workplace malice courtesy of nigeriamasterweb-com

Dealing with Workplace Harassment: The Grievance Procedure

During my ordeal and grievance procedure, I researched the provisions made for employees under the Jamaican law; especially as it relates to harassment, vindictive behavior and actions of malice.

I must say, the laws of Jamaica have not been documented or have not been as built out as other countries. For example, I find more specific guidelines about punitive damages, compensatory damages, front pay, mitigation and a whole host of legal compensation on the US websites.

Legally, I was the victim of malicious behavior. During the Grievance Procedure, I have to allow the process to fulfill itself. It seems painstaking because it is an internal process and I guess after dealing with two years of bad behavior, two or three months will be short in comparison. At least, that’s how long the lawyer says it should take before following through on the external aspect of the procedure.

See below the outline for the Grievance Procedure taken from the Jamaica Trade Union website:

Grievance Procedure  

Wherever there are collective labour agreements (CLAs) there are bound to be problems of interpretation, application and administration.

Grievance procedure is essential if the problems that arise are to be satisfactorily dealt with in a consistent and precise manner.

Grievance is defined as;

“A Difference over what the collective labour agreement means.  It is usually a result of some action taken by the company, or by the company’s failure to take action when it should have been taken.”

A grievance is the formal articulation of a complaint usually in writing and with the assistance or involvement of a union.  Grieving takes place when a “formal complaint” has not been addressed by the immediate supervisor.  For the most part “grieving” is associated with a union environment.

Procedures may be determined jointly by management and union — joint regulation;

Procedures can be unilaterally determined by management where there is no union.

Although management has an interest in ensuring that employees are not dissatisfied, the grievance process is primarily an employee mechanism

  • Initiated by employees to express and resolve their dissatisfaction
  • Allows employees to challenge the absolute power of management

Its effectiveness should be judged by employee satisfaction with its operation.

Grievances are frequently concerned with an individual’s terms and conditions of employment.

A Staged Approach:

  1. Reflects organizational hierarchy
  2. Provides for a review of decisions by a higher level of authority at each succeeding stage
  3. Should include only the necessary and effective levels of management

Grievance Procedure 

Within Department Outside Department(Still in Organization) External to Organization

Steps for Grievance Procedure

External Part of Grievance Procedure

STEP 7 – Litigation

STEP 6 – Arbitration

STEP 5 – Conciliation


Internal Part of Grievance Procedure

STEP 4 – CEO or Nominee

STEP 3 – HR Department

STEP 2 – Department Head (in writing)

STEP 1- Immediate Supervisor



Many people suffer in silence; ridden by stress and abuse. Workplace harassment is a reality. It is abuse just like physical abuse! We should not tolerate it just because someone is paying us every month. I encourage you to rise up and protect yourselves. Report it and stop this immoral occurrence in the workplace.


She has published several books of poetry including ‘Jamaican Honey and Sauce’, Jamaican Pebbles, Love under the Caribbean Stars and Jamaican Pebbles: Poetry Pocketbook.

Copyright © 2016, Denise N. Fyffe


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