Authority: Board of Visitors, Policy and Procedure for Resolving Grievances
All questions relating to this procedure should be addressed to the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources and Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity (AAEEO) Officer. All procedural issues, substantive questions, and/or alleged violations should be brought to the attention of the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources and AAEEO Officer.
The time frames set forth in this procedure serve as guidelines and should be followed as closely as possible. They are not intended to be a detriment to the filing or resolution of a complaint.
Any Administrative and Professional Faculty member at the University of Mary Washington is eligible to use this procedure.
B Definitions of a Grievance
A complaint made be an Administrative and Professional Faculty member concerning a decision, action, lack of action or the application of a University policy which directly and adversely affects the work activity, professional or personal well-being of the individual and which can be corrected by the University.
An action by one or more persons acting in an official capacity for the University or the application of a University policy which directly or indirectly negatively affects the work activity of the individual and which can be corrected by the University and is based on one or more of the following discriminatory factors: race, color, religion, disability, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, sex or age (except where sex or age is a bona fide occupational qualification).
This procedure is not applicable to any action related to the following:
- the reassignment of duties,
- the non-renewal of a contract,
- the evaluation of performance,
- the denial of promotion,
- compensation matters and/or benefits, and
- the contents of established personnel policies, rules, procedures, regulations, ordinances and statutes.
1. Attempt at Informal Resolution
The grievant should meet with the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources to discuss his complaint as soon as possible but no later than 30 calendar days following the event or action which is the basis for the grievance. If the allegation is one that is within the purview of these procedures, the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources and AAEEO Officer will attempt to resolve the complaint with the appropriate individual. If no resolution is obtained, the Administrative or Professional Faculty member may continue with the filing of a formal grievance.
2. Filing of the Grievance
The first step for the complainant is to complete and sign UMW Form A, which can be secured from the Office of Human Resources, providing the following information:
- the issue being grieved;
- a clear statement of the facts upon which the complaint is based, including an explanation of how the person has been adversely affected (failure to submit such a statement of facts may result in the matter complained of to be declared non-grievable);
- an identification of the person(s) or the University policy or procedure considered responsible for the complaint and an explanation of why the person(s) is considered responsible or why the University policy or procedure is considered improper;
- a copy of any pertinent Board of Visitors or University policies or regulations, State statutes, contractual agreements or other documents of custom or practice upon which the complainant relies; and
- a statement of the specific relief sought.
This form should be presented to the Vice President over the employee’s department. The Vice President will meet with the employee and provide written response to the grievance within 10 working days.
3. Panel Hearing
In the event the Administrative or Professional Faculty complainant is not satisfied with the response of the Vice President, the individual may request a panel hearing within five working days after receipt of the step-one decision.
The request for a panel hearing shall be made on UMW Form B, which can be obtained from the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources and AAEEO Officer, and the completed form shall be returned to him. The complainant will provide the following information:
- a list of witnesses to be present at the panel hearing, and
- the identification of any counsel, advisor or observer to be present at the hearing
This UMW Form B, together with Form A, will constitute formal application for a panel hearing. The Assistant Vice President for Human Resources and AAEEO Officer shall transmit the forms to the President of the University within five working days after receipt of them.
b. Method of Selecting Panel Members
A panel of three shall be selected in the following way: ten days following the completion of UMW Form B, the Administrative or Professional Faculty complainant shall designate one member, and the Executive Assistant to the President shall designate one member to serve on the panel. These two members shall jointly select a third panel member.
4. Conduct of the Panel Hearing
a. Organization of the Panel and the Hearing
The panel shall then select a chairperson and set a date, time and place for the hearing. The hearing shall be held as soon as practicable, but no more than 10 working days after the panel has been selected. The Administrative and Professional Faculty member shall be notified in writing of the hearing date, time and place. Before the hearing, the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources and AAEEO Officer will supply the panel members with the complaint forms.
With the consent of both parties, the panel may extend any or all of the applicable time periods established in this hearing.
b. Conduct of the Hearing
The panel shall determine the propriety of attendance at the hearing of persons not having direct interest in the hearing.
The panel may, at the beginning of the hearing, ask for statements clarifying the issues involved.
The hearing shall be recorded by tape, and a copy of the tape may be supplied to the complainant at his request for the cost of the tape.
Exhibits, when offered by the complainant or the University, may be received in evidence by the panel and, when so received, shall be marked and made part of the record.
First the complainant and then the University official, or their representatives, shall present their claims, proofs and witnesses, who shall submit to questions or other examination. The panel may, at its discretion, vary this procedure but shall afford full and equal opportunity to all parties and witnesses for presentation of any material or relevant proofs.
The parties may offer evidence and shall produce such additional evidence as the panel may deem necessary to an understanding and determination of the dispute. The panel shall be the judge of relevancy and materially of the evidence offered. All evidence shall be taken in the presence of the panel and of the third parties.
The panel will operate on the basis of a simple majority vote.
When all claims, evidence and proofs are received from both parties, the panel shall deliberate in privacy and transmit its recommendations within five working days after the hearing to the President of the University.
The President shall notify all parties of his decision within five working days after receipt of the recommendation of the panel.
If the President’s decision is not acceptable to the complainant, the individual may appeal the decision to the Executive Committee of the Board of Visitors.
To accomplish this, the complainant shall present to the President within 10 working days following the receipt of the President’s decision a written request addressed to the Rector for a hearing by the Executive Committee of the Board of Visitors. Within 30 days after receipt of a request from the complainant, the Rector shall have the Executive Committee of the Board of Visitors review the record of the panel hearing and render a decision and notify the complainant.
The decision of the Executive Committee shall be final with all determinations relating to the University position on the complaint. Failure to comply with the decision of the Executive committee or reprisals as a result of the decision shall be cause for disciplinary action.
adopted June 3, 1990