Related Policies and Additional References:
The University has established a grievance procedure in an effort to ensure that employees receive fair and equitable treatment in the application of University policy, to provide employees with an easily accessible procedure for expressing dissatisfaction, and to sustain sound employee relations through communications and resolutions of work-related problems. All employees who have completed their introductory period are covered by this procedure. Any perceived grievance before that time frame should be addressed to the Office of Human Resources. Any complaint or report of an alleged violation of the University’s Equal Opportunity, Nondiscrimination, Sexual and Other Forms of Harassment Policy or the Adjudication Guidance for Title IX Reports of Sexual Misconduct shall be handled in accordance with the respective Process, not this Grievance Procedure. (See Section 8.0)
Any employee of the University who believes that he/she has not been treated fairly in a job-related matter may make use of the grievance process within ten (10) working days of the incident. This process provides levels of action through which a grievance may be carried: the grievant’s immediate supervisor; the Director of Department; the Office of Human Resources and the Vice President for Administration and Finance. For the purposes of this policy, the senior administrator of the division is the Provost, a Vice President, a Vice or Assistant Provost, or the President, in the case of units directly reporting to the President. A grievance must proceed through each level before moving to the next higher level. In other words, no lower level can be bypassed before proceeding to the next higher level. Work related grievances occurring more than ten (10) working days prior to the filing of the written grievance will not be accepted and are deemed to be waived.
At each level, the grievance must be filed in writing with all pertinent information included. The burden of processing the grievance through each level rests with the grievant, and the grievant’s failure to act at any level within the specified time limits shall result in dismissal of the grievance.
It is the intent of the Grievance Procedure to provide an avenue to seek internal resolution of the dispute. If an employee chooses to go “outside” the University, that is, use external sources such as any federal, state, or local agency or any other external mechanism to resolve the dispute, the employee waives his/her rights under the University’s grievance procedures and his/her grievance shall be dismissed. An employee is not permitted to have an advisor or legal counsel present in the grievance procedures.
If the grievance is against the Vice Provost and Dean of Students or an Academic Dean, the grievant must file with the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Supervisor and Director of the Department
The grievant must present to his/her immediate supervisor a written statement of the grievance and discuss it with the supervisor. If the supervisor is able to resolve the grievance, the grievant will sign a statement that the matter has been resolved. If the supervisor is not able to resolve the grievance, and the supervisor is not the Director of the Department, it shall be referred to the Director of the Department and/or senior administrator of the division. If the grievant’s immediate supervisor is the Director of the Department or the senior administrator of the division, then the grievance shall be referred to the Office of Human Resources, and the grievance will be considered to have progressed to the second level. If the Director of the Department or senior administrator of the division is not able to affect a resolution, the grievant may, within ten (10) working days following such determination, file at the second level.
Office of Human Resources
The grievance must be submitted in writing to Human Resources, who will bring together the parties involved in the grievance in an attempt to resolve the matter. If Human Resources succeeds in this attempt, the grievant will sign a statement that the grievance has been resolved. If Human Resources is not able to affect a resolution, then the grievant may, within ten (10) working days after Human Resources so specifies, file at the next level.
Vice President of Administration and Finance
The grievant must file with the Vice President for Administration and Finance a written statement of the grievance along with a description of the prior attempts at resolution under the first and second levels. The Vice President shall review the statement and any and all documents submitted by the grievant and/or respondent and render a final written determination on the grievance. The Vice President has the discretion to meet with the grievant and/or respondent prior to making a final determination. If the grievance is filed against the Vice President of Administration and Finance, the President of the University will review the grievance and render a final decision. If the President is named in the grievance, then the Chair of the Board of Trustees will review the grievance and take any appropriate steps they deem necessary to reach a final resolution.
If the senior level administrator of the division oversaw the review of the grievance, the appeal is submitted to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs or the President, based upon to whom the senior level administrator of the division directly reports. If the President oversaw the investigation, the appeal is submitted to the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
The filing or pending of any grievance under the provisions of this policy shall not prevent the University from taking action to address an issue prior to the final determination of the grievance, the issue brought forth or other related matters.
Once the grievance process concludes or determines that parties must comply with an arrangement, if any member of the compliant fails to meet such terms, the Office of Human Resources will review the case to determine an appropriate procedural escalation to ensure compliance or enact a final resolution.
Failure to appeal a grievance to the next level within the specified time limit (10 working days), shall be deemed to be acceptance of the decision rendered at that level. If a grievant at any time deviates from the grievance procedures, the University may immediately dismiss the grievance.