a particular issue at a particular time. The burden of moving forward may shift back and forth between the parties based on certain legal principles.

"Burden of Proof" means the obligation to prove affirmatively a fact or set of facts at issue between two parties.

"CSRO" means the agency of state government that statutorily administers these grievance procedures according to Sections 67-19a-101 through 67-19a-501.

"Closing Argument" means a party's final summation of evidence and argument, which is presented at the conclusion of the hearing.

"Consolidation" means the combining of two or more grievances involving the same controversy for purposes of holding a joint hearing, proceeding, or administrative review.

"Continuance" means an authorized postponement or adjournment of a hearing until a later date, whether the date is specified or not.

"Declaratory Order" means a ruling that is explanatory in purpose; it is designed to clarify what before was uncertain or doubtful. A declaratory order constitutes a declaration of rights between parties to a dispute and is binding as to both present and future rights. It is an administrative interpretation or explanation of a right, statute, order or other legal matter under a statute, rule, or an order.

"Default" means an omission of or untimely failure to take or perform a required act in the processing of a grievance. It is the failure to discharge an obligation which results in a forfeiture.

"Deposition" means a form of discovery in which testimony of a witness is given under oath, subject to cross-examination, and recorded in writing, prior to the hearing.

"Discovery" means the prehearing process whereby one party may obtain from the opposing party, or from other individuals or entities, information regarding the witnesses to be called, the documents and exhibits to be used at the hearing, and the facts and information about the case.

"Evidentiary Hearing" means a proceeding of relative formality, though much less formal than a trial, in which witnesses may be heard and evidence is presented and considered. Specific issues of fact and of law are tried. Afterwards, ultimate conclusions of fact and of law are set forth in a written decision or order.

"Excusable Neglect" means harmless error, mistake, inadvertence, surprise, a failure to discover evidence that, through due diligence, could not have been discovered in time to meet the applicable time period, misrepresentation or misconduct by the employer, or any other reason justifying equitable relief.

"Extraordinary Circumstances" means factors not normally incident to or foreseeable during an administrative proceeding. It includes circumstances beyond a party's control that normal prudence and experience could not foresee, anticipate or provide for.

"File" means to submit a document, grievance, or other written, printed, or electronic information to the CSRO as prescribed by these rules.

"Filing Date" means the day that a document, grievance, petition, or other paper is recorded as received by the CSRO.

"Grievance Procedures" mean the grievance and appeal procedures codified at Sections 67-19a-101 through 67-19a-501 and promulgated through this rule.

"Grievant" means the person or party advancing one or more issues as a petitioner through these grievance procedures.

"Group Grievance" means a grievance submitted and signed by two or more aggrieved employees. The term does not include "class action."

"Hearing" means the opportunity to be heard or present evidence in an administrative proceeding.

"Hearing Officer" means an impartial trier of facts appointed by the CSRO administrator and assigned to decide a particular grievance.

"Hearsay Evidence" means evidence not based upon a witness's personal knowledge as a direct observer of an event. Rather, hearsay evidence stems from the repetition of what a witness heard another person say. Hearsay's value rests upon the credibility of the declarant. Hearsay is a statement made outside of the hearing that is offered as evidence of the truth of matters asserted in the hearing.

"Initial Hearing" means a hearing conducted by the administrator to make an initial determination regarding timeliness, authority, jurisdiction, direct harm, standing and eligibility to advance a grievance.

"Issuance" means the date on which a decision, order or ruling is signed and dated; it is not the date of mailing, or the date of the mailing certificate, nor the postal date. Date of issuance is the date specified according to Subsection 63G-4-401, of the UAPA.

"Joint Hearing" means the uniting of two or more grievances involving the same, similar, or related circumstances or issues to conduct a single hearing; also see "Consolidation."

"Jurisdiction" means the legal right and authority to hear and decide issues and controversies.

"Management Representative" means a person of managerial or supervisory status who is not subject to exclusion. Legal counsel is not included within the meaning of the term.

"Motion" means a request offered verbally or in writing for a ruling or to take some action.

"Motion to Dismiss" means a motion requesting that a grievance or appeal be dismissed because it does not state a claim for which the CSRO provides a remedy, or is in some other way legally insufficient.

"Notice" and "Notification" mean a proper written notice to the parties involved in a grievance procedural hearing or conference, setting forth date, time, location, and the issue to be considered.

"Pleadings" mean the formal written allegations of the parties that set forth their respective claims and defenses.

"Presiding Hearing Officer" means either the Administrator or designated Level 4 hearing officer.

"Pro Se" means in one's own behalf. A person is represented pro se in an administrative proceeding when acting without legal counsel or other representation.

"Quash" means to cancel, annul, or vacate.

"Relevant" means directly applying to the matter in question; pertinent, germane. It is evidence that tends to make the existence of any facts more probable or certain than they would be without the evidence; and tending to prove the precise fact at issue.

"Remand" means to send back, as for further deliberation and judgment, to the presiding official or other tribunal from which a grievance was appealed.

"Standard of Proof" means the evidentiary standard, which in CSRO adjudications is the substantial evidence standard.

"Stay" means a temporary suspension of a case or of some designated proceeding within the case. A stay is different than a continuance or extension of time and can only be granted when agreed to by the parties and when the administrator or assigned hearing officer finds a stay necessary for judicial economy and the interest of justice.

"Submit" means to commit to the discretion of another; to present for determination.

