Any employee appealing a ruling made pursuant to Chapter 81, article 13, shall file a grievance appeal with the State Personnel Board. The chairperson of the board may assign the appeal to a hearing officer who shall be chosen from a list of hearing officers established and maintained by the board. The board shall establish the qualifications necessary to be a hearing officer. Such qualifications shall be consistent with experience in personnel administration, labor relations, or administrative law proceedings. Persons eligible to be hearing officers shall include (1) employees of the personnel division of the Department of Administrative Services, (2) employees of the Division of Employee Relations of the Department of Administrative Services, (3) employees included within the State Personnel System who the board determines are qualified, and (4) other qualified persons, except that no person who has negotiated or assisted in the negotiation of the contract at issue shall be eligible to be a hearing officer.
After the chairperson of the State Personnel Board assigns the grievance appeal to a hearing officer, the appellant may disapprove such assignment and request that another person be assigned as his or her hearing officer. The second assignment shall be final.