PURPOSE AND SCOPE
Employees should make every effort to resolve conflicts with other employees informally. When such efforts fail, employees are required to follow established College procedures for resolving conflicts before resorting to other means, such as the court system.
This Procedure provides a method for dealing with problems that an employee may have with the actions or inactions of other employees. This Procedure also applies to problems that an employee may have with an employment condition, such as health or safety issues. This procedure does not apply to instances where a more specific procedure is applicable, including student grievances (Procedure 2605), appeals of grades (Procedure 2666), employee discipline (Procedures 2755 and 2762), disputes over evaluations (Procedure 2970) and reductions in force (Procedure 2720). Nothing in this procedure is intended to limit the Administration’s ability to investigate possible problems without regard to whether a grievance has been submitted.
INITIATING A GRIEVANCE
An employee with a grievance shall first attempt to resolve the grievance informally (Procedure 2671). If that cannot be done, or if informal attempts to resolve the grievance would be futile, the employee shall submit a statement of grievance to the Director of Human Resources. The statement shall:
- State that the employee is invoking the grievance procedure.
- Provides the employee’s name, department and job position.
- Identify the nature of the grievance, including the names of any individuals whose actions or inaction are relevant to the grievance.
- State what action the employee wants to have taken to resolve the grievance.
- Identify the steps that have been taken to resolve the grievance informally and the outcome of such efforts. If the employee believes that informal attempts to resolve the grievance would be futile, the employee shall explain why.
Grievances should be submitted promptly. Undue delay in submitting a grievance may result in dismissal of the grievance.
INVESTIGATION OF THE GRIEVANCE
The Director of Human Resources shall determine how best to investigate the grievance. The Director of Human Resources may investigate the grievance personally. The Director of Human Resources may instead assign the investigation to an employee who has sufficient authority over the individuals or the condition involved to resolve the grievance if it is found to be meritorious, or take such other approach to investigating the grievance as may be appropriate.
If the Director of Human Resources determines that the employee has made insufficient efforts to resolve the grievance informally, the Director of Human Resources may decline to investigate the grievance until such efforts have been made.
If the employee with a grievance or an employee against whom a grievance is brought reports directly to the President, the Director of Human Resources shall refer the grievance to the President. The President shall determine how best to investigate the grievance. The President may investigate the grievance personally or delegate the investigation to a suitable individual.
If the grievance concerns conduct of the President, it shall be referred to the Governing Board. The Governing Board may itself investigate the grievance. It may instead delegate the investigation to a suitable individual.
Attempts to resolve the grievance informally should continue, unless such efforts would be futile, while the investigation is being conducted. If such efforts succeed, the grievance shall be withdrawn.
Whoever investigates the grievance shall render a written decision within thirty days after the statement of grievance has been filed. If unusual circumstances make compliance with that deadline impractical, a decision shall be rendered as soon as possible, but in no event more than sixty days after the statement of grievance has been filed.
The written decision shall state the reasons for the decision. It shall be shared with the employee who brought the grievance and with any employee whose conduct was the subject of the grievance.
APPEAL OF THE DECISION
An employee who is dissatisfied with the decision rendered in connection with a grievance may appeal. Those who may appeal include both the employee who brought the grievance and any employee who was the subject of the grievance. The appeal shall be in writing. It shall attach the decision that has been rendered on the grievance and explain why the appealing party is dissatisfied with the decision.
Appeals shall be taken as follows:
- If the decision has been rendered by the Director of Human Resources, or by someone to whom the investigation has been assigned by the Director of Human Resources, the appeal shall be directed to the President.
- If the decision has been rendered by someone to whom the investigation has been assigned by the President, the appeal shall be directed to the President.
- If the decision has been rendered personally by the President, the appeal shall be directed to the Governing Board.
If the reasons for the decision that is being appealed have not been clearly or sufficiently stated in the decision, the individual by whom the decision was made may be directed to state the reasons for the decision in more detail before the appeal is decided.
The President or the Governing Board shall render a written decision on the appeal as promptly as possible. That decision shall be final.
All information relating to a grievance shall be kept confidential to the extent allowed by law. Records pertaining to a grievance shall not be placed in any employee’s personnel file. If the investigation of or decision regarding a grievance indicates that employee discipline may be appropriate, the procedures for imposing such discipline shall be followed.
No reprisals shall be taken against any employee for bringing a grievance or for cooperating with the investigation of a grievance.