Ethical Grievance Process Overview
AssistU has always had the very highest standards in the Virtual Assistance Industry. One way we “stand for” those standards is to be deeply interested in how the virtual assistants in our community are upholding their ethical responsibilities in their practices.
To help us monitor that, the AssistU ethics review and grievance process was created to allow someone who has been in a professional relationship with a graduate and member in good standing of AssistU to file a complaint about an alleged violation of the AssistU Standards Of Excellence, Ethics, and Practices Pledge.
Here’s what you need to know about the process:
- The only virtual assistants a grievance can be filed against are those who are an active part of the AssistU community, meaning they’ve been trained by AssistU, have graduated from one of our programs and are members of good standing in our professional community.
- The process is not meant to be mediation or arbitration. We are not qualified for that, and it’s inappropriate for us to get in the middle of any dispute. Our sole concern is upholding our Standards Of Excellence, Ethics, and Practices Pledge. Should you have a grievance that requires more than we offer, we wholeheartedly suggest you consider alternative dispute resolution prior to other steps.
- Grievances must be based on a perceived violation of one or more specific points of the AssistU Standards Of Excellence, Ethics, and Practices Pledge found on our site.
- Grievances must be filed by the individual who was a party to the grievance. No third-party or anonymous grievances will be considered.
- Grievances filed about alleged misconduct occurring more than 90 days in the past will not be considered.
- Grievances must be made and submitted according to the instructions found on our site.
Here’s how the process works once a grievance is submitted:
A committee will review the grievance. The committee is formed from the AssistU community and comprised of individuals who eagerly wanted this leadership role, and who have the highest integrity.
Initially, we will review the grievance to decide whether it merits consideration. Only those grievances that specifically point to potential violations of the AssistU Standards Of Excellence, Ethics, and Practices Pledge will be considered. Grievances may be rejected based on the parameters shared above, or if in our opinion, the grievance is actually a legal dispute best handled through the courts. Our decision is final, and we’ll advise you of our decision inside of 10 business days.
If the grievance is deemed appropriate for our consideration, the VA named in the grievance will receive a copy of the grievance and supporting documentation. You will be named as the person filing the grievance; we will not deal with anonymous grievances, believing that if you believe in your position strongly enough to file a grievance, you should believe in it strongly enough to stand up in an identifiable way.
The virtual assistant will have ten (10) business days to answer the committee with regard to the grievance, providing his/her own evidentiary information. Our ethics pledge does not allow a VA to opt out of this process and retain membership in our community or certification. So, if the VA does not respond, the grievance process ends. The client’s grievance will be found to have merit, and disciplinary action will be taken.
If the VA responds, the committee will review all information submitted by both parties to the grievance, will render a decision, and where necessary, render an additional decision about disciplinary action. The decision of the committee is final.
Possible outcomes of the committee’s decision include but are not limited to:
- Dismissal of the grievance
- Letter of warning
- Requirement of taking an ethics review course
- Letter of censure
- Temporary loss of community privileges
- Loss of receiving further referrals from us
- Loss of certification
- Termination of membership in the AssistU community
- Any combination of the above
The complainant and virtual assistant will receive responses from AssistU with the committee’s decision via email. Because this is an internal process, we will not disclose the exact nature of the disciplinary action taken to the complainant. Again, the decision of the committee is final.
Termination of membership is permanent. Any other action will remain on the VA’s record for two years. After two years, it’s expunged. Multiple violations in a short period would create a situation where the disciplinary action is far more stringent.
If you have questions about this, or to begin the grievance process, please be in touch.
“Attraction based on what’s genuine will always
trump attraction based on misrepresentation.”
– Anastacia Brice