"Subpoena" means a formal legal document issued under authority to compel the appearance of a witness at an administrative proceeding, the disobedience of which may be punishable as a contempt of court.

"Subpoena Duces Tecum" means a formal legal document issued under authority to compel specific documents, books, writings, papers, or other items.

"Substantial Evidence" means evidence possessing something of substance and relevant consequence, and which furnishes substantial basis of fact from which issues tendered can be reasonably resolved. It is evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion, but is less than a preponderance.

"Summary Judgment" means a ruling made upon motion by a party or the presiding hearing officer when there is no dispute as to either material fact or inferences to be drawn from undisputed facts, or if only a question of law is involved. The motion may be directed toward all or part of a claim or defense.

"Transcript" means an official verbatim written record of an adjudicative proceeding or any part thereof, which has been recorded and subsequently transcribed by a certified court reporter.

"UAPA" means the Utah Administrative Procedures Act found at Sections 63G-4-102 through 63G-4-601.

"Withdraw" means to recall or retract a grievance from further consideration under these grievance procedures.

"Witness Fee" means an appearance fee and may also include a mileage rate established by statutory provision pursuant to Section 78B-1-119.

"Working Days" means for purposes of the time periods for filing a grievance, advancing an appeal or responding to an employee's grievance or appeal, all days except Saturdays, Sundays and recognized State holidays.

R137-1-3. Classification Jurisdiction.

The CSRO and the CSRO hearing officers have no jurisdiction over classification and reclassification grievances, appeals, and complaints nor over position schedule assignments, according to Section 67-19-31 and Subsections 67-19a-202(1)(a) and 67-19a-302(3), and Section R477-3-5.

R137-1-4. Complaints From Applicants.

(1) A public applicant for a position with the state's work force has no standing to submit a grievance and is precluded from using these grievance procedures, according to Subsection 67-19-16(6).

(2) A public applicant who alleges a violation of a legally prohibited practice based upon race, color, sex, pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related conditions, age, if the individual is 40 years of age or older, religion, national origin, or disability, is directed to Section R137-1-5 of these grievance procedures.

R137-1-5. Discrimination: Legally Prohibited Practices.

(1) Discrimination Claims. Claims alleged to be based upon a legally prohibited practice as set forth in Section 34A-5-106, including employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related conditions, age, if the individual is 40 years of age or older, religion, national origin, or disability, are not admissible under these grievance procedures. The CSRO and CSRO hearing officers have no jurisdiction over the preceding claims.

(2) Processing Discrimination Complaints. A public applicant, a probationary employee, a career service employee, or an exempt employee who alleges a violation of a legally prohibited practice pursuant to Section 34A-5-106, may file a timely complaint with the individual's respective department head. If the individual is not satisfied with the department head's decision, or if the decision is not rendered within ten working days after submission of the complaint, the individual may then file a complaint with the Utah Anti-discrimination Division pursuant to Section 67-19-32.

(3) Filing Discrimination Complaints. Employees and applicants desiring to file a legally prohibited discrimination complaint may contact the Utah Anti-Discrimination Division.

R137-1-6. Filing Procedure.

The submission of correspondence, pleadings, grievance materials, and legal documents is subject to the following provisions:

(1) Filing/Receipt. Filings with the CSRO are deemed filed on the date actually received. The date on which papers are received is regarded as the date of filing.

(2) Time Periods. All filings must be electronically submitted to the Career Service Review Office, csro@utah.gov, within the time limits prescribed either by law, by these rules, or by order of the administrator or by the designated CSRO hearing officer.

(a) All filing dates are based upon the CSRO's working days.

(b) Filings must be signed or electronically signed by the filing party or by the filing party's authorized representative.

(c) Filings are to contain the name, business address, telephone number, and email address of the filing party or filing party's representative. Notices shall be served upon the party or party's representative at the email address provided by the filing party.

(d) Copies of all filings shall be served upon the opposing party or party's representative, with notice of service given to the administrator.

R137-1-7. Subpoenas.

Subsection 63G-4-205(2) of the UAPA is incorporated by reference.

(1) Subpoena Power. Pursuant to Subsection 67-19a-204(2)(a)(ii), the administrator may issue subpoenas to witnesses and may obtain documents or other evidence in conjunction with any inquiry, investigation, hearing, or other proceedings.

(a) The aggrieved employee has the right to require the production of books, papers, records, documents and other items pertinent to the facts at issue that are within the control of the agency against which the grievance is lodged, and which are not held to be protected or privileged by law. Affidavits and ex parte statements offered during a hearing may be received and considered by the CSRO hearing officer.

(b) A person receiving a subpoena issued by the CSRO will find the title of the proceeding posted thereon, and the person to whom it is directed shall be compelled to attend and give testimony. A subpoena duces tecum may be used to produce designated books, or other items at a specified time and place when these items are under an agency's or a person's control.

(c) A request by counsel or a party's representative to issue a subpoena must be reasonable and timely. At least five full working days' notice prior to a scheduled hearing must be given to the administrator, not counting preparation and delivery time. The requesting party shall simultaneously notify the opposing party of the request.

(d) The original of each subpoena is to be presented to the person named therein, and a copy shall be issued to the counsel or representative of each party.

(2) Service of Subpoenas. Service of subpoenas shall be made by the CSRO by E-mail, unless the CSRO is requested to deposit the subpoena properly addressed and postage prepaid, with the U.S. Postal Service, or to send it by State Mail and Distribution Services, or to send it by facsimile transmission, or in any combination.

