personnel policies and procedures

Policy 05:15:00

Employee Informal Complaint and Grievance Policy

Purpose:

To define policy and procedures for addressing employee grievances and complaints that cannot be resolved using informal processes

Revision Responsibility: President

Responsible Executive Office: President

Policy Appendix: Policy 05:15:00 (a) Employee Grievance and Complaint Procedure (a)

Created: August 6, 2009, Revised September 22, 2011 to change Section II “administrator report” to “immediate supervisor”, June 13, 2016 to include steps for informal complaints before initiating a formal grievance and change in title from Employee Grievance and Complaint Procedures to Employee Informal Complaint and Grievance Policy.

Informal Complaint Steps

A complaint is a concern which an employee wants to discuss with supervisory personnel in an effort to resolve the matter. Personnel actions such as performance evaluations, rates of pay, position re-classifications, or position terminations due to reduction in force do not fall under the definition of complaint.

Employees who wish to initiate a review of an informal complaint shall use the following process before initiating the College's employee grievance procedure:

  • Step One: The employee should determine the type of issue, concern, or complaint he/she wishes to have reviewed. 
  • Step Two: Attempts to resolve complaints must first begin with an informal process. Informal complaints must be made within 15 business days of the decision, determination or incident that gives rise to the complaint. The employee should expect a response using College e-mail (or other College approved preferred contact method) as appropriate within 5 business

Steps in the informal process include:

Discussing the matter with the individual in which the issue originated. A complaint should initially be addressed to the faculty member, administrator or member of staff who is most directly concerned with the issue. In order to ensure that the complaint is raised at a mutually convenient time, the employee should try to arrange an appointment with this person.

If the issue is not resolved after the discussion, the next contact is the President.  The President will informally investigate the issue and allegations. During the meeting with the President, the employee will need to present in writing (either electronically or written) (a) a clear, concise factual account of the incident, (b) any correspondence related to the incident, and (c) any additional material the student deems necessary for resolution of the informal complaint.

If the issue is resolved informally, no more steps are needed.

If the issue being raised in the complaint has been reviewed by the President and the employee believes a satisfactory resolution has still not been reached, the employee may elect to progress to the last course of action, initiation of a formal grievance. 

All employees and administrators (supervisors) should attempt to resolve employee problems through informal processes to the extent possible. This policy should only be used when informal problem resolution processes have been unsuccessful.

filing a grievance

Employees should file grievances with their immediate supervisor.  The President will be notified of any employee grievance.

If a committee is needed for resolution of an employee grievance, the Grievance Committee will be composed of two (2) faculty members, two (2) Platt College staff members, and one (1) Platt College Administrator determined by Platt College.  In the event that a tie-breaking vote is needed the College Administrator who is not directly involved in the incident or disciplinary action serves as the tie breaker vote.

Platt College will impartially select the members to serve on the employee grievance committee.  A system of selecting members of the committee will seek to make appointments which will ensure that committee members will be disinterested in the outcome. Any committee member selected who has a particular interest in the outcome of the decision should be replaced with an alternate to avoid a biased decision. Every effort should be made to include minorities, i.e. ethnic minorities and women, in the composition of the committee.

grievance procedure

A. Employees must file grievances using the “Employee Grievance” form with the appropriate administrator that they report to within fifteen working days after the date of the occurrence giving rise to the grievance. Employees waive any right to file a grievance if it is not filed within the fifteen-day timeframe.

B. Additional information or restatement of the grievance in clearer terms may be requested.

C. The administrator will forward a copy of the grievance to the President.

D. The administrator will discuss the grievance with the employee, review the circumstances giving rise to the grievance and make a decision within fifteen working days concerning what corrective action, if any, is required. The administrator will provide a written response to the grievance to the employee and to the President.

E. If the grievant does not accept the decision of the administrator, he or she has fifteen working days to request a review by the next highest level administrator.

F. At each level, the grievant has fifteen working days to request the next level of review, and each reviewer has fifteen working days to notify the grievant of his or her decision, unless the President approves an extension of the timeframe.

G. Failure of a reviewer to provide a decision within the fifteen-day timeframe allows the grievant to go automatically to the next level.

H. If the grievant does not accept the decision of the appropriate vice president, she or he has fifteen working days to request a hearing by the grievance committee.

I. The grievance committee has fifteen working days to conduct its fact finding process, hold the formal hearing, and make a written report of its recommendation to the President, unless the President approves an extension of the timeframe.

J. The President may adopt the committee’s recommendation, in whole or in part, or make her or his decision independent of the committee’s findings.

K. The grievant should be provided a copy of the committee’s report along with the President’s recommendation.

L. A grievance may be withdrawn by written request of the grievant at any stage of the grievance process.

M. Once a final determination is made, the employee may not present the same grievance again in an attempt to gain a more favorable decision.

N. The college will maintain grievance records for three years in a separate file.

complaint procedure

A. The complainant should present facts and information to his or her immediate administrator.

B. The immediate supervisor will investigate the complaint and attempt to resolve the complaint within fifteen working days.

C. The administrator will notify the President of the resolution of the complaint.

D. If the complaint is with the immediate administrator, the complainant shall contact the next higher-level supervisor to resolve the complaint.

E. If the complaint is with the President, the Chair of the Board will appoint another administrator to address the complaint.