Search form

HR Policies

Policy # 7.0 Archived Version:
Grievances

Revision date of this archived policy:
July 11, 2002

Note: This is not a current version of the policy. View current version. »

7.1 Policy
The procedure outlined herein is designed to provide a method of dealing with the grievances of regular half-time and full-time staff employees in a prompt and equitable manner without placing an unreasonable burden on the University.
  7.1.1 The proceedings are informal in nature. Procedural due process in this context does not require the features of the formal judicial proceedings employed by the courts of law, such as public hearing, representation by counsel, cross-examination of witnesses, warning as to self-incrimination, and adherence to rules of evidence. Instead, emphasis is placed on a method of getting at the facts, assuring that those facts are reported accurately to the proper authority, and providing a decision based on the facts which is fair to all concerned.
  7.1.2 The provisions of this policy are not available to temporary staff or regular part-time staff employees. Stage IV of these grievance procedures is not available to a regular staff employee who has not completed new employee orientation (see HRP&P 8.0), unless the employee alleges termination in violation of state or federal law. In accordance with HRP&P 1.1, this policy is not applicable to faculty.
  7.1.3 All staff employees shall cooperate at all stages in the investigation of a grievance. This cooperation shall include, but not be limited to, appearing to answer questions and presenting truthful testimony.
    7.1.3.1 Failure to appear to testify may result in disciplinary action under HRP&P 12.1.3.a.
    7.1.3.2 Failure to present truthful testimony may result in disciplinary action under HRP&P 12.1.3.c.
  7.1.4 The grievant shall state the grievance within sixty (60) calendar days of the act(s) giving rise to the grievance.
    7.1.4.1 In the event the grievant states the grievance after the sixty (60) calendar day time limit has expired, the immediate supervisor, dean, director, or community college president shall notify the Director of Human Resource Services, or designee, who shall determine whether extenuating circumstances warrant receiving the grievance beyond the normal time limit. The Director of Human Resource Services, or designee, shall notify the Stage I and Stage II decision-makers and the grievant of the decision which shall be final.
  7.1.5 Definition of grievable issues
    7.1.5.1 These grievance procedures may be used for the following:
      7.1.5.1.1 To address a complaint that a decision adversely affecting an employee's status of employment or conditions of employment which was reached unfairly or improperly, including an allegation as follows:
        7.1.5.1.1.1 The decision violates University policies or procedures;
        7.1.5.1.1.2 University policies or procedures have been applied inconsistently; or
        7.1.5.1.1.3 The action taken against an employee violates state or federal discrimination statutes or University non-discrimination regulations, or that the decision violates an employee's constitutional rights.
      7.1.5.1.2 To address work-related problems or issues, not excluded under 7.1.5.2.
    7.1.5.2 These grievance procedures may NOT be used for the following:
      7.1.5.2.1 To address an employee's or other's dissatisfaction with a University, college, or departmental policy of general application, challenged on the grounds that the policy is unfair, inadvisable, or inappropriate; or
      7.1.5.2.2 To appeal performance evaluations, merit increases, reclassifications, reductions-in-forces, and other matters, which the University determines to be purely administrative discretion, unless the grievance is covered in
      7.1.5.2.3 To address matters which are as follows:
        7.1.5.2.3.1 Arise from action of individuals outside of the University;
        7.1.5.2.3.2 Arise from a situation over which the President lacks authority to remedy;
        7.1.5.2.3.3 Arise out of dissatisfaction with the grievance policy or procedure or the actions of individuals participating in the grievance process; or
        7.1.5.2.3.4 Are subject to a complaint procedure through an employee benefits plan.
7.2 Procedure
  7.2.1 Stage I
    7.2.1.1 The first part of the grievance process, Stage I, is recommended, but not mandatory. The grievant shall state the nature of the grievance to the immediate supervisor. In appropriate cases, the dean, director, or community college president may require the grievant to begin at Stage I.
      7.2.1.1.1 A supervisor shall respond to the grievant within five (5) working days of receipt of a Stage I grievance (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded).
    7.2.1.2 At Stage I, the immediate supervisor may request that the grievance be stated in writing, and the grievant shall be obligated to comply with the request. If the supervisor asks the grievant to state the grievance in writing, the supervisor shall respond to the grievant in writing.
    7.2.1.3 The complaint and any resolution shall be reported by the immediate supervisor to the Employee Relations Office of Human Resource Services.
  7.2.2 Stage II
    7.2.2.1 If the initial decision maker is also the appropriate Stage II decision-maker or if the grievant is not statisifed with the response received at Stage I, or if the response is not received within the time stated in Stage I, the grievant may proceed with Stage II. Stage II grievances are addressed to the appropriate dean, director, or community college president.