(3) Proof of Service. If service has not been acknowledged by the witness, the server may make an affidavit of service. Failure to make proof of service does not affect the validity of the service.

(4) Quashing. Subsection 67-19a-204(2)(a)(iii) governs the quashing of subpoenas by the administrator.

R137-1-8. Notice, Service, Issuance and Distribution.

(1) Service by the Parties. The parties to a proceeding shall serve upon each other one copy of all pleadings filed with the administrator. Service of a pleading may be made by any of the following: personal delivery, U.S. Postal Service, postage prepaid, State Mail and Distribution Services, facsimile, or E-mail.

(a) Pleadings must be accompanied by a certificate of service or an affidavit of mailing, indicating how, where, when and to whom service is being made.

(b) It is the duty of a party or person or their representative to notify the administrator and the opposing party or representative in writing of any changes in names, addresses, or telephone numbers.

(2) Service of Subpoena. Service of subpoenas shall be executed in accordance with Section R137-1-7(2) above.

(3) Issuance of Decisions and Orders. A CSRO decision, order, ruling or other document shall be considered issued on the date that it is signed by its CSRO originator, rather than on other dates such as the date it is mailed, postmarked, received or distributed.

(a) All notices, decisions, orders and rulings by the administrator or by a CSRO hearing officer are to be distributed to the counsel or representatives of record and upon any person appearing pro se.

(b) The CSRO will retain the original notice, decision, order or ruling with the record of the proceedings. Distribution of a CSRO notice, decision, order or ruling is accomplished when any of the following occurs:

(i) deposit postage prepaid with the U.S. Postal Service,

(ii) deposit with State Mail and Distribution Services,

(iii) personal delivery,

(iv) facsimile transmission, or

(v) E-mail transmission.

(c) A mailing certificate must be attached to the notice, decision, order or ruling bearing the date of mailing and the names and addresses of those persons to whom the notice, decision, order or ruling is originally distributed.

R137-1-9. Hearing Dates, Continuance/Extension of Time.

(1) Once the administrator has made an initial determination that the CSRO has authority to review or decide a grievance or appeal, for grievances filed under Sections 67-19a-202(1) and 67-19a-202(2), the administrator shall set a date for an evidentiary Level 4 hearing that is:

(a) within 30 days of the administrator's determination; or

(b) if agreed to by the parties, no more than 150 days from the administrator's determination date.

(2) Notwithstanding Subsection (1), after the evidentiary hearing date has been set, each party may be granted one continuance or extension of time for the hearing, provided there are extraordinary circumstances justifying such continuance or extension. A party desiring an extension of time or a continuance of the evidentiary hearing shall file a written request with the administrator or appointed hearing officer.

(a) Every petition for a continuance shall specify the reason for the requested delay.

(b) In considering a request for continuance, the administrator or the appointed CSRO hearing officer shall take into account:

(i) whether the request was timely made in writing; and

(ii) whether the request is based on extraordinary circumstances.

(3) Inattention or lack of preparation does not constitute extraordinary circumstances justifying a continuance or extension of time of the evidentiary hearing.

R137-1-10. Eligibility to Grieve.

(1) Standing. Only executive branch career service employees and reporting employees alleging retaliatory action, as defined by Subsections 67-19a-101(3) and 67-19a-101(10), may use these grievance procedures.

(a) Pursuant to Subsection 67-19-16(6) and Section 67-19a-301, the CSRO has no jurisdiction over grievance petitions filed by probationary employees, public applicants, exempt employees, noncareer service employees, public employees of the state's political subdivisions, public employees covered by other grievance systems, or employees of state institutions of higher education.

(2) Questionable Standing. Where a question or dispute exists whether an employee qualifies to use these grievance procedures, such controversies must be resolved through application of R137-1-17 by the administrator. The administrator's determination shall be final and subject to review only in the Utah Court of Appeals.

(3) Class Action. Pursuant to Subsection 67-19a-401(8), class action grievances will not be admissible for consideration by the CSRO under these grievance procedures.

(4) Group Grievance. A group grievance is admissible provided that each aggrieved employee signs the grievance, according to Subsections 67-19a-401(8)(a) and (b).

R137-1-11. Issues Appealable to Level 4.

All grievances shall be reviewed to determine:

(1) Whether the matters or issues raised in a grievance fall within the CSRO's limited jurisdiction as set forth in Subsections 67-19a-202(1), 67-19a-202(2), and 67-19a-202(3), or

(2) Whether any issues or components of a grievance were satisfactorily resolved at an earlier step in the grievance procedures. Matters or issues resolved at an earlier step in the grievance procedures may not be advanced to the CSRO.

R137-1-12. Employees' Rights.

(1) Representation. The state does not provide legal counsel or representation to aggrieved employees nor pay the fees for an employee's representation. Also, Subsection 67-19a-406(4)(a) precludes the CSRO from awarding fees or costs to an employee's attorney or representative. Pursuant to Subsection 67-19a-402.5(6)(a), an appellate court may award costs and attorney fees, accrued at the appellate court level, to a prevailing employee in a retaliatory action grievance.

(2) Pro Se Status. A party or person to a grievance proceeding may appear pro se. When a party or person appears pro se, the party or person is entitled to request the issuance of subpoenas, directly examine and cross-examine witnesses, make opening and closing statements, submit documentary evidence, summarize testimony, and in all respects fully present one's own case.

