PPM Section 10 - Dispute Resolution: Complaints and Grievances
Prohibited discrimination, sexual harassment and sexism complaints
Institutional Equity administers policies regarding prohibited discrimination, sexual harassment and sexism. All
complaints regarding these issues are to be directed to the Office of Institutional Equity.
Office of the Ombudsman
Please see University Ombudsman in the employee handbook.
University policy on grievances
University policy assures employees of their right to file a grievance, via a formally established
procedure. The University acknowledges the right of grievance and honors it without any reprisal
or censure directed at the employee.
The University recognizes that in any work situation some disagreements will occur and has established
a grievance procedure to assist with resolution. General employment practice, policy, and procedure
grievances should be directed to and are administered by Human Resources. This grievance procedure
applies to all University non-bargaining unit employees and student employees.
- Bargaining unit employees should follow the grievance procedures provided in their
bargaining unit agreement.
- Non-bargaining unit employees. The following grievance procedure is available to
all non-bargaining unit employees, including student employees. Emphasis is placed on settling
grievances at the lowest administrative level possible.
- A complaint should occur before the formal grievance is filed. A complaint is
any oral, unwritten accusation, allegation, or charge against the University regarding
the employee's employment conditions. It should be a timely expression of a problem. Complaints
must be expressed and discussed with the employee's immediate supervisor before any grievance
is filed. If the complaint cannot be resolved, a grievance may be filed.
- A grievance is defined as a formal written allegation by an employee that there
has been a violation, misinterpretation, misapplication, discriminatory application, or
unreasonable application of an official University policy, procedure, rule, or regulation
regarding the employee's employment conditions.
- Step one - departmental level. A formal grievance must be filed on an
official University grievance form and signed by the employee involved. The grievance
Time limit. The completed formal grievance must be filed with Human Resources
no later than thirty (30) calendar days after the event(s) being grieved occurred.
Time limits may be extended by Human Resources upon written request.
- Be timely.
- State all the facts in the case.
- State when the incident(s) being grieved occurred.
- Specify the policy, procedure, rule, or regulation involved.
Representation. Once a formal grievance has been filed, the employee, if he/she
wishes, may have another employee present as a representative at any meeting where
the grievance is discussed with the grievant, provided notice is given to the management
representative at least twenty-four (24) hours before the meeting. If the employee
wishes to have a representative who is not a University employee, he/she must notify
Human Resources in writing at the time the grievance or appeal is filed. The University
may choose to have representation at any grievance meeting in addition to the representatives
designated in this grievance procedure, and shall advise the grievant in advance of
any grievance meeting if additional University representatives will be in attendance.
Response. After receiving the grievance, Human Resources will forward the grievance
to the step 1-departmental representative, who will be the unit head or other person
designated by the appropriate vice president to respond to the grievance. The step
1-departmental representative must provide a written answer within seven (7) calendar
days after receiving the formal grievance.
- Step two - appeal to the vice presidential level. If the grievance is not resolved
at step 1, the employee may appeal to the appropriate vice president within seven (7) calendar
days after receiving the step 1-departmental representative's written answer. The employee
must file the appeal to Human Resources using an official University appeal form. Human Resources
will, in turn, notify the step 1-departmental representative and the vice president of the
The vice president or his/her designee will then arrange a meeting with the grievant,
his/her representative (if requested), a mid-level management representative, and
any other individuals who may help resolve the grievance. This meeting must be held
within fourteen (14) calendar days after the administrator hearing the appeal receives
the appeal from Human Resources. Within seven (7) calendar days after this meeting,
the administrator hearing the appeal will communicate an answer in writing to the
- Step three - appeal to the presidential level. If the grievance has not been resolved at step 2, it may be appealed to the University
president. Human Resources must receive the appeal within seven (7) calendar days
after the grievant receives the written Step 2 answer. The president, at his/her discretion,
will handle the grievance personally or will designate a representative to conduct
a hearing or investigation of the grievance, report findings, and recommend a decision.
The President will make the final grievance decision and communicate it to the appropriate