Grievance Policy

Introduction

Statement of Policy

Torres AES is committed to maintaining a collegial work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Grievances will be treated seriously and sensitively, having due regards to procedural fairness and confidentiality. No employee shall be subjected to discrimination or adverse treatment for participating in a grievance procedure.

Torres AES will respect all persons alleging improper conduct providing processes for fair and transparent resolution. Torres will ensure that personnel who report wrongdoings in good faith are provided protection against any retaliation for making such reports, such as shielding them from unwarranted or otherwise inappropriate disciplinary measures, and that matters raised are examined and acted upon without undue delay.

Torres’ Grievance Policy intends to meet all aspects of the International Code of Conduct Grievance Procedures http://icoca.ch/en/icoc-association and publish this policy and contact information on our website.

Definition of Grievance:

Grievance is defined as ‘A wrong or a hardship suffered, which is grounds for complaint’. Grievances may arise from within the Company or from an external source; Torres AES’s policy on the handling of grievance covers both these circumstances but the procedures vary. This document reflects this situation.

Purpose:

The aim of this document is to present Torres AES’s policy and procedures for the handling of any grievance from within or outside the Company with a view to facilitating their successful resolution in a timely fashion.

Scope:

This policy and all associated procedures apply to all Company staff (consultants/contractors or employees), sub-contractors and any third party who have cause, or feel that they have cause, for complaint against Torres.

GRIEVANCE POLICY

The following comprise Torres AES’s grievance policy (all information will be held confidential):

  1. It is to be transparent and fair by nature and in its application.
  2. Investigate allegations promptly, impartially and with due consideration to confidentiality.
  3. In the case of formal action the aggrieved party should provide Torres management with a written submission, which provides details of the complaint (Nature, time, place and those involved).
  4. Torres desires to deal with incidents promptly and will take steps to follow up, make decisions, and confirm actions in the most expedient manner possible.
  5. Keep records about any such allegations, findings or disciplinary measures.  Except where prohibited or protected by applicable law, such records should be made available to a Competent Authority on request.
  6. Employees have the right to be accompanied at any meeting concerning a grievance. In cases where group grievances are addressed, a maximum of two observers will be allowed to attend the grievance process in addition to the representatives.
  7. Aggrieved parties may appeal against the decision made.
  8. Cooperate with official investigations, and not participate in or tolerate from their Personnel, the impeding of witnesses, testimony or investigations.
  9. Torres will take appropriate disciplinary action, which could include termination of employment in case of a finding of such violations or unlawful behavior.
  10. Ensure that Personnel who report wrongdoings in good faith are provided protection against any retaliation for making such reports, such as shielding them from unwarranted or otherwise inappropriate disciplinary measures, and that matters raised are examined and acted upon without undue delay.

INTERNAL GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

An employee who has a grievance over any work related issue has the right to raise their concerns with Torres management.

Informal Dealing:

Issues of a serious nature should always be dealt with formally; however, when mutually agreed, less serious grievances should be dealt with informally. This should take the form of an informal discussion between the aggrieved party and an appropriate manager. If it becomes clear that the matter cannot be resolved satisfactorily, or that the case is more serious that first assessed, the formal process must be adopted. If both parties agree that the grievance has been resolved satisfactorily no further action need be taken but the manager should make an informal note to record the event, its nature and outcome.

Formal Process:

The formal process may involve up to 4 procedures:

    1. Grievance Submission. The aggrieved party must provide an appropriate Torres manager (i.e.: Direct Supervisor, Senior Supervisor, HR Manager) with a written submission, which gives details of the grievance; these should include:
      1. The nature of the grievance
      2. Where the incident(s) has occurred
      3. Who has been involved
      4. When the incident(s) happened or has been happening
      5. Any actions that have been taken so far by any of the parties concerned
    2. Grievance Hearing. Torres AES’s management will arrange for a meeting to take place as quickly as possible to discuss the grievance. In preparing for such a meeting managers should consider the following: having an impartial record keeper, making themselves aware of the full facts of the case, how similar grievances may have been resolved in the past, whether an interpreter may be needed. The aggrieved party has the right to be accompanied by a colleague, who may be allowed to address the meeting on the employee’s behalf, sum up the employee’s case, respond to any views expressed at the meeting and confer with the employee. Once the hearing has finished the Torres manager will take time to consider the case.
    3. Management Decision Process. In making the decision upon the outcome and Torres AES’s position the manager should consult the Director of Human Resources, Head of Legal and Contracts or other senior managers within the Company – and is encouraged to do so. Regardless the decision should be presented in writing within 24hrs of the hearing. Once it has been made the manager is to inform the aggrieved party in writing of the outcome. The latter has the right to appeal if they are dissatisfied.
    4. Grievance Appeal. If the aggrieved party is dissatisfied with the outcome of the decision, they can appeal but this must be submitted within 5 days explaining their grounds for appealing in writing to Torres management. An appeal meeting should be arranged within 5 days and will be run by the next more senior manager. The hearing will follow the format described in 7b above and the aggrieved party may be accompanied.

GRIEVANCE RECORDKEEPING:

Records of the following are to be made and kept for seven (7) years:

    1. Nature and details of the grievance
    2. What was decided and the actions taken
    3. The reasons for these actions
    4. Whether an appeal was made and its outcome
    5. Any other subsequent developments

EXTERNAL GRIEVANCE PROCESS

The policy set out in paragraph 4 applies to a non-employee who has a grievance to make against the Company. The procedures shown in Figure 1 and described in paragraphs 6 and 7 are very similar but the complaint is likely to be dealt with at corporate level in the first instance. 

In summary:

  1. Informal Approach. Torres prefers to resolve grievance issues on an informal basis whenever possible; but only when this course is mutually agreeable.
  2. Formal Approach. The formal approach requires the aggrieved party to submit the details of their complaint in writing (as per 7a) to the Human Relations Manager at 7389 Lee Highway, Suite 340 Falls Church, VA 22042 or email hr@torresco.com.
  3. Office 703-527-8088. Arrangements will be made for a hearing – the composition of attendees will be agreed on a case-by-case basis. Torres will inform the aggrieved party of its decision in writing within 24 hours of the hearing being completed. The aggrieved party has the right to appeal within 5 days and this process should be started by a submission in writing explaining the grounds for this appeal. A further hearing will be convened but managed by a different person with the findings being promulgated within 24 hours of its completion.

SUMMARY

Grievances are to be handled with sensitivity, respect but without undue delay. The procedures are relatively straightforward; the importance of keeping records is emphasized. Advice should be sought from senior managers (particularly the Director of Human Resources and the Head of Legal and Contracts) from the outset.  The over-arching intent is for the fair treatment of all persons within and external to Torres AES.I agree to utilize the grievance procedures described in the grievance policy and will not bring grievances to the customer/client.