(3) No Reprisal. Pursuant to Subsection 67-19a-303(3), no appointing authority, director, manager, or supervisor may take action to retaliate against a grievant, a representative, an advocate, or a witness who participates in or is scheduled to participate in a grievance proceeding.

R137-1-13. Automatic Processing, Waiver, Excusable Neglect, Abandonment of Grievance, Default, Transfer and Stay.

(1) Automatic Processing. An agency's failure to reply in writing to an aggrieved employee's grievance within the prescribed time period automatically grants the aggrieved employee the right to advance the grievance to the next step of these grievance procedures listed in Section 14 (below). Pursuant to Subsection 67-19a-401(2), the parties may mutually agree to waive or extend steps 1, 2, or 3 or extend the statutory time period for those steps. Waivers of the statutory time periods by agency management and the aggrieved employee must be in writing and submitted to the administrator.

(2) Waiver. When the administrator finds that a grievance is one that an agency cannot resolve because of the nature of the grievance, the matter may be waived in writing to a higher level. Steps 1, 2, or 3 may be waived, but not step 4. Any waiver agreed to between the parties must be in writing, dated and submitted to the administrator according to Subsection 67-19a-401(2) and (3).

(3) Excusable Neglect. The standard of excusable neglect may be offered as a defense to lack of timeliness in filing or processing a grievance, or for not appearing at a scheduled proceeding. An employee may file a motion for an enlargement of the time limits for filing or processing a grievance consistent with Section 67-19a-401 (6)(a).

(a) The administrator or appointed CSRO hearing officer shall determine the applicability of the excusable neglect standard when offered as a defense to lack of timeliness or not appearing at a scheduled proceeding.

(b) All questions are to be resolved at the original level of occurrence.

(4) Abandonment of Grievance. In the event the administrator or CSRO hearing officer determines that a grievance claim has been withdrawn, abandoned, or otherwise neglected beyond either the established time lines or a reasonable period, the matter no longer qualifies for further processing through these grievance procedures. When withdrawal is intended, it should be accomplished in writing.

(5) Default. An employee who defaults in processing a grievance forfeits further rights granted by these rules and under Section 63G-4-209 of the UAPA, which is incorporated by reference.

(6) Transfer. The administrator may administratively transfer a grievance from the aggrieved employee's department to another, more appropriate department to respond as necessary to serve the ends of justice and fairness.

(7) Stay. Upon written request, the administrator or the CSRO hearing officer may grant a stay of a decision, order, ruling, remedy, or proceeding. However, stays may be granted only when agreed to by the parties and when the administrator or assigned hearing officer finds a stay necessary for judicial economy and the interest of justice.

R137-1-14. Grievance Procedure Levels.

Persons acting on grievances pursuant to Sections 67-19a-402, and in accordance with these rules, shall conduct their filings through the following levels of increasing accountability:

Level 1; A written grievance shall be submitted to the employee's immediate supervisor. A standard grievance form is available from the CSRO. Once submitted, the written grievance is a formal complaint necessitating a response. At all levels of procedure, the parties must comply with the time periods outlined in Sections 67-19a-401 and 67-19a-402. If a supervisor is the subject of a grievance or complaint, the employee may proceed directly to Level 2.

Level 2; If the grievance is not resolved at Level 1, the employee may advance their grievance to the agency or division director (or director's designee) at Level 2. If an agency or division director is the subject of a grievance or complaint, the employee may proceed directly to Level 3.

Level 3; If the grievance is not resolved at Level 2, the employee may advance their grievance to the department head, executive director, or commissioner (or director's designee) at Level 3.

Level 4; If the grievance is not resolved at Level 3, the employee may advance their grievance to the CSRO at Level 4. For grievances filed under Sections 67-19a-202(1) and 67-19a-202(2), the CSRO provides an evidentiary de novo hearing, conducted before a CSRO hearing officer. When the CSRO receives a request for administrative review of an abusive conduct investigation filed under Section 67-19a-202(3), no evidentiary hearing is required.

The purpose of the levels is to curtail employees from having to submit their grievances to persons not specified in the above steps or levels. Only the above-listed persons (or their designated representatives) in agency management are authorized to respond to state employees' grievances. Grievances by a reporting employee alleging retaliatory action filed under Section 67-19a-202(2) and requests for the CSRO to review the findings of an abusive conduct investigation filed under Section 67-19a-202(3) are not subject to Levels 1-3 and may be filed directly with the CSRO.

R137-1-15. Procedure for Appealing Disciplinary Action Imposed by Department Head.

(1) An aggrieved employee who has been demoted or dismissed by their respective department head (i.e., executive director or commissioner) may appeal the department head's action directly to the CSRO at the evidentiary step 4 level.

(a) An appeal from discipline imposed by the department head is distinguishable from a grievance.

(b) A grievance is filed at step 1 and proceeds through steps 2 and 3.

(c) When an appeal from discipline imposed by a department head occurs at the step 3 level, it may be appealed directly to the CSRO.

(2) When appealed to the CSRO, the appeal must be filed within 30 working days from the date an aggrieved employee receives written notification from the department head who imposed the disciplinary action.

R137-1-16. Procedure for Appealing Reduction in Force or Abandonment of Position.

An aggrieved employee may appeal a reduction in force or abandonment of position according to the following:

(1) Upon receiving the department head's final, written decision, the employee may appeal from a reduction in force by filing a written appeal within 20 working days of receipt of the decision with the CSRO.

