FAQ: Grievance Timeliness

Question: “I am a union steward.  Recently, a member brought an issue to my attention.  The issue date is far outside the 30 days our contract provides- but I did not become aware until just recently.  Shouldn’t the date I became aware be the date that matters? “

Answer:  No.  If that was the case, an employee could come to you with an issue two years later and you could file a grievance.  It just makes no sense.  It is incumbent upon the affected employee to bring the matter to the attention of the union in a timely manner; after-all, they are a party to the Collective Bargaining Agreement as well.  Subsequently, they have an intrinsic obligation to know, and adhere, to the terms of the Agreement.  However, there are certain exceptions, most notably what is called a “continuing violation.” Otherwise, the more standard application of “when an employee became aware or should have become aware” is applicable.     

InformedFED provides expert administrative consulting and related transactional services to federal employees in all labor and employee relations matters.


The material on this website is intended to provide only general information and comment to the public and federal employees. Although we make our best efforts to ensure information found on this website is accurate and timely, we cannot, and do not, guarantee the information is either. Nor do we guarantee accuracy of any information contained on websites to which our website provide links.  Consultants offered through this website are not attorneys and are not employees of InformedFED. They are advanced labor and employee relations practitioners. They provide services to clients in their individual capacities through individual agreements with their clients.