    7.2.2.2 An appeal of a Stage I decision shall be made within five (5) working days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded) after receiving the Stage I response. If a response from a Stage I decision-maker is not received within five (5) working days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded), the appeal shall be made within five (5) working days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded) after expiration of the Stage I decision-maker's time allowance as stated in Stage I.
    7.2.2.3 The Stage II grievance shall be stated in writing to the dean, director, or community college president. The dean, director, or community college president may request further clarification required to define the grievance. The grievant may be permitted up to three (3) working days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded) to clarify the grievance.
  NOTE: A grievant who needs assistance in framing the grievance in writing may request assistance from the Office of Employee Relations or with other Human Resource Services officials.
    7.2.2.4 The decision of the dean, director, or community college president shall be given, in writing, to the grievant within ten (10) working days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded) after receipt of the appeal or receipt of the grievance.
    7.2.2.5 Copies of the appeal and decision shall be forwarded to the Director of Human Resource Services, or designee. If the grievance issue involves a charge of discrimination or equal opportunity matters, a copy shall be forwarded by the decision-maker to the Office of Equal Opportunity.
  7.2.3 Stage III
    7.2.3.1 If the grievant is not satisfied with the decision of the dean, director, or community college president, or if the decision is not received within the time allowance outlined in Stage II, grievant may appeal in writing, to the Director of Human Resource Services.
    7.2.3.2 The appeal shall be made within five (5) working days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded) after receiving the decision or, if no decision is received, within five (5) working days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded) after expiration of the time allowance of the dean, director, or community college president as stated in Stage II.
    7.2.3.3 Stage III is generally limited to issues that have been identified at Stages I and II. If new issues are raised at Stage III, the Director of Human Resource Services, or designee, shall after consultation with the Stage I and II decision makers, determine whether the issues are, in fact, new and whether to permit these issues to be addressed.
    7.2.3.4 The Director of Human Resource Services, or designee, shall investigate the appeal and shall forward a recommendation for disposition to the Provost, appropriate vice president, or other administrative officer of operational jurisdiction within ten (10) working days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded) after receipt of the appeal. The ten (10) day period may be extended for cause by the Director of Human Resource Services.
    7.2.3.5 The Provost, appropriate vice president, or other administrative officer shall render a decision, in writing, to the grievant within five (5) working days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded) after receipt of the recommendation of the Director of Human Resource Services.
    7.2.3.6 A copy of the decision of the Provost, appropriate vice president, or other administrative officer shall be forwarded to the Director of Human Resource Services, dean, director, or community college president. If the grievance involves a charge of discrimination, a copy shall also be forwarded by the decision-maker to the Office of Equal Opportunity.
  7.2.4 Stage IV
    7.2.4.1 If the grievant is not satisfied with the Stage III decision, and IF THE GRIEVANCE IS ONE OF THE FOLLOWING, the grievant may, within five (5) working days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded) of receipt of the Stage III decision, request a formal hearing before a Grievance Hearing Committee in accordance with the procedures outlined in this policy:
      7.2.4.1.1 A charge of employment termination in violation of University human resources policies;
      7.2.4.1.2 A charge of discriminatory act in violation of stated University fair employment rules and regulations; or
      7.2.4.1.3 A charge of violation of basic University Human Resources Policies.
    7.2.4.2 Only regular full-time and half-time staff employees who have completed new employee orientation are eligible for the provisions of Stage IV of the policy.
    7.2.4.3 A Grievance Hearing Committee shall consist of a Hearing Officer and three (3) impartial members who are employed by the University in units outside the department of the grievant. The Hearing Officer and members of the Committee shall investigate the grievance, accumulate and study the facts in the case, and conduct necessary hearings.
      7.2.4.3.1 The Hearing Officer, appointed by the President, shall be a nonvoting member of the Committee; all other members shall be voting members.
      7.2.4.3.2 The Senior Vice President for Administration, the Chancellor and Senior Vice President for the Medical Center, or the Provost upon reviewing the Committee's recommendation, as communicated by the Hearing Officer, shall render a final decision which shall be communicated, in writing, to the grievant, the immediate supervisor, the dean, director, or community college president, the Provost, the Director of Human Resource Services, and the appropriate vice president, or administrative officer of operational jurisdiction.
      7.2.4.3.3 The Senior Vice President for Administration, the Chancellor and Senior Vice President for the Medical Center, or the Provost shall forward a copy of the Committee's report of findings and recommendations, together with a copy of the final decision, to the Director of Human Resource Services.