(2) An employee separated from employment for abandonment of position may appeal the department head's final written decision by filing a written appeal with the CSRO within 20 working days of receipt of the decision.

R137-1-17. Initial Review by Administrator.

When an employee advances a grievance to the CSRO or directly appeals a department head's decision to the CSRO, the administrator shall make an initial determination of whether the CSRO has authority to review or decide the grievance or appeal. In order to make this determination, the administrator may hold an initial adjudicative hearing in accordance with Subsections 67-19a-403(2), 67-19a-402.5(2)(b)(i) and Section 63G-4-206 or conduct an informal adjudicative review of the file in accordance with Subsections 67-19a-403(2), 67-19a-402.5(2)(b)(ii) and Section 63G-4-202 which are incorporated by reference.

(1) Procedural Issues. The administrator shall make an initial determination of the following: timeliness, direct harm, jurisdiction, standing, eligibility of the issues to be advanced, and any other procedural matters or jurisdictional controversies according to Sections 67-19a-402.5, 67-19a-403 and 67-19a-404.

(2) Determination. The administrator has authority to determine which types of grievances may be heard at Level 4. Those types of grievances found to have been resolved at a lower level or those that do not qualify for advancement to Level 4 are precluded from further consideration in any grievance submitted for CSRO consideration.

(3) Preclusion. Those types of actions not listed in Sections 67-19a-202(1), 67-19a-202(2) or 67-19a-202 (3) are precluded from advancement to Level 4. For grievances filed under Section 67-19a-202(1), if the CSRO does not have jurisdiction at Level 4, the matter shall be deemed final at Level 3 according to Section 67-19a-302(3).

(4) Reconsideration. A written request for reconsideration may be filed with the administrator. It must be filed within 20 days from the date the administrator issues a decision regarding whether the CSRO has authority to review or decide a grievance or appeal. Section 63G-4-302 of the UAPA is incorporated by reference. The written reconsideration request must contain specific reasons why a reconsideration is warranted with respect to the factual findings and legal conclusions of the hearing decision or administrative review of the file decision. New or additional evidence may not be considered.

(5) Judicial Review.

(a) The aggrieved employee or the responding agency may appeal the administrator's initial adjudicative hearing decision and final agency action to the Utah Court of Appeals within 30 calendar days from the date of issuance according to Subsection 63G-4-401(3)(a) and Section 63G-4-403 of the UAPA, which are incorporated by reference.

(b) A decision reached by the CSRO upon administrative review of the findings resulting from an abusive conduct investigation under Section 67-19a-501 is final and not subject to appeal.

(c) A decision reached by the CSRO in reviewing a retaliatory action grievance from a reporting employee, as defined by Subsections 67-19a-10110 and 67-19a-10111,may be appealed to the Utah Court of Appeals.

(6) Summary Judgment. The administrator or the (Presiding Officer, Utah Code Ann. Section 63G-4-103(1)(h)(i)) hearing officer may, pursuant to an administrative review of the procedural facts and circumstances of a grievance case, summarily dispose of a case on the ground that:

(a) the matter is untimely;

(b) the grievant has failed to appear at the properly scheduled date, time, and place pursuant to written notice;

(c) the grievant lacks standing;

(d) the grievant has withdrawn or otherwise abandoned the grievance;

(e) the grievant has not been directly harmed;

(f) the issue grieved does not qualify to be advanced beyond step 3; or

(g) the requested remedy or relief exceeds the scope of these grievance procedures.

(7) Transcription and Transcript Fees. If a party appeals the administrator's initial adjudicative hearing decision to the Utah Court of Appeals, the appealing party is responsible for having the CSRO's recording transcribed by a certified court reporter and for paying all transcription costs and any transcript fees. The CSRO does not participate in the payment of these fees when appeals are taken to the appellate court. See Utah Rules of Appellate Procedure, Rule 11, and Section 63G-4-403(3), regarding transcript costs from formal adjudications under the UAPA.

R137-1-18. Procedural Matters.

The provisions under this section pertain to initial administrative and Level 4 proceedings before the CSRO.

(1) Purpose. A formal adjudicative proceeding provides a fair and impartial opportunity for the parties to be heard and to present their evidence. The adjudicative process allows the CSRO administrator or the CSRO hearing officer to be completely informed about the case. After having considered the parties' evidence, the CSRO administrator or the CSRO hearing officer may then render a proper determination based upon all of the facts, circumstances, and applicable laws, rules and policies.

(2) Types of Adjudications. For purposes of Section 63G-4-202 of the UAPA:

(a) All initial administrative and Level 4 adjudications at the CSRO are formal adjudicative proceedings. Sections 63G-4-205 through 63G-4-209, 63G-4-401 and 63G-4-403 through 63G-4-405 of the UAPA are incorporated by reference within this rule and are applicable to these adjudicative proceedings.

(3) Rules of Evidence/Procedure Inapplicable. The technical rules of evidence and the formal rules of civil procedure as observed in the courts of law are inapplicable to these grievance procedure proceedings, except for the rules of privilege as recognized by law and those specific references to the rules of evidence and procedure as set forth in the UAPA.

(4) Expelling. The presiding CSRO hearing officer may clear the proceeding of witnesses not under examination and may exclude any unruly or disruptive person. The hearing officer may also expel any persons whose presence is antagonistic, oppressive, intimidating or appears to have a chilling effect on the witness under examination.

