CHAPTER THREE: 3890
EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION CONCERNING FACULTY AND STAFF
GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES FOR EXEMPT EMPLOYEES
PREAMBLE: This is a new section to the Handbook introduced July
2002. In April 2014 changes were made to align this policy with Board
policy. For further information, contact Human
Resources (208-885-3638). [ed.
9-06, 12-07, rev. 4-14]
B. Informal Resolution Process.
C. Written Complaint Process.
The purpose of this policy is to provide clear,
processes through which exempt employees may present
grievances related to employment. This policy aims to assist in maintaining a
productive work environment and preventing minor complaints or problems from
becoming major concerns. Unresolved grievances can result in a strained
working environment, low morale, absenteeism, and diminished productivity.
A-2. Rules of the Regents of the University of Idaho.
Section IIM of
the Regents Policies and Procedures Manual provides the following with respect
to grievances of nonclassified employees (FSH 3840 is
the applicable policy related to faculty members' grievances and appeals):
IIM2. Nonclassified Employees
(including Faculty Employees)
a. Internal Policies and Procedures.
Each institution, agency, school,
and office must establish general procedures to provide for grievances and
appeals for human resource matters. Such procedures shall be forwarded to
the executive director for review and maintenance on file in the Office of
the State Board of Education. Internal procedures must include the following
(1) provision for informal
(2) procedures for filing a
formal, written complaint;
(3) reasonable time
(4) a description of the
hearing body; and
(5) requirements for retention
b. Appeal to the Board.
Pursuant to Board Policy II.B.2.b., the Board delegates authority for
personnel management to chief executive officers. Accordingly, human
resource matters are not appealable to the Board. [rev. 4-14]
A-3. Policy Not Applicable.
This policy does not apply to the
a. Financial Exigency.
This policy does not apply under the
circumstances described in FSH
3970, except as set
b. Sexual Harassment or Illegal Discrimination.
The processes in
this policy should not be used when alleging sexual harassment or illegal
discrimination. An employee alleging sexual harassment or discrimination
based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, sexual
orientation, or disability may file a complaint with the Director of Human Rights,
Access and Inclusion. That Office investigates such complaints, and handles
their resolution with appropriate regard for confidentiality. [FSH
FSH 3215, FSH 3220]
[ed. 9-06, 6-09]
c. Nonrenewal of term
appointment. This policy does not apply to the nonrenewal of a term
appointment. Section IIF of the Regents Policies and Procedures Manual
states the following with respect to grievances related to nonrenewals:
Except as set forth in this paragraph, nonrenewal is
not grievable within the agency, institution, school or office nor is it
appealable to the Board. However, if an employee presents bona fide
allegations and evidence in writing to the chief executive officer of the
agency, institution, school or office that the nonrenewal of the contract
of employment was the result of discrimination prohibited by applicable
law, the employee is entitled to use the internal discrimination grievance
procedure to test the allegation. The normal internal grievance procedure
for discrimination must be used unless changed by mutual consent of the
parties. The ultimate burden of proof rests with the employee. The agency,
institution, school or office is required to offer evidence of its reasons
for nonrenewal only if the employee has made a prima facie showing that
the recommendation of nonrenewal was made for reasons prohibited by
applicable law. Unless mutually agreed to by the parties in writing, the
use of the discrimination grievance procedure will not delay the effective
date of nonrenewal. Following the discrimination grievance procedures, if
any, the decision of the agency, institution, school, or office is final.
B-1. Employees, supervisors, upper-level managers and administrators
are encouraged to resolve job-related disputes informally at the lowest
management level possible within UI. Before using the written complaint
process, an employee should make a reasonable attempt to meet with and resolve
the matter(s) with his or her immediate supervisor. Advisors, except
attorneys, are permitted at informal meetings with immediate supervisors.
Employees and supervisors are strongly encouraged to use informal meetings in
order to identify the precise matter(s) at issue, discuss ways to resolve
them, and to resolve matters at the lowest level possible.
