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Grievance/Complaint Resolution

Policy Number: HR-14
Effective Date: July 2002
Last Revision: March 2013
Responsible Officer: Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer and Office of Equality and Disability

PURPOSE

This policy establishes an avenue whereby all eligible Professional Staff Members who have completed their probationary period can seek to address what they consider to be an unfair or inequitable application of existing policy.

 

APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all eligible non-faculty Professional Staff Members, excluding any Professional Staff Member who is affiliated with a collective bargaining unit.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

Implementation of this policy is the responsibility of the Department of Human Resources.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE OVERSIGHT

The Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer is the Drexel University official responsible for the administration of this policy.

 

POLICY

The University provides all eligible Professional Staff Members with the opportunity to address and resolve work-related problems or employment issues internally. The purpose of this policy is to foster a positive work environment and promote sound employee relations by providing a process for an internal review that encourages Professional Staff Members to present and resolve problems and issues in a spirit of cooperation and fairness. At any point during this process the Professional Staff Member is encouraged to see a representative of the Human Resources Department for support, guidance, and/or facilitation. Complaints will be addressed and resolved in a nondiscriminatory manner consistent with applicable laws and regulations.

 

DEFINITIONS

Complaint is defined as any work–related problem or employment issue which a Professional Staff Member considers to be an unfair or inequitable application of existing policy which cannot otherwise be satisfactorily resolved. Work–Related Problems may include, but are not limited to issues related to standards of conduct, the Performance Improvement Process or performance management.

Professional Staff Member is defined as an individual employed in any non-faculty category by Drexel University, including an individual who is deemed to be either exempt or non-exempt under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or applicable state law.

 

EXCEPTIONS

  1. Matters not subject to a grievance/complaint under this policy include terminations, benefits, performance appraisals, work schedules, reductions in the size of the workforce and/or the designation of individuals for redeployment or separation from a unit.
  2. This policy does not pertain to grievances/complaints regarding illegal harassment and discrimination, which are handled by the Offices of Equality and Disability under the Discrimination or Complaint Resolution Procedure.

 

PROCEDURES

  1. At any point in the process, the Professional Staff Member and/or Immediate Supervisor may contact Human Resources for policy interpretation or other assistance in reaching a solution.
  2. Ideally, the Professional Staff Member will develop a working relationship with her/his supervisor such that s/he will be able to discuss and resolve issues amicably within the department. However, on occasions when this is not possible, a Professional Staff Member who has completed the introductory period must first attempt to resolve the work-related problem or employment issue with his/her immediate supervisor within a reasonable time after the occurrence of the incident.
  3. If a satisfactory resolution of the problem cannot be reached informally between the Professional Staff Member and the supervisor/manager, the Professional Staff Member may file a grievance/complaint with the next level of management, within seven (7) calendar days of the meeting between the Professional Staff Member and the supervisor/manager. The grievance/complaint should be presented in writing and should include a statement of the problem or issue, description of actions taken and specification of the desired remedy.
  4. The next level of management has fourteen (14) calendar days to respond in writing to the Professional Staff Member. If a satisfactory resolution to the problem cannot be reached, the Professional Staff Member may file a grievance/complaint with Senior Human Resources officer within seven (7) calendar days.
  5. The Senior Human Resources officer has fourteen (14) calendar days in which to respond in writing to the Professional Staff Member. If a satisfactory resolution to the problem cannot be reached, the Professional Staff Member may file a grievance/complaint with the Senior Vice President for Student Life and Office of Equality, Disability, and Training within seven (7) calendar days.
  6. The Senior Vice President for Student Life and Office of Equality, Disability, and Training may within fourteen (14) calendar days, issue a written decision that shall be final and binding on all parties or may convene a Grievance Committee.
    1. The Senior Vice President for Student Life and Office of Equality, Disability, and Training may convene a Grievance Committee that will be composed of a nonvoting Chair plus three (3) full-time Professional Staff Members, one of which may be selected by the Professional Staff Member.
    2. No Professional Staff Member will serve on the Committee if s/he is directly involved in the specific case before the Committee. When a complaint is heard, the aggrieved Professional Staff Member or any other party in interest, which will include any person who might be required to take or to refrain from action to resolve the Professional Staff Member 's claim, may appear before and/or submit supporting information (to include documents and other materials) to the Committee.
      Also, the Committee may request any supporting information from parties in interest that would serve to define the scope and nature of the matter in dispute.
    3. The Grievance Committee will investigate the grievance/complaint and within fourteen (14) calendar days, submit its findings and recommendations to the Senior Vice President for Student Life and Office of Equality, Disability, and Training.
  7. Within seven (7) calendar days from the date of receipt of the Committee recommendation, the Senior Vice President for Student Life and Office of Equality, Disability, and Training will issue a written decision. This decision shall be final and binding on all parties.
  8. To expedite prompt resolution of these matters, the time limits set forth in this policy are mandatory, and failure of the aggrieved Professional Staff Member to progress to the next Step of the process within the specified time set forth will indicate acceptance of the decision rendered at that Step. Prior to the deadline, time limits may be extended in specific instances by mutual written agreement. Requests to extend time limits will automatically double the time limits unless otherwise mutually agreed upon. Such extensions can only be made for what would normally be considered reasonable circumstances.
  9. Failure by the University or any of its supervisory personnel to communicate the decision within the specified time limits will permit the aggrieved Professional Staff Member to proceed to the next Step. The University or any Professional Staff Member thereof will take no reprisals of any kind against any aggrieved Professional Staff Member, party in interest, witness, member of the Committee, or any other participant in this procedure.
  10. Unionized Professional Staff Members have separate procedures and are not eligible to file grievances under this policy.

 

NON-RETALIATION

Retaliation against an individual, who, in good faith, participates in a grievance/complaint hearing or an investigation thereof, is prohibited by University policy.

 

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT NOT AFFECTED

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary stated in this policy, nothing herein is intended to alter the at-will status of any Professional Staff Member.  Drexel University at all times retains the right to terminate any Professional Staff Member at any time for any lawful reason, or for no reason at all.