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Human Resources

Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual:
Employee Relations

Print friendly Modified July 31, 2012

Grievance Policy

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

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 Refer to institution directory.

Website Address for This Policy

None

Related Documents/Resources

None

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

  • Board of Review: A designated employee or group of employees assigned to consider a grievance file by an employee and review the action taken, as determined by each individual institution.

Overview

The policy is intended to provide an avenue for resolution of conflicts at the lowest possible level. Attempted resolution may be addressed 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 System policy, entitled Dismissal, Demotion or Suspension.

A grievance will not be available to dispute:

  • promotion and tenure decisions,
  • performance evaluations,
  • hiring decisions,
  • classification appeals,
  • challenges to grades or assessments,
  • challenges to salary decisions,
  • challenges to transfers or reassignments,
  • termination or layoff because of lack of work or elimination of position,
  • investigations or decisions reached under the institutions Harassment Policy, and
  • normal supervisory counseling.

In addition, these formal procedures will not be available to a student or employee who has chosen to seek relief through a department, school or unit’s internal grievance procedure unless such procedure failed to provide a fair and impartial hearing and an adequate mechanism for appeal or review.

Process/Procedures

Circumstances under Which Grievances May Be Filed

A classified employee may file a grievance only if:

  • The employee has been suspended; or
  • The employee has been discharged; or
  • The employee has been demoted, or their salary has been reduced.

An employee may not file a grievance, even in the above circumstances, if:

  • The discharge occurred during the six (6)-month provisional period;
  • They have been adversely affected by a reorganization, program modification or financial exigency (such employees may apply to the Board of Regents for review);
  • The issue underlying the grievance is a charge of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, disability or religion. Such charges should be directed to the Affirmative Action/EEO Officer.
  • The issues being grieved have been previously heard by an administrative panel at the institution.

Grievance Procedures

A classified employee may file a grievance by completing a grievance form and submitting it to the Chief Human Resources Officer (or other office designated to handle grievances). Unless there is good cause for delay, a grievance must be filed within ten (10) working days of the notice of suspension or discharge. If filed after that time, the grievance must be accompanied by a written explanation for the delay. The Chief Human Resources Officer will rule on whether the employee had good cause for filing the grievance late. Upon submission of the grievance statement, the grievant will be provided with a copy of the formal grievance policy and other documents pertaining to grievance hearing procedures. The employee shall be entitled to the procedural protections of a hearing before a Board of Review. The Board of Review hearing may take place either before or after the effective date of the personnel decision in question.

Responsibilities

The responsibilities each party has in connection with the Grievance Policy are:

Party Responsibility
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, USG Ensure compliance with policy; provide guidance and advice to campus Chief Human Resources Officers on appropriate grievance hearing processes.
Institution Chief Human Resources Officers Ensure compliance with policy; establish institution specific grievance hearing procedures.
Chief Legal Affairs Officer, USG Serve as a resource for the Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and campus Chief Human Resources Officers, providing advice and guidance on application of policy and appropriate hearing processes.
Institution Chief Legal Affairs Officer Serve as a resource for the campus Chief Human Resources Officer, providing advice and guidance on application of policy and appropriate hearing processes. May design or assist in design of institution specific hearing procedures.

Forms

None

Appendices

None


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