7.3 Procedure for Conduct of Hearings
  7.3.1 The request for a hearing shall be in writing, stating specifically the nature of the grievance, (not merely a restatement of 7.2.4.1.1, 7.2.4.1.2, or 7.2.4.1.3) and shall be directed from the grievant to the Senior Vice President for Administration, the Chancellor and the Senior Vice President for the Medical Center or the Provost.
  7.3.2 The Senior Vice President for Administration, the Chancellor and the Senior Vice President for the Medical Center or the Provost shall forward the request for a hearing to the Hearing Officer who shall review the request to determine whether the grievance is of the type specified in 7.2.4.1.1, 7.2.4.1.2, or 7.2.4.1.3 and whether the request states specifically the nature of the grievance. If the request is not proper, the Hearing Officer shall return the request to the grievant who may, during the next three (3) working days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded) submit an amended request for a formal hearing. The amended request shall be reviewed in the same manner. Failure to amend a request shall terminate the grievance.
  7.3.3 Following a determination by the Hearing Officer that the grievant has submitted a proper request for a formal hearing, the Senior Vice President for Administration, the Chancellor and Senior Vice President for the Medical Center or the Provost shall appoint the Committee, and notify the Hearing Officer of the appointments.
  7.3.4 The Committee shall fulfill its charge within a period of thirty (30) working days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded) after notification of the Committee appointment, unless extended for cause by the Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer shall serve as the Chair of the Committee, make rulings on questions of law or procedure, and be present at all meetings of the Committee. The Hearing Officer shall reduce to writing and forward the Committee's findings and recommendations for disposition to the Senior Vice President for Administration, the Chancellor and Senior Vice President for the Medical Center or the Provost.
  7.3.5 At any scheduled hearing, the grievant may be represented by a spokesperson. In advance of the hearing, the grievant or spokesperson shall submit to the Hearing Officer the names of any individuals to be called on behalf of said grievant. The Hearing Officer, in advance of the hearing, shall furnish to the grievant or spokesperson the names of any individuals the Committee intends to call for testimony at the hearing.
7.4 Other Information
  7.4.1 The Director of Human Resource Services, or designated representatives, shall be available to render such assistance as may be necessary or requested by all parties involved in the grievance process to aid in the prompt settlement of the grievance.
  7.4.2 All formal hearings held by a Grievance Hearing Committee shall be recorded to ensure that the facts presented are accurately recallable during the Committee's deliberation.
  7.4.3 Any decision which is not appealed by the grievant within the time allowance given at each stage of the procedure, shall terminate the grievance. In the interest of fairness, extenuating circumstances may permit a grievance to proceed, even if time limits are not met. At Stages I, II, and III the Director of Human Resource Services shall decide whether such circumstances exist. At Stage IV, this decision shall rest with the Hearing Officer.
  7.4.4 In the case of a grievance necessitating out-of-Lexington travel, e.g., a grievance by a community college or Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service employee, an extension of time may be granted by the Hearing Officer. At the discretion of the Hearing Officer, with appropriate notice to the grievant, testimony may be taken by use of electronic means.
  7.4.5 When a grievance is filed by an employee of the vice presidential areas, appropriate administrative officers shall be substituted at Stages I, II, and III. Requests for a Stage IV hearing by employees of the vice presidential areas shall be directed to the Vice President for Administration. The Vice President for Administration shall appoint a Hearing Committee, receive the report and recommendation from the Hearing Officer, and render a final decision.
  7.4.6 A file containing all information concerning an employee's grievance shall be maintained by the Director of Human Resource Services, or designee.
  7.4.7 If the alleged grievance was committed by the administrative officer who makes the decision at Stage I, Stage II, or Stage III, the stages below the decision-maker may be disregarded by either the grievant or the University official, as advised by the Director of Human Resource Services.
  7.4.8 The titles of the decision-maker such as dean, director, or community college president, are examples of titles within the University. The decision-maker at Stage IV is always the Senior Vice President for Administration, the Chancellor and Senior Vice President for the Medical Center or the Provost. The decision-maker at Stage III is generally one who reports directly to the Senior Vice President for Administration, the Chancellor and Senior Vice President for the Medical Center or the Provost. The Director of Human Resource Services, or designee, shall be available to assist in determining to whom a grievance should be addressed.

Archived Versions of this Policy

Previous version: revised 08-20-2008
Previous version: revised 03-20-2008
Previous version: revised 11-08-2006
Previous version: revised 08-18-2006
Previous version: revised 05-04-2006
Previous version: revised 04-01-2006
Previous version: revised 09-20-2005
Previous version: revised 07-11-2002