Exempt Staff Grievance Procedure
|Human Resources Policies|
|Policy Name:||Exempt Staff Grievance Procedure|
|Policy Owner:||Executive Vice President|
|Responsible University Office:||Office of Human Resources|
|Revisions:||March 2016; June 2016; February 11, 2019|
|Legacy Policy Number:||4-85 and 4-86|
- SCOPE OF POLICYThis policy outlines the grievance procedure available to exempt staff who have completed their evaluation period. This policy does not apply to grievances regarding Unlawful Harassment or Sexual Misconduct. All complaints of unlawful harassment or sexual misconduct should be reported to the University Title IX Coordinator for investigation.
- ACES: Advisory Council for Exempt Staff
- Exempt staff: An employee who is exempt from overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Grievance: Any difference arising between an exempt staff member and the university as to the interpretation or application of university policies, rules, or procedures. Disciplinary action, excluding discharge, is grievable.
- Grievance Procedure: Exempt staff members may contact The Office of Human Resources, Employee and Labor Relations for assistance and clarification of problems regarding university policies and procedures, as well as individual rights, choices, and obligations. The concerned exempt staff member will be informed about the various formal and informal means of resolving the matter.
- Grievance Hearing Board: The ACES nominates and elects ten exempt staff members available to serve on Step IV Hearing Boards. Five exempt staff members are elected each year to serve four-year terms. Elections will be held at the beginning of each academic year to maintain the ten-person group. A convener will be elected from among this group.
- Grievant: The exempt staff member who has initiated the grievance under this policy.
- Step IV Hearing Board: A five-member panel composed from the appropriate Grievance Hearing Board of the Grievant. Members of this panel may not be employed in the same vice presidential unit as the grievant. Once composed, this panel elects a Step IV Hearing Board Convener.
- Workdays: As used in this policy, the term workdays mean weekdays (Monday-Friday) when the university is open.
- POLICY STATEMENTEmployees shall exercise their rights to the grievance procedure without prejudice to their position in the university. All those involved in the grievance shall abide by the final decision in the grievance process without prejudice. In deciding how to proceed with a perceived grievance, the employee may contact the Office of Human Resources, Employee, and Labor Relations.
- POLICY STANDARDS AND PROCEDURESTime limits based on regularly scheduled university working days have been established at each step of the grievance procedure and may be waived only by mutual agreement of the affected parties, not to be unreasonably withheld. The Step IV Hearing Board Convener will have final approval. Step II and/or Step III may be waived by mutual agreement of both parties. There may be occasions when the grievance involves action(s) by someone other than the immediate supervisor in the Grievant’s own unit. In such cases, the Grievant is advised to inform his/her immediate supervisor of the situation in addition to pursuing the matter with the person concerned.
Pre-Grievance RecommendationsEvery effort should be made by all parties to resolve problems informally and directly. If the problem is not resolved informally to the satisfaction of the Grievant, the university provides a grievance procedure, which permits an impartial review through the following steps.
Grievant’s ResponsibilitiesWithin twenty workdays after the Grievant is aware of the circumstances giving rise to the grievance, the Grievant may discuss the problem with the supervisor concerned in an attempt to resolve the matter in open and frank discussion.
Supervisor’s ResponsibilitiesSupervisor and/or the Grievant attempts to resolve the grievance in accordance with university policies by frank discussion of all issues.
Grievant’s ResponsibilitiesWithin five workdays of verbal discussion, if the problem is not resolved to the satisfaction of the Grievant, the Grievant may submit to the supervisor a written statement of the grievance, which includes the policy (ies), and/or procedure(s) being grieved and the remedy or relief being sought. The Grievant shall have access to pertinent information contained in the Grievant’s university personnel file and/or the Grievant’s departmental personnel file.
Supervisor’s ResponsibilitiesWithin five workdays of receiving the written grievance, the supervisor responds in writing to the Grievant with a copy to the Office of Human Resources/Employee and Labor Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grievant’s ResponsibilitiesWithin ten workdays of receiving the written response, if the matter is not resolved, the Grievant may submit the written grievance to the department head. The written grievance should inform the department head of the witnesses the Grievant thinks have relevant information and state whether the Grievant believes the matter should be heard with or without the supervisor present. The Grievant may select another employee to act as their adviser during the case and subsequent steps. The advisor’s role is limited to being the advice-giver to only the Grievant. Within a reasonable period of time following the written grievance, the department head meets with the Grievant and the supervisor and speaks with witnesses the department head believes are appropriate.
Department Head’s ResponsibilitiesWithin five days of the above meeting, the department head provides a written decision to the Grievant, with a copy to the Office of Human Resources/Employee and Labor Relations. Included in the decision is a list of witnesses who participated, if any, from both sides.
Grievant’s ResponsibilitiesWithin five workdays of receipt of the decision, if the matter is not resolved, the Grievant may make a written request for a hearing before a Step IV Hearing Board to the Vice President of Human Resources.
Vice President of Human Resources ResponsibilitiesWithin five workdays after receipt, the Vice President of Human Resources asks the Convener to constitute a Step IV Hearing Board. Note: If the Grievant is a member of the staff of the Vice President of Human Resources, the Step IV appeal shall be submitted to the University Secretary, who will receive the recommendation of the hearing board and make the decision.
Step IV Hearing BoardThe convener will assemble the full hearing board. Five members from the group will volunteer, based on availability of time and impartiality to the case at hand, to constitute a Step IV Hearing Board. The Step IV Hearing Board will be formed within five workdays after the request of the Vice President for Human Resources. When progressing beyond Step III, a list of potential witnesses will be given to the Convener of the Grievance Hearing Board or the designated Step IV Hearing Board Chair as soon as possible. All supporting documents will be numbered and submitted directly to the Step IV Hearing Board Chair. The Step IV Hearing Board will have the authority and responsibility for convening the hearing, after confirming previous steps and decisions have been completed. During the hearing, the following persons may be present for the entire hearing:
- Step IV Hearing Board members;
- The Grievant and his/her advisor (a University employee), if there is one;
- The administrator being grieved against or who is defending the policy;
- An observer from the Office of Human Resources/Employee and Labor Relations;
- Other persons as requested by the Hearing Board.
Administrators other than the one directly being grieved against will appear only as necessary to answer questions or provide information. Witnesses or persons providing information will be present only when providing information or answering questions from the Step IV Hearing Board or either party, as permitted in the discretion of the Step IV Hearing Board and by other university policies, as applicable. Within ten workdays of convening the Step IV Hearing Board, the Step IV Hearing Board will conduct the hearing(s). Witnesses may be called by the Step IV Hearing Board for full disclosure of facts. Step IV Hearing Board hearing(s) will be recorded on tape. The grievant and relevant UD Administrators shall have access to these tape recordings and will work within appropriate university procedures. Within five workdays of completion of the hearing(s), the Board makes a recommendation to the Vice President of Human Resources. If there are majority and dissenting views, they will be provided to the Vice President of Human Resources and will be available to the Grievant and the administrator being grieved against.
Within five workdays of receipt of the recommendation, the Vice President of Human Resources renders a decision and forwards it in writing to the Grievant and the administrator being grieved against, with a copy to the Office of Human Resources/Employee and Labor Relations. The decision made by the Vice President of Human Resources is binding on all parties.