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» Grievance Policy

It is the policy of MASH to ensure Certified Sober Homes and stakeholders grievances are handled respectfully, appropriately, and professionally.

The Formal Grievance should be documented on the MASH Formal Grievance Form found at: https://mashsoberhousing.org

The Formal Grievance Procedure should not be used for retribution or personal/agency gain.

The Formal Grievance Procedure includes, but is not limited to the investigation, validation of compliant, and recommendation of the Grievance Committee as to the standing of the Certified Sober Homes, recommendations and/or disqualification of their sober home certification.

Please note: Your grievance may need to be forwarded to a local, state, federal, or judicial authority. The MA Alliance for Sober Housing, Inc. DOES NOT address or enforce ANYTHING which would require legal enforcement. If your grievance requires further action by an outside agency, The MA Alliance for Sober Housing, Inc. will close the grievance and inform the complainant of the decision.

FORMAL GRIEVANCE PROCEEDURE

Confidentiality of Proceeding

  • All information, notes, reports, transcripts, and any other documentation of any kind that are generated or received during the course of an ethics investigation, including the ethics committee meetings, and appeal hearings, shall be kept confidential by MASH.
  • The respondent is entitled to a full and complete copy of the following:
    • Complaint; (Subject of complaint / grievance; Identity of complainant/grievant will remain confidential)
    • Grievance/ethics Committee’s Recommendations
    • MASH Board of Directors Recommendations
  • The complainant is entitled to a full and complete copy of the following:
    • Grievance/ethics Committee’s Findings
    • MASH Executive Board Recommendations (when appropriate)

Oversight and Conflict of Interest

  • If a member of the Grievance/Ethics Committee is a party in a grievance or has any involvment in any way, he or she will be excused from the grievance proceedings and the MASH Executive Director will name a replacement.
  • If a member of the MASH Board of Directors is a party in a grievance or involved in any way, he or she will be excused from the grievance proceedings.
  • Possible sanctions for the violation of the MASH Code of Ethics or Standards, include, but are not limited to:
    • Written Reprimand: A Written Reprimand with request for Corrective Action and follow-up review
    • Summary Suspension: Summary Suspension with request for Corrective Action and follow-up review
    • Revocation (when recommended by the Ethics Committee and approved by the Board of Directors)
    • Denial of Application for Certification with MASH (when recommended by the Ethics Committee and approved by the Board of Directors)
  • The Grievance/Ethics Committee may consider the applicant’s or agency’s past history in regards to ethical violations and disciplinary actions when determining the appropriate action for any current grievance filed.
  • A third offense for actions deemed unethical, confirmed by the Grievance/Ethics Committee in a two-year period, will automatically result in an immediate summary suspension and may include a suspension or revocation of Certification.

FORMAL GRIEVANCE PROCESS

It’s important to follow the grievance or complaint procedures carefully and to document all pertinent facts, dates and information when filing a report or claim.

Step 1: Filing

A Formal Grievance should be filed within 30 days of when the complainant became aware of or suspected violation of MASH ethics or standards. The Formal Grievance should be documented on the MASH Formal Grievance Form. Verbal grievances will not be acted upon.

Step 2: Submission

The completed MASH Formal Grievance Form will be directed to the Recovery Homes Collaborative’s designee (investigator) for prompt processing.

Step 3: Notification of Receipt

Respondent should be notified by email or telephone within 3 business days of the receipt of the grievance. The investigator will forward a copy of the grievance to the MASH Executive Director. The MASH Executive Director will then forward the grievance and their findings, upon completion by the investigator, to the Ethics Committee for review.

*If the grievance concerns take issue with existing MASH policies in which a Certified Sober Home believes should be examined prior to the next scheduled annual policy review meeting, then an investigator shall forward a copy of the grievance to the Grievance Committee and the investigator shall take no further action.

Step 4: Investigation

Within 14 days of receipt of the written complaint, the investigator will complete an objective investigation of the matter and report the findings in writing to the MASH Executive Director, who will then forward finding to the Grievance/Ethics Committee. The investigation may include telephone or in-person interviews with the parties and witnesses, site visits to the sober home and review of
written records. An extension of no more than 14 days may be granted for investigations that take longer than the initial 14-day timeframe.

Within 30 days of receipt of the findings of the investigator the Grievance/Ethics Committee will record its findings and decision in writing. An extension of no more than 30 days may be granted for investigations that take longer than the initial 30-day timeframe. No member of the Grievance/Ethics Committee shall intentionally try to stall, prolong, or delay proceedings.  The Grievance/Ethics Committee may render its decision solely on the basis of the grievance and the investigator’s report or may request the complainant or respondent to appear separately in front of the Grievance/Ethics Committee at a hearing to gather additional information.  Written notice of the time and date will be sent to the complainant at least 10 days prior to the hearing.  A conference call may take the place of a personal appearance. A complainant or respondent does not have the right to demand to appear in person before the Grievance/Ethics Committee.

The decision of the Grievance/Ethics Committee shall be communicated to the respondent and to the MASH Board of Directors (will be entered into the next Board meeting’s minutes) within seven days.  The decision is final.  However, any grievance where the Grievance/Ethics Committee recommends suspension, revocation or denial of certification for an operator shall be presented to the MASH Board of Directors for their determination as outlined in Step 5.

Step 5: Presentation to the Board

The Grievance/Ethics Committee shall present its recommendation for suspension, revocation or denial of an operator’s certification to the MASH Board of Directors for their determination. The presentation shall include the original complaint / grievance; an investigation summary including an objective account of events, additional information as a direct result of the grievance, and the recommended or action recommended.

Step 6: Board Decision / Recommendation (De-certification)s

The MASH Board of Directors will discuss and make a formal recommendation for a vote at the next general or special meeting for suspension or revocation of Certification. A report of the findings, voting results, and corrective actions to be taken will be provided to the respondent via email within 14 business days after the general meeting. The proceedings will be recorded in the meeting minutes as an official record.


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