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4.000 Administration

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4.230 Contractual Personnel

4.240 Extra Help and Student Employees

4.300 Personnel Information

4.310 Staff and Faculty Evaluation

4.320 Search Committee Process

4.330 Employment and Termination

4.340 Employee Grievance Procedures

4.350 Staff Governance and Organization

4.400 Health and Disability Insurance and Retirement

4.410 Voluntary Early Retirement Plan

4.420 Definition of Retirement

4.430 Credit Union

4.440 Employee Tuition Waiver

4.450 Faculty/Staff Discount for Community and Corporate Training

4.500 Catastrophic Leave Policy

4.510 Purchase of Unused Sick Leave

4.520 Attendance and Punctuality

4.530 Work Schedules and Office Hours

4.540 Transfer of Leave Between State Agencies

4.550 Time Sheets

4.560 Overtime

4.570 Participation in Fall Workshop and Graduation

4.580 Travel Reimbursement

4.340 Employee Grievance Procedures


Policy Number: 4.340

Subject: Employee Grievance Procedures

Date Adopted: January 1, 1991, Revised August, 22, 2012

The College's employee grievance procedure is applicable to administration, faculty and staff who have surpassed the probationary hiring period. The College recognizes the right of employees to use the Employee Grievance Procedure without fear or concern of retaliation. No grievant, witness or member of the grievance committee shall be subject to harassment, reprisal, or retaliation for utilizing or participating in the grievance process.

Grievance procedures are only applicable to incidents in which an employee is treated in a manner which conflicts with a written policy or procedure and affects the terms or conditions of that employee's employment. Grievances can often be reviewed and resolved through the informal discussion process, described below. However, if the issue cannot be settled by the informal discussion process, the issue should proceed through the formal complaint process outlined below within 60 calendar days of the incident or action.

Complaints regarding harassment related issues are addressed under procedures in Board Policy 10.5: Harassment.

Step #1: Informal Discussions

An employee with a grievance should discuss the grievance with his/her immediate supervisor. The immediate supervisor is responsible for providing an impartial, informal hearing, fully investigating the issue, and when possible, developing a resolution which is mutually agreeable. The supervisor is expected to reply verbally to the employee within five (5) working days. If a resolution is not reached within five (5) working days of the discussion, the employee may submit a written complaint following the procedures outlined in Step #2.

If the employee is uncomfortable discussing the situation with his/her supervisor, the employee may contact his/her Director of Human Resources for assistance or advice.

Step #2: Formal Filing of a Written Complaint

If the time period has expired without a response, or if a mutually agreeable resolution is not reached within this time period, the employee has five (5) working days to submit a written complaint to the next level of management in the following order:

1. The head of the department or division
2. The Vice President of the department or division
3. The President

Upon receipt of the written grievance, the administrator must file a copy in the Human Resources Department. In instances where the grievance involves the administrator, the grievant may submit the written grievance to the Human Resources Department, who will distribute it to the appropriate parties. The chairman of the Board of Trustees will be notified in instances where the grievance involves the President.

The written grievance should identify the policy, procedure, or incident alleged to have been violated, clearly state the facts surrounding the grievance, and state the desired remedy. The Human Resources Department will assist in the preparation of a complaint and explain the steps involved in the grievance procedure upon request. The Human Resources Department maintains files on all grievances and monitors their outcome once they have reached this level.

The grievant may request a hearing to discuss information or present evidence related to the grievance. The grievant may have a representative present at the hearing; however, the representative may not participate or ask questions.

Step #3: Department or Division Head's Response (if applicable)

After receiving a written complaint, the department or division head has five (5) working days to prepare a written response. In that time, the department or division head shall consult the supervisor involved, study all the pertinent facts, examine any policies involved, discuss the issue with the employee and, if possible, resolve the matter within the framework of existing college policy to the satisfaction of the employee and the supervisor. The employee and the Human Resources Department must receive written notification of the department or division head's response to the complaint. If the time period has expired without a response or if a mutually agreeable resolution is not reached within this time period, the employee has five (5) working days to submit a written complaint to the Vice President of the department or division.

Step #4: Vice President's Response (if applicable)

After receiving the written complaint, the Vice President of the department or division has five (5) working days to prepare a written response. In that time, the Vice President shall consult the supervisor and department or division head involved, study all the pertinent facts, examine any policies involved, discuss the issue with the employee and, if possible, resolve the matter within the framework of existing college policy to the satisfaction of the employee and the supervisor. The employee and the Human Resources Department must receive written notification of the Vice President's response to the complaint. If the time period has expired without a response or if a mutually agreeable resolution is not reached within this time period, the employee has five (5) working days to submit a written complaint to the Human Resources department requesting an appeal to the Grievance Committee. A copy of the request should be sent to the supervisor, the department or division head and the Vice President of the department or division.

Grievance Committee Members

To be appointed as needed by the College President, the Grievance Committee has equal representation and is made up of eight (8) members: two (2) administrative, two (2) full time faculty, two (2) staff members, one (1) adjunct faculty member, and a member of Human Resources that serves as an ex-officio non-voting member to provide assistance on procedural and policy related matters.

Step #5: Grievance Committee Functions

The Grievance Committee functions in a flexible and informal manner to determine whether a violation has occurred and, if so, to recommend an appropriate action to correct the matter. Complaints for the Grievance Committee review must be submitted to the Human Resources Department to be forwarded to the Committee. The Committee has ten (10) working days to prepare a written response after it has received a complaint. All proceedings shall be in closed session and will not include the grievant, the party complained against, or other witnesses unless the Committee requests testimony. If testimony is requested, all parties and their representatives will be notified and invited to attend.

In reviewing a case, the committee may decide between the following two options:

a. It may find no violation has occurred and recommend that no further action be taken.

b. It may find that violation has occurred and recommend a corrective action or a change in the term or condition of employment.

Step #6: Grievance Committee Findings

The Committee is responsible for documenting its findings, including a statement of the conclusion and the reason or policy criteria used in reaching a decision, along with recommendations for resolution of the grievance. The Committee's documented decision shall be forwarded to the President of the College for action. The chairman of the Board of Trustees will be notified in instances where the grievance involves the President. Copies will be filed with the Human Resources Department as a part of the complaint record and sent to the grievant, the supervisor, the department or division head and the Vice President of the department or division. The President may accept or reject the Committee recommendation within five (5) days after review of all file materials. The President's or board chairman's decision is final.

Document Collection

All materials relating to a closed grievance proceeding shall be retained on file in the Human Resources Department for five years. Files will be considered confidential in nature, except where disclosure is required by law.

Note: No decision at any step of the grievance procedure may conflict with any applicable state or federal statute. The grievance procedure is an internal tool for resolution of valid conflicts and is not a legal forum. The employee does not waive any rights under the jurisdiction of outside agencies, including the judicial system, by using this grievance procedure.