7 Interesting Facts About Grievance in Non-Union Companies

Facts about Grievance | Nature of Grievances | Characteristics of Complainants

Assurance in Grievance

Setting up a grievance policy in a company is essential for the smooth running of businesses. It is necessary to keep the employees contented. They have an assurance that if they are wronged in some way, they have the system to rely on.

It keeps people in check too, as they would know the policies and consequences of their actions.

Columbia University-sponsored Extensive Study
Like unionized firms, non-union firms also establish policies and procedures for grievance. We have gathered some important information and stats in the non-union firms.

These are based on an extensive study sponsored by Columbia University. This was based on human resource policies and practices of United States Businesses. 5 non-union firms were involved in this study.

Interesting Facts About Grievance

First, let’s go through the main findings of this research that goes through union as well as non-union firms.

1.       Almost all businesses have grievance procedures.
As it is a fundamental part of the businesses, naturally, almost all unionized businesses have some predefined procedures. These are typically present for manufacturing, clerical, and professional employees.

2.       Most procedures have 3rd party arbitration as the final step.

3.       4 out of 5 procedures pay employees for their time spent in grievance processing.

4.       In every 100 employees, approximately 5 employees file for a complaint.

5.       Surprisingly, only 1 out of 500 concerns initially filed, reach the final steps of the procedure.

6.       Objections over performance, mobility, discipline, and discrimination issues are more likely to reach higher levels of settlements. The complaints about pay, work, benefits, and supervisory relations get settled a lot earlier.

7.       As expected, the employee has a better chance of winning the opposition if it gets pursued to the higher levels.


What is the nature of grievances in non-union firms?
What do you think are the common reasons for employees filing a complaint? According to the study, the most common reason for the protestation is work and pay issues.

Approximately 36% of all grievances written belong to this nature. Their nature in the non-union firms is usually in the form of:

·         Pay and Work – 36% (overtime, pay rate, job assignment)

·         Performance and Mobility – 27% (Evaluation, recall, training, etc.)

·         Discipline and Discharge – 13% (suspension, discharge, etc.)

·         Benefits – 10% (holidays, paid vacations)

·         Supervisory Relations – 9%

·         Racial or Sexual Discriminations (5%)


Who is filing for a grievance?

People will protest if they feel they are wronged. Many companies and HR professionals encourage this and ask people to come forth with their problems. But who are these people that are more likely to complain?

And to what nature do these objections belong? These are some common characteristics of complainants and their objections.

·         Male, young, less experienced, and belonging to a minority group in a blue-collar job are most likely to file for a complaint.

·         Female employees usually file over performance and mobility issues.

·         Blue-collar workers file over workplace safety and health, discipline, and pay issues.

·         Many younger workers have issues with pay, discipline, and job assignment.

·         High-educated people are significantly more like to file a grievance on work assignments, personal leave, and training issues.


Should you file for a grievance?
Well, definitely yes if you feel you are wronged. But before you do, you should visit your HR department. They can guide you on what steps you should follow. Perhaps, they would even solve it before it needs to be officially filed. Still confused? You can read about the advantages and disadvantages of grievances over here.




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David Lewin, Grievance Procedures in Nonunion Workplaces: An Empirical Analysis of Usage, Dynamics, and Outcomes, 66 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 823 (1990).
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol66/iss3/10

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