609 Grievance Procedures

609.1 General information

Open communication between employees and supervisors is encouraged. The grievance procedure is an internal mechanism designed to provide means for the prompt, and impartial consideration of concerns by Troy University staff who allege a misapplication of policy, procedure or practice. The Grievance procedure applies to regular full-time and regular part-time staff that have successfully completed their initial probationary period. These procedures do not apply to appeals regarding employment decisions, work assignments, promotions, pay raises, employee performance evaluations, disciplinary action or other non-arbitrary decisions made during legitimate management decisions, including elimination of an employee's position. Further these procedures do not apply to complaints regarding illegal harassment or discrimination or sanctions associated with violation of Troy University Harassment and Discrimination Policy. Concerns of this type follow that section of the Staff Handbook.

All grievances must follow the process and timeline outlined in the steps below. Failure to do so waives the grievant's right to file a grievance.

609.2 Grievance Procedure Steps

  1. Employees should notify supervisor within three working days of an incident and supervisors should make every reasonable effort to verbally resolve concerns at the management level. Human Resources is available to provide assistance as needed.
     
  2. If the grievance is not resolved verbally at the management level, the grievant may file a written grievance outlining the specific complaint/concerns with the supervisor within three (3) working days after oral discussions have been completed. The supervisor must respond in writing to the grievance within ten (10) working days after receipt of the written grievance. The supervisor's written decision will be sent to the grievant, and to the Senior Director of Human Resources.

  3. If the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved by the immediate supervisor, the employee may file a written complaint with the next level of management. This written appeal process must be repeated at progressive levels of management as outlined below until the grievance is resolved or until it reaches Human Resources where it will be resolved or dismissed as without merit. In cases where hand delivery of correspondence is not practical, certified mail should be used. Copies of all correspondence from the grievant and all levels of management should be sent to the Senior Human Resources Director.
Grievance Procedure Timeline

The following table outlines the order of and time lines for the steps of the grievance procedure. It is in everyone’s best interest to reach resolution in a timely manner; therefore, every effort will be made to stay within the timelines listed below. Given the need to gather facts, and at the Human Resources level to call a subcommittee of the Personnel Advisory Committee to review the claim, time frames may shift to accommodate schedules as needed; further, the fact that a specified action is delayed does not dictate a breach of process or policy on the University’s part.

Files Complaint With Grievance Claim - Time Frame Response Given - Time Frame
Immediate Supervisor

(verbally)
3 work days Until determination that resolution cannot be reached verbally
Immediate Supervisor

(in writing)
3 work days 10 work days
Next Level Management

(i.e. Dean or Director)
(in writing)
3 work days 10 work days
Next Level Management

(i.e. Vice Chancellor or Sr. Vice Chancellor)

(in writing)
3 work days 10 work days
Office of Human Resources

(in writing)
3 work days As outlined within policy

An employee may withdraw their grievance at any time. Once withdrawn, however, the request may not be reinstituted.

609.3 Final Grievance Step

If after the receipt of a decision from the final administrative level the grievance is not resolved through the progressive levels of management, the grievant must notify the Office of Human Resources in writing. Then the issue will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the Personnel Advisory Committee.  The Senior Director of Human Resources and a sub-committee of the Personnel Advisory Committee will determine if the employee’s complaint is a grievable incident and if a hearing is appropriate. If the decision is made to not hold a grievance hearing, that decision is final. Should a hearing be held, a committee of impartial employees with no direct relationship to the situation involved will be appointed by the Chair of the Personnel Advisory Committee hereafter referred to as the Grievance Committee, to resolve the issue.
  1. The Department of Human Resources will gather information relevant to the grievance to include all previous correspondence related to the grievance, rebuttal and/or supporting information from other employees. The Grievance Committee will review the facts in the case and convene for a hearing.  The employee(s), supervisor, and if necessary the person(s) against whom the grievance has been filed will be notified, in writing, at least three (3) working days prior to the hearing, of the location, date and time.  Human Resources representatives and the Grievance Committee may request the presence of the employee's supervisors or other University employees as needed to collect facts.  The Grievance Committee may ask the parties to produce evidence on specific issues, may question witnesses, and may call and question its own witnesses. Employees serving as witnesses that provide any deliberate falsehoods are subject to disciplinary action. The Grievance Committee may grant adjournments of reasonable length to enable either party to investigate evidence. Both of the parties, and the University, will cooperate with the Grievance Committee in obtaining witnesses and making available documents and other evidence needed by the parties or the Grievance Committee.

  2. The grievance hearing is an internal and informal procedure, but the grievant may bring a representative to the hearing for advisement purposes only. If this person is an attorney, he/she will act solely in an advisory capacity to the employee and will not be permitted to take a direct role in the proceedings. The University reserves the right to have its attorney(s) present. Also, if he/she wishes, the employee may present witnesses.  Failure of either party to appear shall not prejudice the case nor prevent the committee from hearing the case and rendering a decision. If the proceedings concern a group grievance, no more than three (3) members of the group may be present at the review.

  3. The hearing will be scheduled with reasonable time set aside for presentation of all materials.  A general outline of the order of procedure should be provided by the Chair of the Personnel Advisory Committee. A record (tape recorded or otherwise) of the hearing may be made by Human Resources representatives, if deemed necessary.

  4. The Grievance Committee will submit a written report and recommendations, which are advisory only, to the Senior Director of Human Resources within ten (10) business days of conclusion of the hearing process.  After review, recommendation from the Grievance Committee and the Senior Director of Human Resources will be forwarded to the Chancellor for final determination.

  5. The final determination will be submitted, in writing, to all parties involved by the Office of the Chancellor.

NOTE: When warranted by unusual circumstances (illness, extended absence, etc.) the Chair of the Personnel Advisory Council may extend or modify time limits in this procedure and the committee may waive the limits set by the procedure as it pertains to the number of witnesses in unusual circumstances.