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Frequently Asked Questions


What's the difference between a grievance and an appeal?

A grievance is an internal agency process to resolve employment complaints within the agency. An appeal is a process to resolve employment complaints through the Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission (Commission).

Both grievances and appeals are processes for resolving disputes between state employees and state agencies. Both processes are established by the Oklahoma Personnel Act and the Merit Rules adopted by the Commission.

Note: Applicants may use the grievance and appeal processes to resolve certain complaints.

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Who may use the formal grievance procedure?

Any classified employee may file a formal grievance?after trying to resolve the problem informally?if the employee has reason to believe his or her employment has been directly affected by:

  1. unfair treatment,
  2. unsafe working conditions, or
  3. erroneous interpretation or application of agency policy, procedure, merit rule, or law.

Note: Some agencies permit both applicants and unclassified employees to file grievances.

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What issues may be addressed in the grievance procedure?

Grievances may include, but are not limited to, any direct or indirect form of discipline, reduction-in-force, work assignments, withholding of work, classification, reclassification, promotion, leave, performance appraisal, length of service, overtime, compensatory time, transfers, or any alleged violation of the Oklahoma Personnel Act or Merit Rules.

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What are my responsibilities as an employee?

You must?

  • Bring the dispute to the attention of your supervisor, and both of you must attempt to resolve the dispute informally. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you may file a formal grievance.
  • Provide accurate, timely information to support your charges.
  • Make a good faith effort to resolve the dispute.
  • Refrain from idle talk and treat information about formal grievances with discretion.

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What issues must I address through the grievance procedure before I file an appeal with the Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission (Commission)?

You must address complaints about promotion, discipline (see exceptions in 'note' below), leave, the employee service ratings system, pay movement mechanisms, and other compensation issues through the grievance procedure before you file an appeal with the Commission.

Note: Suspension without pay, involuntary demotion, discharge, and discipline related to alleged violations of your freedom of expression (whistleblowing) are appealed directly to the Commission.

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What is my time limit for filing a formal grievance?

You must file within 20 calendar days of, the date of the act or incident or within 20 calendar days of the date you become aware of, or with reasonable effort, should have become aware of a grievable issue.

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How long will it take to resolve my grievance with my agency?

A formal grievance must be resolved by the employing agency within 45 calendar days after the filing of the formal grievance?EXCEPT:

  • The appointing authority may extend the resolution time up to an additional 15 calendar days for good cause.
  • You and the appointing authority may mutually extend the resolution time up to 30 additional calendar days for good cause.

The resolution time may not exceed 90 calendar days.

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May I file an appeal after I file a formal grievance?

Yes. After filing a formal grievance, you may file an appeal with the Commission within:

  • 20 calendar days after expiration of the resolution time, including any extension?if you do not receive a resolution decision; or
  • 20 calendar days after receiving a resolution decision?if you provide evidence:
    • the resolution decision:
      • is not correct, or
      • does not address the issues of the grievance, or
    • that violations of the Oklahoma Personnel Act or Merit Rules occurred during the processing of the formal grievance.

The issues of an appeal following a grievance are limited to:

  • charges over which the Commission has jurisdiction, and
  • the charges you made in your formal grievance or alleged violations during the formal grievance procedure.

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Where can I get more information about the grievance procedure?

Read this material:

Contact the Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission by:

  • E-mail MPC
  • Telephone: (405) 525-9144
  • Regular mail:

    Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission
    3545 NW 58th Street, Suite 360
    Oklahoma City, OK 73105