(5) Presentation of Case. Each party is given the opportunity to make an opening statement and to present evidence. After the evidence is closed, each party may offer a closing argument. The moving party may offer one rebuttal. Continuous rebuttal is not permissible.

(6) Objections.

(a) When an objection is made as to the admissibility of evidence, the presiding CSRO hearing officer shall note the objection for the record and make a ruling or take the objection under advisement to be ruled upon later.

(b) The presiding CSRO hearing officer has discretion to exclude inadmissible evidence and to order that cumulative or repetitive evidence be discontinued.

(c) A party objecting to the introduction of evidence must state the precise grounds of the objection at the time such evidence is offered.

(7) Marking Exhibits. All exhibits shall be numerically marked and labeled in the order received into evidence, unless previously marked and labeled.

(8) Motion to Dismiss. The administrator or CSRO hearing officer may, upon a party's motion or upon their own motion, dismiss the grievance or appeal before the CSRO.

(9) Consolidation of Grievances. Grievances of the same or of a sufficiently similar context may be consolidated by the administrator for purposes of conducting a single or joint hearing.

(10) Standard of Proof. In all CSRO adjudicative proceedings, the standard of proof is the substantial evidence standard according to Subsections 67-19a-406(2) and 67-21-3.5.

(11) Hearsay Evidence. Hearsay evidence is admissible in CSRO formal adjudicative proceedings as qualified by Subsection 63G-4-208(3) of the UAPA which is incorporated by reference.

(12) Discovery. The following rule provisions satisfy Section 63G-4-205 of the UAPA on discovery.

(a) Discovery shall be limited to that which is relevant and nonprivileged, and for which each party has a substantial, demonstrable need for supporting their respective claims or defenses.

(b) At the discretion and approval of the administrator or appointed CSRO hearing officer, parties to a dispute may obtain discovery. The CSRO administrator or hearing officer has discretion to entertain discovery motions on a case-by-case basis regarding the following:

(i) production of documents, records and things under Utah Rule 34 of Civil Procedure; and

(ii) depositions only when a proposed witness is unavailable for giving testimony at a scheduled hearing.

(c) No other form of discovery is permitted.

(d) Witness lists and copies of exhibits shall be offered by each party to the opposing party and to the CSRO hearing officer during a prehearing/scheduling conference, unless the exchange is scheduled for a later date.

(i) Each party's list of witnesses shall contain a brief statement describing the nature of the proposed testimony to be offered by each witness.

(ii) A party may not surprise the opposing party with a witness or an exhibit at the hearing which was not made known by a scheduled exchange date, unless the witness or exhibit is in direct rebuttal to admitted opposing evidence. Also refer to R137-1-7(1)(c).

(13) Page Limitation.

(a) Unless otherwise specified by the CSRO, written motions, pleadings, briefs, and memoranda for all CSRO proceedings may not exceed 10 typed, double-spaced 8-1/2 x 11 inch pages, exclusive of any statement of facts. Reply briefs may not exceed five pages.

(b) An application for an exception to the above-stated page limitation provisions must be timely filed in writing, and not more than five double-spaced 8-1/2 x 11 inch pages in a 12-point font. The applicant party has the burden to offer sufficient justification for requests to exceed the page limitations.

(c) The CSRO may weigh all requests to exceed the page limitations based upon the reasonableness and necessity of such requests in light of each case and its circumstances. The CSRO does not automatically grant exceptions simply on the basis of a request.

R137-1-19. Witnesses.

(1) Availability of State Employees to Testify. An agency shall be responsible for making available any of its employees who are subpoenaed to testify in a hearing.

(a) Off Duty Employees. Agencies are not responsible for making available an employee who is: off duty; on sick, annual or other approved leave; or who, for any other reason, is not at work during the time the hearing is in progress.

(b) Nondisruption. The parties and their representatives, the administrator and the CSRO hearing officer shall make every effort to avoid disruption to the operation of state government in the calling of state employees to testify in hearings under these grievance procedures.

(c) Witness Failure. If a requested witness does not appear at the scheduled hearing, the witness's failure to appear may not necessitate the postponement of any proceedings.

(d) Excessive Witnesses. If the number of witnesses requested by a party is excessive, the administrator or the CSRO hearing officer may require the party to justify the request or face denial of part or all of the request.

(e) Witness Fees and Mileage Fees. A witness fee and a mileage fee are available to nonstate employees and to state employees who use nonworking hours if their presence is required in a grievance proceeding as a witness according to Section 78B-1-119. The CSRO reserves the right to determine on an individual case basis whether it will authorize a travel fee, and to what extent, for an out-of-state witness called by a party.

(2) Hostile Witnesses. When the presiding CSRO hearing officer determines that a witness is uncooperative or even hostile, the witness may be examined by the party calling that witness as if under cross-examination. The party calling the witness may, upon showing that the witness was called in good faith but that the testimony is a surprise, proceed to impeach the witness by proof of prior inconsistent statements.

(3) Exclusion/Sequestering of Witnesses.

(a) The presiding CSRO hearing officer may sequester witnesses from the hearing until they are called to testify.

(b) Witnesses not presently testifying may be sequestered on motion by one or both parties or in the presiding hearing officer's discretion.

(c) The presiding CSRO hearing officer will counsel the witnesses not to discuss the case with those witnesses who have not yet testified.

