Effective date: 06/03/2019
Related policy: Staff HR Grievances
Goal: To provide an objective process for reviewing Office of Equity grievances.
No employee will be disciplined, harassed, intimidated or retaliated against for discussing workplace issues, concerns and complaints or for utilizing the grievance policy/procedure. For staff employees, informal and formal complaints will be handled by the Office of Equity. For faculty, informal and formal complaints will be handled through the Faculty Grievance Procedure, as described in the Faculty Handbook. Any supervisor who is approached by an employee about filing a grievance will give the employee a copy of this procedure without commenting as to the appropriateness of the complaint.
If an employee elects to discuss verbally or provide written documentation regarding their workplace issues, concerns and/or complaints with a supervisor or Office of Equity prior to filing a grievance, the supervisor or Office of Equity should allow time for consultation with the employee about the issue, concern, or complaint. If an employee elects to proceed with a grievance, it will consist of an informal and formal resolution process for resolving grievances concerning the alleged violation and/or misapplication of a stated university policy.
Informal Resolution Process
The Office of Equity will make a good faith effort to seek informal resolution of a grievance brought to its attention. Representatives in the Office of Equity will review the grievance and determine whether or not the employee’s grievance falls under the university’s policies for which the Office of Equity has responsibility. If it is determined that the grievance is not within the university’s policies, the representative will provide the employee with assistance to identify the source of the situation, provide the employee with information about university policies affecting their employment, provide feedback about their particular situation, and suggest possible solutions.
Grievances should be submitted in a timely manner, utilizing the Office of Equity (formally OIDEO) Grievance Form.
If it is determined that the grievance falls under the university’s policies, a representative from the Office of Equity will review the grievance, conduct an initial investigation, help clarify issues, and offer advice and consultation to resolve the grievance. This may involve discussion(s) with the individuals involved and communication with the department or unit involved and with appropriate university officials when necessary. The representative(s) will make recommendations for resolution of the grievance. If the informal resolution process fails to satisfactorily resolve the grievance, the employee may utilize the formal resolution process as long as the grievance falls under the university’s policies. The staff member can also dismiss the grievance at any time by giving written notice to the Office of Equity.
Formal Resolution Process
Formal grievances may be initiated by an employee if the informal resolution process fails to satisfactorily resolve the grievance. Formal grievances should be filed within five (5) business days after the employee is notified of the determination by the a representative in the Office of Equity.
To initiate the formal resolution process, the employee must submit to office the following information in writing on the Grievance Form:
- A written statement, including the alleged violation and/or misapplication of a stated policy or procedure.
- A statement of the relevant facts supporting the staff member’s position, i.e., date(s), event(s), names(s) and title of person(s) involved, and include information about the impact the issue has had or is having on the staff member.
- A statement of the remedy sought by the staff member.
A representative in the Office of Equity will discuss the matter with the complainant, other persons involved, and witnesses if necessary, and will review any other relevant information or evidence in reaching a decision.
Following the investigation, one of the following determinations can be made:
- University policy has not been violated. In such a case, a representative from the Office of Equity may direct the complainant or parties as to other steps required to address the issue(s) or may refer the matter to other appropriate university offices.
- University policy has been violated. To issue this finding, the representative must find in light of all the information presented, that it is more likely than not that university policy has been violated. A representative from the Office of Equity may recommend appropriate corrective actions based on the violation found to have occurred. The corrective actions may include the corrective actions set out in the university’s Positive Corrective Action Policy or other appropriate actions.
At the conclusion of the investigation, a representative from the Office of Equity will make a determination and shall respond to the employee and the employee’s department in writing within a reasonable amount of time.
Please contact the office at 216.368.3066 with any questions or concerns.