B-2. If an employee believes that meeting with his or her immediate
supervisor would be futile, the employee is encouraged to contact Human
Resources (HR) or the next higher administrator for assistance.
B-3. The ombuds office [FSH
provides a confidential, informal mechanism to facilitate voluntary
communications between individuals in dispute, to help clarify issues
involved, and to suggest avenues for dispute resolution. An employee who
wishes to use the services of the ombuds should do so before using the
procedures discussed below. [ed.
Written Complaint Process
C-1. To begin the written complaint process employees file a written
complaint no later than ten (10) working days after becoming aware of any
grievance, or after ending the informal process without resolution, whichever
date is later. The time limit for filing shall be extended due to the
employee's illness or other approved leave up to five (5) working days after
returning to the job. UI may, but is not required to, accept a filing that is
or appears to be filed late. Filing is made by hand delivering or mailing by
first class mail, postage prepaid, to the assistant vice president for human
resources or designee, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho 83844-4332. Filing
shall be deemed received on the date of hand-delivery or postmark. [ed.
C-2. An employee may be represented by an advisor, who may be an
attorney, in the written complaint process. Two or more employees may join
together to use the written complaint process. Retaliation for using the
written complaint process or for participating as a witness or representative
is expressly prohibited. An employee who believes that he or she is being
retaliated against should review the University's retaliation policy, FSH 3810,
and notify HR. [ed.
C-3. HR will arrange for the employee to meet with representatives
of the unit or college who are best able to resolve the problem through a
meeting with the employee. Because the goal of this procedure is to resolve
problems at the lowest level possible, this meeting may involve the immediate
supervisor and any additional people who may be helpful in resolving the issue(s) as determined by HR. The department head, director, or equivalent
may consult with the employee, immediate supervisor, college administration,
others who participated in the written complaint process and any other
resources or persons in order to determine how best to resolve the issue. [ed.
C-4. The employee will receive a written response to the issues
raised from the department head, director, or equivalent no later than five
(5) working days after the meeting.
C-5. Optional Mediation Step. At any time during the written
complaint process, UI and the employee may mutually agree to engage in
mediation. If both UI and the employee agree to engage in mediation, the other
steps and time limitations (except for the initial filing deadline) of the
written complaint process will be put on hold pending mediation. UI will pay
for the costs of mediation. UI and the employee must also agree upon a
mediator. The mediator cannot be a current or former employee of UI. The
outcome of the mediation may include, at the mediator's discretion, a written
document of the resolution.
D-1. These procedures apply to appeals from the written complaint
process and the dismissal for cause process described in FSH
The filing of an appeal does not extend the effective date of the decision
a. Filing of Appeal and
Appearances. Appeals are filed with the assistant vice president for human
resources or designee. Every appeal filed shall be written and shall state,
at a minimum, the decision being appealed, the grounds for the appeal, the
action requested, and the name, address, and telephone number of the
employee's attorney if the employee is represented. HR shall provide a copy
of the appeal to the administrator whose decision is being appealed, the
Provost, Vice President, Executive Director or other similar individual in
charge of the employee’s unit, and the chair of the Staff Affairs. [ed.
b. Time Period for Filing An Appeal. An appeal must be received or
postmarked within ten (10) working days after receipt of the written notice
of final decision being appealed. The notice of final decision is deemed
received on the date personally delivered, or three (3) working days after
deposited in the United States mail, postage prepaid.
c. Upon receiving an appeal, the chair of
Staff Affairs shall appoint three
current or former members of Staff Affairs to serve as the Staff Affairs Hearing Board
(SAHB). The Staff Affairs chair will appoint one (1) member of the SAHB as its chair.
Current or former members of the Staff Affairs who wish to be eligible to serve on the SAHB are required to participate in periodic training sessions conducted by
the Office of General Counsel to ensure their understanding of due
process requirements. Only those members of the Staff Affairs who attend training
sessions are qualified to hear appeals. UI supervisors shall provide members
of Staff Affairs paid time away from their jobs to attend these periodic training
sessions and other meetings associated with handling a grievance under this
policy. [ed. 9-06, 6-09]
d. Once a grievance has been filed and an SAHB has been formed,
the SAHB may meet as needed to prepare for the hearing and to handle other
issues that arise related to the grievance.
e. Setting of Hearing. Within ten (10) working days after
receiving the appeal from HR, the chair of the SAHB shall consult with the
parties and thereafter shall set a mutually agreeable date for the hearing.
