Employee Grievance Procedure
Last Updated 09/2008
Applies to Staff
It is important that employees are treated fairly and receive prompt responses to problems and concerns. For this reason, the University provides a grievance procedure to promote prompt and responsible resolution of issues raised by staff and administrators. This procedure may be used freely without fear of retaliation, and the Office of Human Resources is available to assist throughout the procedure. The process outlined below should be used if an individual disagrees with a supervisor’s action including any disciplinary action. If the problem involves Discriminatory Harassment, Sexual Harassment and/or Discrimination, reference to those policies should be made to initiate a complaint. When unsure which policy applies, contact should be made with a Human Resources HR Consultant or the Office of Institutional Equity for assistance.
Discuss Complaint with Immediate Supervisor.
The University encourages informal resolution of complaints. Employees should first discuss the complaint with their immediate supervisor within three (3) business days of the situation whenever possible. If the complaint is not resolved as a result of this discussion, or such a discussion is not appropriate under the circumstances, proceed to Step Two. If the action in dispute involves suspension or termination of employment, Steps One and Two should be bypassed.
Note: If the immediate supervisor is an officer of the University, Steps Two, Three and Four should be bypassed and the complaint submitted directly to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources who will send a copy to the Executive Vice President of the University and schedule a meeting for employee, the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and the Executive Vice President or his designee.
Prepare and Submit Complaint Procedure Form to a HR Consultant for Review by Second-Level Supervisor.
If the employee feels the complaint was not resolved in discussions with his/her immediate supervisor, they may prepare and submit a formal written complaint for review by the person to whom the employee’s immediate supervisor reports (“second-level supervisor”). To do so, the employee should prepare a Complaint Procedure Form and submit it to a Human Resources HR Consultant within seven (7) business days of the Step One discussion with the immediate supervisor (or within seven (7) days of the event being grieved if Step One is bypassed). The Consultant will then review the complaint, send a copy to the second-level supervisor and the immediate supervisor (if appropriate), and schedule a meeting for the employee, the second-level supervisor, and the Consultant to discuss the complaint. The meeting will ordinarily be held within five (5) business days of the Consultant’s receipt of the Complaint Procedure Form. The second-level supervisor will issue a written decision, generally within five (5) business days of the meeting. If the complaint is not resolved to the employee’s satisfaction, they may proceed to Step Three.
Note: If an employee’s second-level supervisor is a Vice President, the Employee Grievance procedure is complete at the conclusion of Step Two. If the employee’s second-level supervisor is a director of associate dean, the employee should proceed to Step Four (Vice President-level review) at the conclusion of Step Two.
Submit Complaint Procedure Form to Human Resource Director of HR Consultants for Review by Third-Level Manager.
If the employee is not satisfied with the Step Two decision, they may proceed with the complaint within five (5) business days of receipt of the Step Two decision by submitting it to the Human Resources Director of HR Consultant for review by the director in charge of their department or associate dean of the department if in an academic unit. A meeting between the employee, the Director of HR Consultant and the director or associate dean will generally be held within five (5) business days. The director or associate dean will issue a written decision, generally within five (5) business days of the meeting.
Submit Complaint Procedure Form for Final Appeal to the Appropriate-Level Vice President or Provost.
If the employee is not satisfied with the Step Three decision, they may submit the complaint to the appropriate level Vice President with administrative responsibility for their department or, for academic units, the Office of the Provost, within seven (7) business days of receipt of the Step Three decision. The Vice President or Office of the Provost will provide the University’s final written response, generally within fourteen (14) business days. The employee’s department management will be notified as well.
The time limits above are subject to modification on a case-by-case basis due to operational requirements, travel away from campus, in-depth investigations, etc. The Executive Vice President shall have final authority to resolve any disputes regarding the implementation of this Complaint Procedure, including determination of the appropriate decision makers.