Every attempt should be made to resolve grievances at the lowest level possible. A staff member who has a formal grievance should complete a grievance form within 15 workdays of the date of the grievance or knowledge of the occurrence on which the grievance is based. The grievance form should be submitted to the Office of Employee Relations and Engagement (Employee Relations) who will be responsible for notifying the department and providing a copy of the grievance to the appropriate administrator.
The employee should be as specific as possible in detailing why he/she believes the action taken was wrong, inappropriate, or in error. In the case of a grievance alleging work assignments or conditions of work in violation of a statute or University policy (other than those prohibiting discrimination or harassment), the employee must indicate the specific statute or University policy allegedly violated and explain how the cited statue or policy has been violated. The employee must also specify the remedy he/she is requesting for the alleged violations.
Employee Relations will facilitate the routing of the grievance through a maximum of four levels. At each level of review (called Steps), a representative from Employee Relations will receive the grievance response. It will be reviewed with the employee, who decides at each level to either accept the response or request that the grievance advance to the next level.
At each level of review, the responding official must, within 15 workdays from the receipt of the grievance, extend to the employee the opportunity for a face-to-face meeting to discuss the grievance. That official must also provide a written response to the grievance within 15 workdays after the face-to-face meeting.
If the employee does not respond or advance the grievance to the next level in the process within fifteen (15) workdays, the grievance procedure will be terminated and the grievance disposed of in accordance with the last written decision.
The aggrieved party and any material witnesses may elect to orally testify at each Step in the grievance process and he/she may elect to be accompanied by a representative of choice from the University. The names of those individuals participating at each Step should be provided to Employee Relations prior to the meeting. This information will assist the official in planning for the meeting and securing adequate office or conference room space.
The process may be elevated to the next Step within 15 workdays from the receipt of each written response. The Steps in the grievance process range from Department Chair or Manager to Vice President or Provost.
The final level in Steps is designated as a panel of representatives appointed by the President or designee, or hearing officer/panel in the case of a TUAPA hearing.