(4) Management Representative. Prior to every hearing the agency may designate one person to serve as the agency's management representative. The agency's management representative is entitled to remain throughout the hearing to represent the agency at any proceeding even if called to testify, unless the hearing officer determines it is reasonable to expel the management representative for any or part of the hearing.

R137-1-20. Public Hearings.

A CSRO hearing is open to the public unless there are reasonable grounds to justify an executive session for either part or all of a hearing. This provision does not apply to witnesses who are being called to testify according to R137-1-19.

(1) Closing Hearings. All grievance procedure hearings shall be open to the public except as follows:

(a) The administrator or the CSRO hearing officer may close either a portion or an entire hearing based upon reasonable grounds.

(b) A Level 4 hearing may be closed in part or in its entirety when the proceeding involves discussion about a state employee's character, professional competence, or physical or mental health according to Subsection 52-4-205(1)(a) of the Open and Public Meetings statute.

(2) Sealing Evidence. The administrator or the CSRO hearing officer may seal the record when appropriate according to Subsection 67-19a-406(4)(c).

(3) Media Presence. All hearings at Level 4 are open to the media, unless closed pursuant to R137-1-20(1) above. However, television cameras are not permitted at Level 4 proceedings.

(4) Distribution of Decisions. Once the grievance process, including all administrative appeals, has been completed and if the agency's decision was sustained, the administrator may provide copies of legal decisions, orders, and rulings to the public upon request. Portions of or entire legal decisions and orders may be withheld if deemed to be legally privileged or protected under the state's Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), or if the record is sealed according to the Open and Public Meetings statute.

R137-1-21. The Level 4 Adjudicatory Procedures.

(1) Authority of the CSRO Hearing Officer/Presiding Officer. The CSRO hearing officer/presiding officer is authorized to:

(a) serve as the presiding officer at Level 4 hearings as set forth at Subsection 63G-4-103(1)(h)(i) of the UAPA;

(b) maintain order, ensure the development of a clear and complete record, rule upon offers of proof, receive relevant evidence, and assign the burden of proof according to Subsection 67-19a-406(2);

(c) set reasonable limits on repetitive and cumulative testimony and sequester any witness whose later testimony might be colored by the testimony of another witness or any person whose presence might have a chilling effect on another testifying witness;

(d) rule on any motions, discovery requests, exhibit lists, witness lists and proposed findings;

(e) require the filing of memoranda of law and the presentation of oral argument with respect to any question of law;

(f) compel testimony and order the production of evidence and the appearance of witnesses;

(g) admit evidence that has reasonable and probative value; and

(h) reopen the evidentiary record.

(2) Conduct of Hearings. A hearing shall be confined to those issues related to the subject matter presented in the original grievance statement.

(a) An evidentiary proceeding may not be allowed to develop into a general inquiry into the policies and operations of an agency.

(b) An evidentiary proceeding is intended solely to receive evidence that either refutes or substantiates specific claims or charges. A proceeding may not be used as an occasion for irresponsible accusations, general attacks upon the character or conduct of the employing agency, agency management, or other employees. A hearing may not be used as a forum for making derogatory assertions having no bearing on the claims or specific matters under review.

(3) Level 4 Hearing. An evidentiary Level 4 hearing shall be recorded according to Section 67-19a-406 and held de novo, with both parties being granted full administrative process as follows:

(a) The CSRO hearing officer shall first make factual findings based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing without deference to any prior factual findings of the agency. The CSRO hearing officer shall then determine whether:

(i) the factual findings made from the evidentiary Level 4 hearing support, by substantial evidence, the allegations made by the agency or the appointing authority, and

(ii) the agency has correctly applied relevant policies, rules, and statutes.

(b) When the CSRO hearing officer determines in accordance with the procedures set forth above that the evidentiary Level 4 factual findings support the allegations of the agency or the appointing authority, then the CSRO hearing officer must determine whether the agency's decision, including any disciplinary sanctions imposed, is excessive, disproportionate or otherwise constitutes an abuse of discretion. In making this latter determination, the CSRO hearing officer shall give deference to the decision of the agency or the appointing authority. If the CSRO hearing officer determines that the agency's penalty is excessive, disproportionate or constitutes an abuse of discretion, the CSRO hearing officer shall determine the appropriate remedy.

(4) Discretion. Upon commencement, the CSRO hearing officer shall announce that the hearing is convened and is being held on the record. The CSRO hearing officer shall note appearances for the record and note the party having the burden of moving forward first.

(5) Closing the Record. After all testimony, documentary evidence, and arguments have been presented, the CSRO hearing officer shall close the record and terminate the proceeding, unless one or both parties agree to submit a posthearing brief or memoranda of law within a specified time.

(6) Posthearing Briefs. When posthearing briefs or memoranda of law are scheduled to be submitted, the record shall remain open until the briefs or memoranda are exchanged and received by the CSRO hearing officer and incorporated into the record, or until the time to receive these submissions has expired. After receipt of posthearing documents, or upon the expiration of the time to receive posthearing documents, the case is then taken under advisement, and the period commences for the issuance of the written decision.

(7) Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law. After closing the record, the CSRO hearing officer shall write a decision containing findings of fact and conclusions of law according to Section 67-19a-406 and Section 63G-4-208 of the UAPA, which is incorporated by reference. When the CSRO hearing officer's decision and order is filed with the administrator it then becomes the decision and order of the Level 4 hearing.

