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HR Policies

Policy # 7.0 Archived Version:
Grievances

Revision date of this archived policy:
September 20, 2005

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. Accordingly, it is not appropriate for the grievant to include any outside spokesperson, including legal representation, in this process. Should the grievant choose to take legal action, the internal grievance process will cease. Instead, emphasis is placed on a method of getting at the facts, assuring 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. Only regular staff employees with an FTE of 0.5 or greater who have successfully completed the new employee orientation period are eligible for the provisions of this policy (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 corrective action under HRP&P 12.1.3.a.
    7.1.3.2 Failure to present truthful testimony may result in corrective action under HRP&P 12.1.3.c.
  7.1.4 The grievant shall state the grievance within thirty (30) 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 thirty (30) calendar day time limit has expired, the dean or director shall notify the Human Resources Office of Employee Relations who shall determine whether extenuating circumstances warrant receiving the grievance beyond the normal time limit. The Human Resources Office of Employee Relations shall notify the Stage I decision-maker 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 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 the decision violates an employee's constitutional rights.
      7.1.5.1.2 To address appropriate work-related problems or issues.
    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 7.1.5.1.1.3.
      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 grievant shall state the nature of the Stage I grievance in writing to the appropriate department official (e.g. assistant dean, department chair, department director). The department official 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: For assistance in determining the appropriate department official, please contact the Human Resources Office of Employee Relations. A grievant who needs assistance in framing the grievance in writing may request assistance from the Office of Employee Relations or with other Human Resources officials. The grievant may also submit the grievance on the Grievance form found at http://www.uky.edu/HR/emprel/grievance_form.pdf.
    7.2.1.2 The decision of the department official 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.
    7.2.1.3 Copies of the appeal and decision shall be forwarded to the Human Resources Office of Employee Relations. 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.
  7.2.2 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 satisfied with the decision at Stage I or if the decision is not received within the time allowance outlined in Stage I, the grievant may appeal in writing, to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources.
    7.2.2.2 The appeal shall be made within ten (10) working days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded) after receiving the decision or, if no decision is received, within ten (10) working days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded) after expiration of the time allowance of the department official as stated in Stage I.
    7.2.2.3 Stage II is generally limited to issues that have been identified at Stage I. If new issues are raised at Stage II, the Human Resources Office of Employee Relations shall after consultation with the Stage I decision maker, determine whether the issues are, in fact, new and whether to permit these issues to be addressed.
    7.2.2.4 The Human Resources Office of Employee Relations shall investigate the appeal and shall forward a recommendation for disposition to the dean, appropriate vice president, or other administrative officer of operational jurisdiction within fifteen (15) working days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded) after receipt of the appeal. The fifteen (15) day period may be extended for cause by the Human Resources Office of Employee Relations.
    7.2.2.5 The dean, 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 Associate Vice President of Human Resources.
    7.2.2.6 A copy of the decision of the dean, appropriate vice president, or other administrative officer shall be forwarded to the Human Resources Office of Employee Relations and the department chair or director. If the grievance involves a charge of discrimination, a copy shall also be forwarded by the decision-maker to the Office of Equal Opportunity.
  7.2.3 Stage III
    7.2.3.1 If the grievant is not satisfied with the Stage II decision, the grievant may, within five (5) working days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded) of receipt of the Stage II decision, request a formal hearing before a Grievance Hearing Committee in accordance with the procedures outlined in this policy. In order to proceed to Stage III, the grievance must be one of the following:
      7.2.3.1.1 A charge of employment termination in violation of University human resources policies;
      7.2.3.1.2 A charge of discriminatory act in violation of stated University fair employment rules and regulations; or
      7.2.3.1.3 A charge of violation of basic University Human Resources Policies.
    7.2.3.2 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.
      7.2.3.2.1 The Hearing Officer, appointed by the President, shall be a nonvoting member of the Committee; all other members shall be voting members.
      7.2.3.2.2 The appropriate Executive Vice President 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 and all administrative parties previously involved in Stage I and II decisions.
      7.2.3.2.3 The appropriate Executive Vice President 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 Associate Vice President of Human Resources.
7.3 Procedure for Conduct of Stage III 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 7.2.3.1.1, 7.2.3.1.2, or 7.2.3.1.3) and shall be directed from the grievant to the appropriate Executive Vice President or the Provost.
  7.3.2 The appropriate Executive Vice President or the Provost shall forward the request for a hearing to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources. The Associate Vice President of Human Resources will forward the request to the appropriate Hearing Officer who shall review the request to determine whether the grievance is of the type specified in 7.2.3.1.1, 7.2.3.1.2, or 7.2.3.1.3 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 appropriate Executive Vice President 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 sixty (60) 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 appropriate Executive Vice President or the Provost.
  7.3.5 In advance of the hearing, the grievant 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 the names of any individuals the Committee intends to call for testimony at the hearing. The grievant shall submit any question(s) s/he wants to address to the witnesses to the Hearing Officer. If the question(s) is relevant, the Hearing Officer will then ask the witness to address the question.
7.4 Other Information
  7.4.1 The Associate Vice President of Human Resources, 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. A representative from the Human Resources Office of Employee Relations, or designee, will be available for the Stage III grievance hearing as needed.
  7.4.2 All formal hearings held by a Grievance Hearing Committee shall be recorded to ensure 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 and II the Associate Vice President of Human Resources shall decide whether such circumstances exist. At Stage III, 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 an 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 other methods.
  7.4.5 In certain circumstances, the above referenced decision makers may not be appropriate. Please contact the Human Resources Office of Employee Relations for assistance.
  7.4.6 A file containing all information concerning an employee’s grievance shall be maintained by the Human Resources Office of Employee Relations.
  7.4.7 If the alleged grievance was committed by the administrative officer who makes the decision at Stage I or Stage II, the stages below the decision-maker may be disregarded by either the grievant or the University official, as advised by the Human Resources Office of Employee Relations.
  7.4.8 The titles of the decision-maker such as dean or director are examples of titles within the University. The decision-maker at Stage III is always an Executive Vice President or the Provost. The decision-maker at Stage II is generally one who reports directly to an Executive Vice President or the Provost. The Human Resources Office of Employee Relations shall be available to assist in determining to whom a grievance should be addressed.
  7.4.9 A Grievance Panel of employees available to serve on the grievance committees shall be appointed by the President, upon recommendation of an Executive Vice President, the Provost, and/or the Associate Vice President of Human Resources.
    7.4.9.1 New appointments or re-appointments to the Grievance panel shall be made by the President as needed or at least every three (3) years.
    7.4.9.2 Members of the Grievance Panel shall attend a training program that will enable them to serve as fair and appropriate representatives of the University.
    7.4.9.3 The appropriate Executive Vice President or the Provost shall appoint the Grievance Committee from the membership of the Grievance Panel.
  Forms: Grievance Form

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