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Employee Complaints - Grievance

HROG Section:
Employment
Document Title:
Employee Grievance
Initial Date Posted:
Board Approval:
Applies To:
DCCCD Employees
Source:
District Human Resources
Related TASB Policy:
DGBA (regulation)
Last Date Revised:
Approved by the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on March 31, 2008, to be effective immediately

Purpose

This HROG highlights DGBA (Regulation) regarding employee complaints, the process and form required to resolve these. 

Background

Definitions

A grievance means a work-related problem or condition that an employee believes is  discriminatory or a hindrance to effective performance of the employee's job. A grievance includes the results of a performance evaluation, except for faculty evaluation. A grievance also includes discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age or sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, but does not include sexual harassment which is covered in DGBA (REGULATION) in the Board Policy Manual. 

College President means the chief executive officer at a college district college, the District Service Center or the LeCroy Center, as appropriate.

Limitations/Eligibility

This grievance procedure applies to any full-time administrator, professional support staff employee and faculty unless the grievance of the faculty member relates to a faculty evaluation rating or procedure, in which case a faculty member may use the grievance procedure provided in DLA (REGULATION). 

The grievance procedure is not designed to include a grievance that relates to a change in policy, sexual harassment, termination, layoff or matters of contract status, which are generally handled through other policies or regulations.  A recommendation to initiate new policy or to change existing policy is handled through normal administrative channels.  Sexual harassment is covered in DGBA (REGULATION) in the Board Policy manual. Personal problems, personality conflicts or similar matters between employees will be addressed by appropriate  administrative personnel -- rather than the grievance procedure.

Presentation

Initial presentation of a grievance must be in writing on the DCCCD Employee grievance form and must specify reasons for the grievance.  All supervisors shall give the employee a full opportunity to present a grievance without fear of coercion or reprisal.  A grievant may choose a person to accompany the grievant to any meeting required by this grievance procedure.

Time Limitations

A grievance must be handled with reasonable promptness both in submission and processing at each level.  An employee may submit a grievance on the DCCCD Employee Grievance Form within 30 working days from the event or occurrence to the employee’s first-level supervisor.   Exceptions to the 30 working day limit will be considered by the College President only in extraordinary circumstances.  Ordinarily, the grievance process is completed within 30 working days of submission of a grievance.  But delays may occur from time to time due to holidays, vacation, nature of investigation or other valid reasons.  A supervisor shall report a delay to the location Human Resources representative.

Non-Retaliation

The College District will not tolerate any form of retaliation against employees who use this procedure.  Nothing in this procedure limits or delays the District’s right to take appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination, when an employee’s behavior warrants the action.

Eligibility

Procedures

An employee should make every effort to resolve a work-related problem or condition before initiating the grievance procedure.  All employees who file a grievance must discuss the grievance first with the employees’ location Human Resources representative During this discussion, the Human Resources representative and employee shall review all written policies and procedures that they believe are pertinent to the grievance.  If, after this discussion, an employee wishes to file a grievance, the employee will complete the grievance form and submit it to the employee ’s first level supervisor.  The most satisfactory solution may often be accomplished with the first-level supervisor.  If discussion with an employee’s supervisor does not resolve a grievance to the employee’s satisfaction, the employee may proceed to the next level of supervision, and eventually through the regular line of authority to the College President. The procedure is still quite informal, flexible, open, and designed to seek a satisfactory solution with a minimum of formality.  A College President shall conduct a formal review if an employee submits a written request for the review. 

Guideline for Formal Review

A formal review to a College President is governed by the following guidelines: 

1.  The College President is authorized to: 

    • require each employee to provide a written statement along with any documentation concerning the events, circumstances, and facts which give rise to a grievance; 
    • require appropriate personnel to appear and provide information; and 
    • question each employee who testifies.

 

2.   A review by a College President is not an adversarial proceeding.  A College President will conduct this review in a professional and cooperative manner and all participants are expected to do likewise.

An attorney or other representative of a grievant may present a grievance to a College President.  

A College President has authority to require production of documents or appearance of witnesses, or both, that the College President deems relevant to a review.  Failure of any employee to comply or cooperate with a request by a College President may subject the employee to disciplinary action, including termination. 

Final Disposition

A college president is the final level for review and decision unless the college president is an immediate supervisor of an employee who requests a formal review.  In this event, then the executive vice chancellor of educational affairs or the executive vice chancellor of business affairs is the final level and are bound by the same procedures and guidelines as a college president.  The Chancellor shall designate one of the executive vice chancellors to conduct a formal review.  In any case, a college president may defer the final review process and decision to the designated executive vice chancellor when the college president believes the deferral would provide a greater degree of confidence in this procedure.

The following will apply to final disposition: 

  1. A college president or the designated executive vice chancellor shall report a decision in writing to an employee within ten (10) working days after conclusion of a review.  The rationale for the decision must be included in the college president’s or the designated executive vice chancellor's written report.  A college president or the designated executive vice chancellor may also make recommendations to resolve a grievance which are binding on all personnel. 
  2. If a college president or the designated executive vice chancellor decides to uphold the employee’s grievance, the college president or the designated executive vice chancellor will return the matter to the employee’s immediate supervisor for appropriate review, response and action which is consistent with recommendations of the college president or the designated executive vice chancellor. 

College District Office

In the college district office, the grievance procedure is the same as above except the appropriate executive vice chancellor is the final authority.

Chancellor

If a grievance is filed against a college president, vice chancellor, an executive vice chancellor, or a member of the chancellor’s staff, the chancellor may designate the executive vice chancellor of educational affairs or of business affairs to conduct a formal review under the procedures and same guidelines as a college president.  The designated executive vice chancellor will report findings from this review to the chancellor who will report a decision in writing to an employee in a prompt manner.  The chancellor is the final authority.  The chancellor may review any grievance at any location and take appropriate action if necessary. 

Board Action

By law, the Board is not required to take any action concerning a grievance, but is required to listen if the grievance is presented at a public meeting.  Under the Texas Constitution, any employee may present a grievance to the Board regardless of the “Limitation” in this regulation.

Employee Responsibility

The employee will first discuss the grievance with a location Human Resources representative.  In this discussion the employee and location Human Resources representative will review policies and procedures related to the grievance. 

The employee is responsible for the completion of the DCCCD Grievance form and also the forwarding of the form through the listed channels (as needed) in the designated timeline to resolve the grievance.

HR Responsibility

The location Human Resources office will:


1.  Meet with the employee, before the initiation of the grievance process to provide guidance and information on policy and procedures.
 
2.  Visit with the employee regularly during the duration of the process to assure the integrity of the process.

It is the responsibility of the location Human Resources director or designee to report to location or district administration issues that compromise the health, safety or well being of the employee, staff, the district or it's facilities to location or district administration issues that compromise the health, safety or well being of the employee, staff, the district or it's facilities.

Exceptions To Policy

Other Notes

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