1:017 Grievance and Complaint Procedures for Employees
|Austin Peay State
|Grievance and Complaint Procedures for Employees|
It is the policy of Austin Peay State University to provide an effective procedure for resolution of problems arising from the employment relationship or environment. To this end, a formal grievance and complaint procedure has been established for the use and benefit of all employees. When an employee believes a condition of employment affecting him/her is unjust, inequitable or a hindrance to effective performance of his/her employment responsibilities, the employee may seek resolution through this procedure without fear of coercion, discrimination or reprisal. It is the intent of the university to resolve a grievance/complaint at the lowest possible step in the grievance/complaint procedure. Formal procedures outlined in this policy will be used only when informal efforts to settle alleged wrongs have failed.
The purpose of this procedure is to provide a clear, orderly and expedient procedure through which all employees of the university may process bona fide complaints or grievances.
- Responsibility for Implementation
- Grievance/Complaint Process
- Grievance Committee
- General Rules of Implementation
- Steps for Filing a Grievance
- Steps for Filing a Complaint
- Maintenance of Records
- APSU Employee Grievance/Complaint Form
|There are two issues addressed in this policy. They are 1) Grievances which are subject
to committee review, and 2) complaints which must be resolved without committee review.
|All references to the term “employee(s)” contained in this policy include only those
individuals defined in this paragraph. Employees shall include administrators, faculty
(including full-time faculty on term or temporary contracts), professionals, clerical
and support personnel. Probationary employees are also included in this definition.
Student workers, graduate assistants, adjunct faculty, and temporary workers are not
included in the definition of employees.
Responsibility for Implementation
|The population from which the Grievance Committee shall be drawn consists of all full-time
employees other than the President, those reporting directly to the President, and
Deans. From the group of eligible employees, the President will appoint a standing committee
consisting of at least sixteen employees, half of whom must be faculty members. The
term of each member of the committee will be three years. At the end of the three-year
term, the President will review the committee membership and make new appointments
or reappointments as necessary. Should it be determined that a member is biased or
prejudiced in his/her actions, the President may replace that individual at any time
during his/her term on the committee. The appointments will allow for peer representation
to include administrators, professionals, clerical and support employees, and both
tenured and non-tenured faculty. Women and minorities will be included in the standing
committee. In the event a grievance is submitted to the President, three members
of the committee and an alternate will be appointed as a Grievance Panel to hear the
grievance. The alternate will be used only if one of the appointed members cannot
be present for the hearing. The President will appoint the panel chairperson. Members
of the grievant's department and persons involved in the grievance may not be appointed
to the Grievance Panel.
General Rules of Implementation
|Steps for Filing
Step 1: Discussion with Immediate Supervisor
A grievance must be brought to the attention of the employee's immediate supervisor within thirty (30) working days after the employee becomes aware of the problem. If the action or incident on which the grievance is based was initiated at a higher level than the immediate supervisor, the employee may choose to present the grievance at step one to the higher level supervisor rather than the immediate supervisor. The employee should state the basis for the grievance and the corrective action desired in temperate and reasonable terms. Within fifteen (15) days after the grievance is filed, the employee and the supervisor will have a face-to-face meeting to discuss the grievance in an attempt to resolve the matter in a mutually satisfactory manner. The supervisor will conduct any necessary or appropriate investigation, talk with any material witnesses, and inform the employee of a decision based upon full and fair consideration of all the facts within fifteen (15) working days of the initial discussion. The supervisor will assure that the decision is clearly communicated in writing to the employee. If the employee is satisfied with the decision, no additional action is required. If the employee is not satisfied, the employee may proceed to Step 2. (If no decision is communicated to the employee within fifteen (15) working days of the initial discussion, the employee may proceed directly to Step 2.)
Step 2: Discussion with Higher-Level Supervisor
If the employee does not receive a satisfactory resolution to the grievance at step one, the employee may proceed to discuss the matter with the next-higher-level supervisor within fifteen (15) working days of the date of the decision of the step one supervisor. Failure to comply with Step 2 in a timely manner will be deemed a waiver by the employee and the grievance may not be raised again. The next-higher-level supervisor and the employee will then follow the same procedure as required in Step 1.
