Grievance – Non-Faculty

It is the policy of Delta State University to give an immediate and fair method of resolving work related problems or conditions that may arise between the University and an employee. 
Employee: This generally includes faculty and staff employees who are working on paid appointments by the University. It generally excludes students or temporary employees. For specific information on who is considered an employee, contact the Human Resources Department. 
Supervisor: An employee designated by management who exercises major supervisory functions over another employee or employees. These functions include hiring, evaluating, assigning work, and disciplining employees.
Delta State University will do everything consistent with enforcement of this policy and with the law to protect the privacy of the individuals involved and to ensure that the complainant and the accused are treated fairly. Information about individual complaints and their disposition is considered confidential and will be shared only on a “need to know” basis. All reasonable steps will be taken to assure that the complainant and the alleged offender are protected by the highest degree of confidentiality possible. Both parties are advised, however, that once an inquiry or an investigation has begun, anonymity may be impossible. 
Persons who believe they have been grieved should report the incident(s) immediately to appropriate administrative personnel as set forth below. Delay in reporting makes it more difficult to establish the facts of a case and may contribute to the repetition of offensive behavior.
Informal means are encouraged as the beginning point, but the choice of where to begin normally rests with the employee. Problems or questions concerning an individual’s employment should be taken up freely with the supervisor. If a problem becomes so great that it can not be worked out by the supervisor, the grievance can be resolved through discussion and mediation facilitated by the Director of Human Resources and/or the Dean or University Vice President under whose division the complaint falls.
An informal grievance does not involve, at any stage, a "finding" of guilt, nor does it mandate disciplinary action. The focus of the investigation in the informal process is to stop inappropriate behavior, investigate, and facilitate resolutions, if possible.
If a grievance is pursued through this informal procedure, the employee must initiate the request. The request should be brought as soon as possible after the most recent incident.
The role of the Director of Human Resources and the Dean or Vice President under whose division the complaint falls, will be to investigate the complaint, act as a neutral third party (mediator) and facilitate resolution. If the informal procedure does not resolve the grievance, the employee may initiate a formal grievance procedure. However, if the mediator(s) believe that the matter is sufficiently grave because it seems to be part of a persistent pattern, because of the nature of the alleged offense, or because the employee seeks to have punishment imposed, then the mediator(s) can initiate either a formal procedure or take other appropriate action.
  1. The mediator(s) will hold a discussion with the employee to determine the nature of the grievance and provide the employee with an explanation of all provisions of the policy.
  2. The mediator(s) will the meet with the respondent, assist him or her in interpreting the grievance, and request information regarding their position. The mediator(s) will facilitate communication between the parties of their respective positions. If desirable and agreeable to both parties, the mediator(s) may bring together the employee and respondent and/or others who may be able to contribute to the resolution of the grievance. 
  3. If a resolution satisfactory to both employee and respondent is reached, DSU may consider the grievance concluded. DSU may, however, deem further investigation necessary in order to address any disciplinary issues.
If a grievance is resolved informally, no record of the complaint will be entered into employment files. However, the mediator(s) will, in the form of a confidential file memorandum, record the fact of the grievance and the resolution achieved. A copy of the memorandum will be forwarded to the Human Resources Department where it will be retained in confidential files for a period of three years.
Any individual who believes that he or she has been grieved may bring a formal grievance. Grievance procedures do not apply to suspensions, dismissal, or other termination of employment. The following steps identify appropriate reporting channels that employees should follow regarding grievances.
Step 1.
A.     The employee discusses the problem directly with the supervisor.
·        Time Limit: Decision within five (5) working days after occurrence. 
B.     Supervisor discusses grievance fully with employee and renders decision and reasons for decision.*
·        Time Limit: Decision within five (5) working days of meeting.
Step 2.
A.     If the supervisor’s reply is not acceptable to the employee, they may request a meeting with the department Director and/or appropriate Vice President. 
·        Time Limit: Within ten (10) working days after occurrence.
B.     Supervisor establishes meeting with department Director and/or appropriate Vice President. Director and/or Vice President hears grievance, renders decision and reasons for decision.* 
·        Time Limit: Decision within five (5) working days of second meeting.
Step 3.
A.     If the Director and/or Vice President’s decision is not acceptable to the employee, they may present problem to the Director of Human Resources in writing on a grievance report form. The Director of Human Resources will place it before a Personnel Advisory Committee for review. Personnel Advisory Committee shall consist of employees selected by the President from throughout the University. A different committee shall be appointed for each grievance.
·         Time Limit: Within ten (10) working days of second meeting.
B.     The Director of Human Resources establishes the meeting of the Personnel Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee will review the grievance thoroughly and make recommendations to the President for a fair settlement of the grievance.* 
·         Time Limit: The meeting will scheduled as soon as feasible. Decision within five (5) working days after final meeting of Personnel Advisory Committee.
The President will make the final decision upon review and information from the Personnel Advisory Committee. The President’s decision with reasons shall be confirmed to the employee in writing by the Director of Human Resources. 
* Employee may be accompanied by a co-worker from the same division.
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