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HR Policy and Procedure #7: Grievances Revised October 10, 2013

This policy is designed to provide a method of dealing with the grievances of regular employees with a full-time equivalent (FTE) of 0.5 or greater in a prompt and equitable manner without placing an unreasonable burden on the University.

The proceedings are informal in nature. Procedural due process in this context does not require the features of the formal judicial proceedings employed by the courts of law, such as public hearing, representation by counsel, cross-examination of witnesses, warning as to self-incrimination and adherence to rules of evidence. It is not appropriate for the grievant to include any outside spokesperson, including legal representation, in this process. Should the grievant choose to take legal action, the internal grievance process will cease. Instead emphasis is placed on a method of getting at the facts, assuring those facts are reported accurately to the proper authority, and providing a decision based on the facts.

  1. The provisions of this policy are not available to temporary staff or regular staff employees with an assignment less than 0.5 FTE. Only regular staff employees with an FTE of 0.5 or greater who have successfully completed the new hire orientation period are eligible for the provisions of this policy, unless the employee alleges termination of employment in violation of state or federal law. This policy is not applicable to faculty.
  2. All employees, including the grievant, shall cooperate at all stages in the investigation of a grievance. This cooperation shall include, but not be limited to, appearing to answer questions and presenting truthful information.
    1. Failure to appear to give information may result in corrective action.
    2. Failure to present truthful information may result in corrective action.
    3. Failure by the grievant to cooperate shall result in dismissal of the grievance.
  3. The grievant shall state the grievance in writing within 30 calendar days of the act(s) giving rise to the grievance. In the event the grievant states the grievance after 30 calendar days, the dean or department head shall notify the Human Resources Office of Employee Relations (Employee Relations) who shall determine whether extenuating circumstances warrant receiving the grievance beyond the time limit. That office shall notify the Stage I decision maker and the grievant of the decision, which shall be final.
  4. These grievance procedures may be used to
    1. Address a complaint that a decision adversely affecting an employee’s status of employment or condition of employment was reached improperly, in one or more of the following circumstances.
      1. The decision violates University policies or procedures;
      2. University policies or procedures have been applied inconsistently; or
      3. The action taken against an employee violates state or federal discrimination statutes or University non-discrimination regulations, or the decision violates an employee’s constitutional rights.
    2. Address appropriate work-related problems or issues.
  5. These grievance procedures may not be used for the following:
    1. To address an employee’s dissatisfaction with a University, college or departmental policy challenged on the grounds the policy is unfair, inadvisable or inappropriate;
    2. To appeal performance evaluations, merit increases, reclassifications, reductions in force and other matters which the University determines to be purely administrative discretion;
    3. To address actions from individuals outside of the University;
    4. To address situations over which the President lacks authority to remedy;
    5. To address dissatisfaction with the grievance policy or procedure or actions of individuals participating in the grievance process; or
    6. To address issues which are subject to a complaint procedure through the employee benefits plan.


  1. Stage I
    1. The grievant shall state the nature of the grievance in writing to the appropriate departmental official (e.g. assistant dean, department chair, department director). The department official may request further clarification/information. The grievant will be permitted up to three working days to clarify the grievance.

    2. Note: For assistance in determining the appropriate departmental official, please contact Employee Relations.
    3. The decision of the departmental official shall be given in writing to the grievant within 10 working days after receipt of the grievance.
    4. Copies of the appeal and decision shall be forwarded to Employee Relations. If the grievance issue involves a charge of discrimination or equal opportunity matters, a copy shall be forwarded by the decision maker to the Office of Institutional Equity.
  2. Stage II
    1. If the Stage I decision maker is also the appropriate Stage II decision maker or if the grievant is not satisfied with the decision at Stage I or if the decision is not received within the time outlined in Stage I, the grievant may appeal in writing to the Vice President of Human Resources.
    2. The appeal shall be made within ten working days after receiving the decision or, if no decision is received within ten working days, the grievant may appeal directly to the Vice President of Human Resources.
    3. Stage II is generally limited to issues that have been identified at Stage I. If new issues are raised at Stage II, Employee Relations shall determine whether the issues are, in fact, new and whether to permit these issues to be addresed.
    4. Employee Relations shall investigate the appeal and forward a recommendation for disposition to the dean, appropriate vice president, or other administrative officer of operational jurisdiction within 15 working days after receipt of appeal. The 15 day response period may be extended by Employee Relations.
    5. The dean, appropriate vice president or other administrative official shall render a decision in writing to the grievant within five working days after receipt of the recommendation of the Vice President of Human Resources.
    6. A copy of the decision shall be forwarded to Employee Relations and the department chair or director. If the grievance involves a charge of discrimination, a copy shall also be forwarded by the decision maker to the Office of Institutional Equity.
  3. Stage III
    1. If the grievant is not satisfied with the Stage II decision, the grievant may, within five working days of receipt of the Stage II decision, request a formal hearing before a Grievance Hearing Committee in accordance with the procedures outlined in this policy.
    2. In order to proceed to Stage III, the grievance must be limited to a charge of employment termination in violation of University Human Resources Policies, charges of discriminatory acts in violation of University fair employment rules and regulations or charges of violation of basic University Human Resources Policies.  A corrective action written warning or probation is not grievable at Stage III.
    3. The request for a hearing shall be in writing, stating specifically the nature of the grievance, (not merely a restatement of 3b above) and shall be directed from the grievant to the appropriate Executive Vice President or the Provost.
    4. The appropriate Executive Vice President or the Provost shall forward the request for a hearing to the Vice President of Human Resources.  The Vice President of Human Resources will forward the request to the appropriate Hearing Officer who shall review the request to determine whether the grievance meets the qualifications for a Stage III hearing.  If the request is not appropriate, the Hearing Officer shall return the request to the grievant who may, during the next three working days submit an amended request for a formal hearing.  The amended request shall be reviewed in the same manner.  Failure to amend a request shall terminate the grievance.
    5. Allegations not previously presented at Stage I and/or Stage II of the grievance process will not be heard during the Stage III hearing.  However, any such allegations will be referred to the appropriate resource for further investigation and the Stage III hearing will continue.
  4. A grievance Hearing Committee shall consist of a Hearing Officer and three impartial members who are employed by the University in units outside the department of the grievant. The Hearing Officer and members of the Committee shall investigate the grievance, accumulate and study the relevant facts, and conduct necessary hearings.
    1. The Hearing Officer shall be a nonvoting member of the committee; all other members shall be voting members.
    2. The President, appropriate Executive Vice President or the Provost upon receiving the Committee’s recommendation shall render a final decision within ten working days which shall be communicated in writing to the grievant and all administrative parties previously involved in Stage I and II decisions.
    3. The President, appropriate Executive Vice President or the Provost shall forward a copy of the Committee’s report of findings and recommendations, together with a copy of the final decision to the Vice President of Human Resources.

Grievance Form