If the employee is satisfied with the decision reached by the next-higher-level supervisor, no additional action is required. If the employee is not satisfied, the employee may proceed to Step 2a or 3. (If no decision is communicated to the employee within fifteen (15) working days of the initial discussion between the employee and the next-higher-level supervisor, the employee may proceed directly to Step 2a or 3. In this case, the employee must present the grievance to the Human Resources Department within twenty (20) working days after submission to the next-higher-level supervisor in Step 2.)
Step 2a: Discussion with Division Head (president, vice presidents, director of athletics)
If the supervisor in Step 2 is below the level of division head, the employee will present the matter to the division head; otherwise, the employee may proceed to Step 3. The same procedures and deadlines established in Steps 1 and 2 above will be followed at this level. In the event the situation is not resolved by the division head, the employee may proceed directly to Step 3.
Step 3: Written Grievance Statement to be reviewed by the Grievance Panel
If the employee and the division head are not able to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution to the grievance, the employee may file a written grievance with the Human Resources Department on the designated form. The grievance must be filed within fifteen (15) working days of the date of the decisions of the higher-level supervisor. Failure to comply with Step 3 in a timely manner will be deemed a waiver by the grievant and the grievance may not be raised again. (The Human Resources Department may request the employee to restate the grievance for additional clarity if necessary, but such request will not prejudice the employee in regard to the applicable time limit.)
A copy of the grievance, along with any supporting documentation, will be given to the appropriate supervisors. The Human Resources Department may request the supervisors to respond in writing to the grievance statement. The Human Resources Department will then forward the grievance, the supporting documentation and the responses of the supervisors to the President.
Upon receipt of the written grievance, the President shall appoint a panel consisting of three members and an alternate from the Standing Grievance Committee to hear the grievance. Within ten (10) working days after appointment, the Grievance Panel will conduct an impartial hearing on the grievance, at which it will accept and review all pertinent information presented by the employee and the Human Resources Department as well as any other information it deems appropriate. The hearing will include a face to face meeting with the employee. The Grievance Panel will make a thorough and independent study. The Grievance Panel may call before it any personnel whom it feels may have information pertinent to the grievance. Within three (3) working days of the end of the hearing, the chairperson of the panel will prepare a written report of the panel's recommendation to the President. The recommendation will be based on full and fair consideration of all the facts and circumstances. The report will also contain a summary of the panel's investigation and findings.
Upon receipt of the recommendation, the President may accept the recommendation of
the panel or select an appropriate alternate resolution. The President's decision
along with a copy of the panel report will be directed to the employee, and copies
will be provided to the chairperson of the panel, the Human Resources Department,
and all other parties involved.
|Steps for Filing
Steps 1, 2, and 2a of the complaint procedure are identical to the grievance procedure.
Step 3: Written Complaint Statement to be reviewed by the President
If the employee and the higher-level supervisors/division head are not able to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution to the complaint, the employee may file a written complaint with the Human Resources Department on the designated form. The complaint must be filed within fifteen (15) working days of the date of the decision of the division head. Failure to comply with Step 3 in a timely manner will be deemed a waiver by the employee and the complaint may not be raised again (the human resources department may request the employee to restate the complaint for additional clarity if necessary, but such request will not prejudice the employee in regard to the applicable time limit).
A copy of the complaint, along with any supporting documentation, will be given to the immediate supervisor and the higher supervisors. The Human Resources Department may request the supervisors to respond in writing to the complaint. The Human Resources Department will then forward the complaint, the supporting documentation and the responses of the supervisors to the President.
Upon receipt of the complaint, the President will review the documentation and make
an appropriate decision. The President's decision will be documented in a memorandum
and given to the employee. Copies will be provided to all other parties involved.
Copies of written grievances/complaints and accompanying responses and documentation shall be maintained in the Office of the Human Resources Department. Copies of grievances/complaints and accompanying responses shall be maintained for at least three years.
|APSU Employee Grievances/Complaint
APSU Policy 1:017 (previously 5:027) – Rev.: March 30, 2017
APSU Policy 1:017 – Rev.: May 2, 2006
APSU Policy 1:017 – Issued: February 4, 2003
President: signature on file