(8) Distribution of Decisions. The administrator shall distribute copies of the Level 4 decision and order to the persons, parties and representatives of record.

(9) Past Work Record. In those proceedings where a disciplinary penalty is at issue, the past employment record of the employee is relevant for purposes of either mitigating or sustaining the penalty when substantial evidence supports an agency's allegations.

(10) Compliance and Enforcement. State agencies, department heads, division directors and officials are expected to comply with decisions and orders issued by the CSRO hearing officer. Enforcement measures available to the CSRO include:

(a) petitioning the governor, who may remove his appointed state officers with or without cause, and with respect to those who can only be removed for cause, refusal to obey a lawful order may constitute sufficient cause for removal;

(b) a mandamus order to compel the official to obey the order;

(c) the charge of a Class A misdemeanor according to Section 67-19-29; and

(d) seeking enforcement of a legal decision, order or ruling through civil enforcement in the district court according to Subsection 63G-4-501(1) of the UAPA which is incorporated by reference.

(11) Rehearings. Rehearings are not permitted.

(12) Reconsideration.

(a) Section 63G-4-302 of the UAPA is incorporated by reference within this rule, and requests for reconsideration of an Level 4 decision will be conducted in accordance with that section, except for the time period which is stated below.

(b) The written reconsideration request must contain specific reasons why a reconsideration is warranted with respect to the factual findings and legal conclusions of the Level 4 decision. The same CSRO hearing officer shall decide the propriety of a reconsideration. A request for reconsideration is filed with the administrator. To be timely the written request for reconsideration shall be filed within twenty days after the Level 4 decision is issued as provided at Section 63G-4-302.

(13) Appeal to the Utah Court of Appeals. To appeal to the Utah Court of Appeals, a party must file with the court within 30 calendar days from the date of issuance of the Level 4 decision and final agency action according to Sections 63G-4-401 and 63G-4-403 of the UAPA, which are incorporated by reference. The dates of mailing, postmarking and receipt are not applicable to filing with the court.

(14) Transcript Fee. The party petitioning the Utah Court of Appeals for a review must bear all costs of transcript production for the Level 4 decision. The CSRO may not share any cost for a transcript or transcription of the Level 4 hearing.

R137-1-22. Declaratory Orders.

This rule provides a procedure for the submission and review of requests for and disposition of declaratory rulings pertaining to the applicability of statutes, administrative rules, and orders either governing or issued by the administrator, the previous Career Service Review Board or a CSRO hearing officer. Section 63G-4-503 of the UAPA is incorporated by reference.

(1) Applicability. The applicability of a declaratory order refers to the determination of whether a statute, rule, or order should be applied, and if so, how the law should be applied to the facts.

(2) Petition Procedure. Any person or agency with proper standing may petition for a declaratory ruling.

(a) The petition must be addressed and delivered to the CSRO.

(b) The petition shall be date-stamped upon receipt in the CSRO.

(3) Petition Form. The petition shall:

(a) be clearly designated as a request for a declaratory order;

(b) identify the statute, rule, decision or order to be reviewed;

(c) describe the circumstances in which applicability is to be reviewed;

(d) describe the reason or need for the applicability review;

(e) include an address and telephone number where the petitioner can be reached during regular work days; and

(f) be signed by the petitioner.

(4) Petition Review and Disposition. As appropriate the administrator:

(a) shall review and consider the petition;

(b) shall prepare a declaratory ruling, stating:

(i) the applicability or nonapplicability of the statute, rule, or order at issue;

(ii) the reasons for the applicability or nonapplicability of the statute, rule, decision or order; and

(iii) any requirements imposed on a petitioning person or agency, or any other person according to the ruling; and

(c) may:

(i) interview the petitioner or the agency representative;

(ii) hold a public hearing on the petition;

(iii) consult with legal counsel or the Attorney General; or

(iv) take any action that the administrator deems necessary to provide the petition with an adequate review and due consideration.

(5) Time Period and Issuance. The administrator shall prepare the declaratory ruling without unnecessary delay. The CSRO shall issue a copy of the ruling to the petitioner by depositing it with the U.S. Postal Service, postage prepaid, or by depositing it with State Mail and Distribution Services, by faxing it or E-mailing it, as appropriate. In the event of a necessary delay, the CSRO must issue a notice of progress to the petitioner within 30 days of receipt of the petition.

(6) Records. The CSRO shall retain the petition and the original of the declaratory ruling in its records.

(7) Statutory Construction. Questions requiring the construction of statutory provisions may be submitted to the Attorney General for a formal or informal letter opinion.

(8) Refusal. The administrator may refuse to issue a declaratory order if the question in issue is one that is being contested in a case currently before the CSRO.

R137-1-23. Procedure for Filing a Request for Administrative Review of an Abusive Conduct Investigation.

(1) Under Section 67-19a-202(3), an employee may file a request for administrative review of the findings of an abusive conduct investigation.

(2) A Request for Administrative Review of an Abusive Conduct Investigation may be filed directly with the CSRO within 10 days after the date on which the employee receives notification of the investigative findings.


grievance procedures, reconsiderations

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

November 7, 2019

Notice of Continuation

July 11, 2016

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

34A-5-106; 67-19-16; 67-19-30; 67-19-31; 67-19-32; 67-19a et seq.; 63G-4 et seq.

Additional Information


For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R137, please contact the promulgating agency (Career Service Review Office, Administration). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.