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Human Resources

Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual:
Employee Relations

Print friendly Modified July 31, 2012

Dispute Resolution

Citation Reference  
Official Title Policy on Dispute Resolution
Abbreviated Title Dispute Resolution
Volume Human Resources
Responsible Office Human Resources
Originally issued
Revised May 2008

Policy Statement

The University System of Georgia is committed to providing a good working environment for its faculty and staff. Conflicts and disagreements between employees and their supervisors are inevitable. It is the policy of the University System of Georgia to resolve these disputes fairly, and at the lowest possible level. When these conflicts or disagreements occur, employees should first attempt to resolve them through discussion with their supervisor.

Reason for Policy

This policy reinforces the institution’s commitment to provide a safe and amicable workplace for all employees.

Entities Affected By This Policy

All units of the University System of Georgia are covered by this policy.

Who Should Read This Policy

All employees within the University System of Georgia should be aware of this policy.

Contacts

Contact Phone Email/URL
Office of Human Resources 404-962-3235 usg-hr@usg.edu
Institution Chief Human Resources Officers See University System HR Officer Listing at http://www.usg.edu/hr/officers/
Chief Legal Affairs Officer, USG 404-962-3255 burns.newsome@usg.edu
Institution Chief Legal Affairs Officer, if applicable See institution directory.

Website Address for This Policy

None

Related Documents/Resources

Definitions

These definitions apply to these terms as they are used in this policy:

  • Board of Regents: The governing body of the University System of Georgia

Overview

The policy is intended to provide an avenue for resolution of conflicts at the lowest possible level. Attempted resolution may be through the Dispute Resolution Process or through the Grievance/Disciplinary Review Process, if applicable.

A grievance or disciplinary review will be available to handle claims that a person has been harmed by any action that violates the policies of either the institution or the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (“the Board of Regents”) or for requested disciplinary review pursuant to the University policy, entitled Conduct, Dismissal, Demotion or Suspension. See more information on grievances and disciplinary reviews in the section entitled Grievance Policy.

Process/Procedures

Dispute Resolution Procedures

As a first step, complainants should try to resolve problems and complaints by contacting their immediate supervisor or, in the case of a student, the academic department head or unit director. This initial contact should be made within ten (10) working days from the occurrence of the problem. The supervisor or department head should then arrange a meeting with the complainant, and all concerned should make a good faith effort to resolve the problem. The Dispute Resolution Coordinator will be available to assist in these initial efforts to resolve disputes.

If the dispute cannot be resolved through the efforts outlined above, the parties may be referred to the Mediation Coordinator to discuss whether mediation is an appropriate means for resolving the dispute. Mediation is a process that helps people resolve disputes for themselves in a mutually acceptable way in which everyone involved in the dispute meets with one or more trained mediators. In a private setting, the mediator provides an orderly, simple process for the parties to discuss their dispute along with their feelings, perceptions and needs. The goal is to begin communication and move towards resolving the dispute in a manner agreeable to all.

If the parties are unable to informally resolve the dispute, they do not wish to pursue mediation or are unsuccessful in resolving the dispute through mediation, the Dispute Resolution Coordinator will advise the person raising the dispute of what other resources may be available, if any.

Responsibilities

The responsibilities each party has in connection with the Dispute Resolution are:

Party Responsibility
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, USG Ensure compliance with policy.
Institution Chief Human Resources Officers Ensure compliance with policy. Ensure identification of individuals who can serve as the institutional dispute resolution coordinator and the mediation coordinator.
Chief Legal Affairs Officer, USG Offer assistance with policy interpretation.
Institution Chief Legal Affairs Officer Offer assistance with policy interpretation.

Forms

None

Appendices

None


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