HR Complaint Procedure


Purpose:

The purpose of this procedure is to promote prompt and reasonable resolution of issues raised by non-faculty employees. The process outlined below is intended to resolve disputes concerning issues such as interpretation and application of University policies such as leave entitlement or other benefits or disciplinary issues, as well as other alleged unfairness or mistreatment that does not involve treatment based upon a legally protected classification. Certain matters, such as performance appraisal disputes, job classification, compensation of staff members, and termination are not subject to this procedure. If the concern involves allegations of protected class discrimination or sexual misconduct, refer to TAPs 30 or 31 for guidance. If you are uncertain which policy/procedure applies, please contact the Employee Relations Specialist located in the Office of Human Resources.

Complaints submitted under this procedure must be within thirty (30) business days of the incident(s).

The University also has an Ethics Point Hotline for reporting known or suspected instances of unethical, illegal or otherwise inappropriate activity or behavior. More information about this hotline can be found here.

Eligibility:

All non-faculty employees are eligible to submit a complaint via this procedure, except the following:

  • Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement;
  • Temporary employees;
  • Faculty members- Refer to the Faculty Handbook for the faculty grievance procedure.

Definition of Terms:

As used in this Procedure, the word "Complainant" refers to the individual bringing forth a complaint. The word "Respondent" refers to an individual who allegedly violated a policy or procedure who is the subject of the allegations of the complaint.

Procedure:

Step One: Discuss concern with immediate supervisor. 

The University encourages informal resolution of complaints. Employees should first discuss their concern with their immediate supervisor. If the employee believes that the involvement of the immediate supervisor would be inappropriate, the employee may seek approval from the Employee Relations Specialist to initiate the complaint at Step Two.

Step Two: Prepare and submit a complaint procedure form to the Employee Relations Specialist, Office of Human Resources.

If the employee feels the concern was not resolved in the discussions with the immediate supervisor, s/he may prepare and submit a formal written complaint to the Employee Relations Specialist, Office of the Human Resources within ten (10) business days after completing Step One. The employee (Complainant) must include a statement of the reason for disagreeing with the Step One response. Once a formal written complaint is received by the Employee Relations Specialist, the following actions will commence:

  • A copy of the written complaint will be shared with the Respondent for review and they will be provided an opportunity to submit a written response (rebuttal), which will in turn be shared with the Complainant.
  • The Senior Department Head or other appropriate department supervisor will be provided with copies of the written complaint and rebuttal to assist with resolution of the complaint.
  • Upon review of the written complaint and the rebuttal, the Employee Relations Specialist will conduct an investigation with all parties involved, including known or reported witnesses. As appropriate, the Senior Department Head or other appropriate department supervisor may assist with the investigation.
  • Written reports will be issued to the Senior Department Head, Complainant and Respondent from the Office of Human Resources within thirty (30) business days of receipt of the complaint procedure form. If additional time is needed, the Complainant and Respondent will be informed accordingly. Determinations of fact shall be made on the basis of the preponderance of the evidence standard-- that is on the basis of whether it is more likely than not have occurred.

Note: If the issue involves a senior department head, the Employee Relations Specialist may coordinate the investigation with the area Vice President, in which case the complaint procedure will be complete with the decision of the area's Vice President. 

Step Three (Appeal): Written request for appeal to the appropriate Vice President. 

The Step Two decision may be appealed solely on the following grounds: (1) material procedural error (minor and/or inconsequential errors are not subject to appeal); or (2) the discovery of previously unavailable material information that could change the outcome of the decision (the burden is on the appealing party to demonstrate the previous unavailability of the information, and that it is sufficiently material and relevant that taking it into consideration could change the outcome of the decision).

The appeal must be submitted to the Employee Relations Specialist, Office of Human Resources within ten (10) business days of the issuance of the Step Two decision.  The Vice President will review the appeal and issue a written response.

Anti-retaliation Statement:

Retaliation means any adverse action or threat taken or made against an individual for making a report under this procedure or participating in any investigation or proceeding related to this procedure. No individual who files a complaint under this procedure or who participates in the investigation or resolution of such complaint shall be subject to retaliation as a result of such activity or participation. Retaliation is strictly prohibited.

Download Employee Complaint Procedure Form