If a local committee or other organization administering the agreement cannot satisfactorily resolve a complaint, any apprentice who has completed his/her initial probationary period may submit the complaint to the apprenticeship program for resolution. Complaints that involve matters covered by a collective bargaining agreement are not subject to the complaint review procedures in this section. The investigation or review of any controversy by the supervisor or the WSATC will not affect any action taken or decision made by a committee or other organization until a final decision resolving the matter is issued.
(1) Within thirty calendar days of documented, written notification of the action leading to the complaint, the apprentice must request the local committee or other organization to reconsider action.
(2) The local committee or other organization must, within thirty calendar days of the apprentice's request, provide written notification to the apprentice of its decision on the request for reconsideration. This notification shall be considered the final action of the committee.
(3) If the apprentice chooses to pursue the complaint further, the apprentice must submit a written complaint describing the controversy to the supervisor of the apprenticeship division within thirty calendar days of the final action taken on the matter by the local committee or other organization. The written complaint must be specific and include all relevant facts and circumstances contributing to the complaint. Any documents or correspondence relevant to the complaint must be attached to the complaint. The apprentice must send a copy of the complaint to the interested local committee or other organization.
(4) The supervisor must investigate complaints received from an apprentice. The supervisor must complete the investigation within thirty business days. During the investigation, the supervisor must attempt to effect a settlement between the parties. During the investigation the apprentice and the committee or other organization must fully cooperate with the supervisor by providing any relevant information or documents requested. The supervisor may delegate the investigation to any employee in the apprenticeship division. If the controversy is not settled during the investigation, the supervisor must issue a written decision resolving the controversy when the investigation is concluded.
(5) If the apprentice, committee or other organization is dissatisfied with the decision of the supervisor, they may request the WSATC to review the decision. The request must be in writing and made within thirty calendar days of the supervisor's decision. It must specify the reasons supporting the request. The party requesting review must provide a copy of the request to the other parties involved in the controversy. The WSATC must conduct an informal hearing to consider the request for review of the supervisor's decision. Unless special circumstances dictate, the hearing must be held in conjunction with the regular quarterly meeting.
At the hearing, the WSATC must review the supervisor's decision and all records of the investigation. The WSATC may also accept testimony or documents from any person, including the supervisor and the supervisor's staff, who has knowledge relating to the controversy. Parties at the informal hearing may be represented by counsel and may, at the WSATC's discretion, present argument concerning the controversy. The WSATC must not apply formal rules of evidence.
(6) Within thirty calendar days after the hearing, the WSATC must issue a written decision resolving the controversy. The WSATC's decision may be to affirm the decision of the supervisor. In that case, the supervisor's decision becomes the decision of the WSATC. All parties to the informal hearing must be sent a copy of the WSATC's decision. The chair may sign the decision for the WSATC.
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 49.04 RCW and RCW 19.285.040. 11-11-002, § 296-05-009, filed 5/4/11, effective 7/25/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 49.04.010, 2001 c 204, and chapter 49.04 RCW. 01-22-055, § 296-05-009, filed 10/31/01, effective 1/17/02.]