The chair has discretion to change the date of the hearing. The SAHB shall
also set the date by which UI's response to the appeal shall be filed. [ed.
f. Filing of Documents. Once an appeal is referred to the chair of
the SAHB, all documents shall be filed directly with the chair of the SAHB
during the pendency of the appeal. Copies of all documents submitted shall
be provided to the staff member and the administrator who made the decision
g. Recommendation of the SAHB. The SAHB shall issue a written
recommendation to the President or his or her designee within ten (10)
working days after the hearing is concluded. If the President has a conflict
of interest, the recommendation shall be made to the Provost and if the
Provost also has a conflict of interest the recommendation shall be made to
the Vice President for Finance who shall complete the
process as described below. The chair of the SAHB shall provide a copy of
the recommendation to the employee, the employee's representative if any,
the assistant vice president for human resources, and the administrator
whose decision is being appealed. [ed. 9-15]
h. The President or his or her designee shall issue a written
decision to the employee within ten (10) working days after receipt of the
recommendation. If the decision is materially different from the
recommendation of the SAHB, the reason(s) for the difference(s) shall be set
forth in the decision. A copy of the decision shall be provided to the
employee, the employee's representative if any, the SAHB, the assistant vice
president for human resources, and the administrator whose decision is being
appealed. The decision of the President may not be appealed to the regents, see Regents
Policy and Procedures Manual section IIM2. [rev. 4-14]
D-2. Other Procedures.
a. Hearings, generally, are held in Moscow. Employees who use the
appeals process whose work locations are not in Moscow may request the chair
of the SAHB to arrange for a video or telephone conference assisted hearing
for the convenience of the employee appealing or, when feasible, to move the
hearing to the location where the employee works.
b. Scope of SAHB’s Authority. The SAHB has no authority to
declare a statute or regulation unconstitutional or to interpret a statute
or regulation. In all appeals, the SAHB shall determine whether the employee
has proven the matter at issue by a preponderance of the evidence.
c. Closed Hearing. Every hearing shall be closed and only those
participating may attend, unless the parties agree otherwise in writing. A
party may be represented by a person of his or her choice. The
representative may be an attorney.
d. UI shall provide the employee with all records relied on in
making the decision being appealed.
e. The chair of the SAHB, in consultation with the parties and
except as provided in this policy, shall have the authority to set rules to
govern the conduct of the appeal process and hearing. The hearing itself
shall be conducted in an informal manner. The chair of the SAHB, with or
without objection, may exclude evidence that is irrelevant, unduly
repetitious, or protected by a privilege recognized in the courts of Idaho.
All other evidence may be admitted if it is of a type commonly relied upon
by prudent persons in the conduct of their affairs.
f. Settlement negotiations are confidential and shall not be
disclosed, unless all participants in the negotiation agree to the contrary
in writing. Facts disclosed, offers made, and all other aspects of
settlement negotiations (including agreements reached) are not part of the
file maintained by HR following a hearing.
g. If the employee fails to appear at the hearing, the chair of
the SAHB shall dismiss the employee’s appeal. Such dismissal may be
rescinded only for good cause shown as determined by the chair of the SAHB.
h. The SAHB chair has responsibility for retrieving all documents
used in the hearing process from all members of the SAHB and the UI. The
chair shall deliver the documents used in and generated by the hearing
process to HR. HR shall maintain a complete set of these documents for
seven (7) years from the date of the decision of the President and
thereafter shall destroy them.
D-3. This policy shall be liberally construed to secure just, speedy
and economical determination of all issues presented. The Idaho Rules of Civil
Procedure and the Idaho Rules of Evidence do not apply to these proceedings.
Appeal Form (Word)
Appeal Form (.pdf)
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