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Professional Staff Program
Complaint Procedure

Introduction

The University encourages regular communication between professional staff employees and their supervisors to help avoid and resolve concerns that otherwise detract from the quality of the employee's work life and effective operations.

Notwithstanding the responsibility employees and supervisors each have for resolving employment concerns informally, and without altering the "at will" nature of professional staff appointments, the University provides a process for reviewing complaints employees may have about such matters as working conditions, job responsibilities, performance evaluation, and corrective action. The following procedure exclusively governs the professional staff complaint process. This procedure does not apply to complaints filed under "Resolution of Complaints Against University Employees" (Administrative Policy Statement 46.3) where employees have additional options for resolving a complaint, including the services of the Ombudsman.

Where a meeting is scheduled to review a complaint, the complainant may bring a person of his/her choice to the meeting as an observer by providing at least 24 hour's notice of the observer's attendance to the person who will review and respond to the complaint.

In the following process where there is a filing deadline, if the deadline falls on a day that is not a regularly scheduled work day (leave days are not part of this provision), the deadline will be the next scheduled work day.

In addition to the formal complaint resolution options that are available, professional staff employees may consult with their unit's Human Resources Consultant for information about University policies and procedures, and for advice and guidance regarding problem resolution options.

Non retaliation

It is a violation of University policy to retaliate in any manner against any employee who pursues resolution of an employment concern or complaint through the Professional Staff Program Complaint Procedure or through any of the processes identified in "Resolution of Complaints Against University Employees" (Administrative Policy Statement 46.3), or by filing a complaint through an outside agency.

Submission

The complaint must be filed in writing with the supervisor within fifteen business days of the action or incident on which it is based (count Mondays through Fridays, include official University holidays, and omit weekends). The complaint must state the issue about which the complaint is being filed and the remedy or resolution that is requested.

Supervisor Review

The supervisor will schedule a time to review the complaint with the employee and allow the employee an opportunity to explain the reason(s) for the complaint. Within fifteen business days after the supervisor's review, the supervisor will provide the employee with a brief written decision concerning the complaint, and advise the employee of the opportunity for further internal review. If the employee does not request further review, the supervisor's decision is final.

Vice President or Dean Review

If the employee is dissatisfied with the supervisor's written decision, the employee may request a review of that decision by the appropriate vice president, dean or equivalent administrative authority, or that person's designee. The employee must submit to the office of the reviewer a written request for review within fifteen business days after receipt of the supervisor's decision.

The reviewer will give the employee an opportunity to explain the reason(s) for the complaint, either in person or in writing. Within fifteen business days after the review, the vice president or dean will provide the employee with a brief written decision concerning the complaint and advising the employee that judicial review may be available1. Upon written notice to the employee, the reviewer may extend the deadline for responding by fifteen business days. The decision at this level is final.

President Review

If the supervisor to whom the complainant reports is a vice president, dean, or equivalent senior officer, the employee may request a review of the supervisor's decision by the President or the President's designee . The employee must submit to the office of the President a written request for review within fifteen business days after receipt of the supervisor's written decision. (Review by the President is not available unless the supervisor is a vice president, dean, or equivalent senior officer)

The President or designee will give the employee an opportunity to explain the reason(s) for the complaint, either in person or in writing. Within fifteen business days after the President's or designee's review, the President or designee will provide the employee with a brief written decision concerning the complaint and advising the employee that judicial review may be available1. Upon written notice to the employee, the dean or vice president may extend the deadline for responding by fifteen business days. The decision at this level is final.

1The term "judicial review may be available" means that following receipt of the notice of final action regarding the employee's complaint, the employee may have recourse to the courts if the employee remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaint. An employee would have to seek legal advice to determine whether grounds may exist for judicial review.