SPP 901: Grievance Process
To provide procedures for handling grievances and to ensure fair and impartial hearings of grievances
ASU Staff Grievance Hearing Procedure
Regular classified employees (nonprobationary). Note: This policy does not apply to university staff.
Arizona State University recognizes the importance of providing a prompt and efficient procedure for resolving grievances fairly and equitably, without fear of prejudice or retaliation for initiating a grievance or participating in its settlement on the part of the person involved. All grievants shall have clearly defined avenues of appeal and redress which may include a) mediation, b) informal grievance (taking the grievance through the chain of command), and/or c) a formal grievance hearing before an external hearing officer, who prepares a summary recommendation for the assistant or associate vice president, vice president, or president who makes the final decision. All actions at any stage of the grievance process shall be characterized by fairness, frankness, courtesy, and respect for the dignity of each individual involved.
Grievances should be resolved internally at the level closest to the grievant whenever possible. All grievants must pursue either mediation or informal grievance to completion before filing a formal grievance.
If suspension without pay, demotion, or involuntary termination has occurred and the proposed disciplinary action has been sustained, the employee may file a formal grievance directly. Termination of a classified employee during the probationary period is not subject to mediation, informal grievance, or formal grievance.
Mediation may be requested by an employee who requires informal assistance in the resolution of a complaint. An ombudsperson from the ASU Ombudsperson Committee or another individual designated by the chair of the Ombudsperson Committee will mediate, conciliate, and coordinate communication among the grievant, respondent, and those related to the complaint. The purpose of this process is to air differences between the parties and to resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of both parties without resorting to formal hearings. Mediation is strongly recommended.
The names of members of the ASU Ombudsperson Committee are listed in the ASU Directory and the ASU Roster of Boards, Committees, and Councils.
Guidelines Regarding Mediation Procedures
Whenever an ombudsperson determines that a resolution could be attained by arranging a meeting with the parties, he or she may do so. All mediation meetings shall be closed and are confidential. The ombudsperson may terminate mediation after meeting with each party at least once if it is apparent that the matter cannot be mediated. The grievant may then follow the informal grievance procedure if he or she wants to pursue the grievance.
Access shall not be given to information deemed confidential under federal or state laws or university policy, or if access would constitute an invasion of privacy. If the ombudsperson denies access, all parties shall be given a written explanation. If the grievant disagrees with the ombudsperson’s determination, the grievant may terminate mediation and pursue an informal grievance.
If mediation has been completed and the grievant disagrees with the ombudsperson’s determination, the grievant may initiate the formal grievance procedure within 30 days of receipt of an ombudsperson’s report, if the matter is grievable.
|Note:||Attorneys or other representatives may not be present or appear
on behalf of an employee, supervisor, dean or director during any
of the informal grievance procedure steps 1–3 listed above.
If the grievance cannot be resolved through the administrative process listed in informal grievance steps 1–3 and the matter is grievable, the employee may submit a formal written grievance to OHR within 30 days of receipt of a dean’s or director’s report indicating that the grievance has been unresolvable through normal administrative channels.
An eligible employee may file a written grievance and request for hearing with the OHR. OHR will provide a Demand for Grievance form and the University Grievance Hearing Process upon request. If the grievance is grievable, OHR will forward the grievance to the external hearing officer designated by the university for completion of the hearing process at the university’s expense. On receipt of the grievance, OHR will forward a copy of the grievance to the respondent with a request for a written response. OHR will provide copies of the hearing rules and procedures as well as a list of three hearing officers, including their names and biographies, who are available to conduct a hearing. The hearing officer will be selected by the parties through the use of strikes or through another process that is agreeable to the parties and OHR.
Filing Time Limits
A grievance must be filed within 30 days of involuntary termination for cause, demotion, or suspension without pay; or, within 30 days of receipt of an ombudsperson’s report following mediation efforts; or, within 30 days of receipt of a dean’s or director’s report indicating that the grievance has been unresolvable through normal administrative channels.
Grievant, at his or her own expense, may be represented by counsel (an attorney) during the grievance process and counsel may present the case during the hearing. Respondent may be represented by counsel, who may be a university attorney or outside counsel, during the grievance process, including the hearing.
The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with Arizona Revised Statutes § 41–1062.
Within 60 days after the grievance is filed, a hearing will be scheduled on a date that is agreeable to the parties.
Within 30 days after the hearing ends, the hearing officer will provide a written advisory report summarizing the positions of the parties, the testimony of the witnesses, identification and analysis of documentation submitted, findings, conclusions and recommendations to the appropriate ASU vice president, or the president if the vice president is the respondent. The hearing officer will not order an award or remedy to either party.
Within 30 days from receipt of the report, the vice president (or president as applicable) will forward a written final decision to the parties and the associate vice president of OHR. If the vice president (or president as applicable) cannot issue a decision within the 30–day period, he or she will notify the parties within the 30–day period of a delay in the issuing of the decision, the reasons for the delay, and the date on which the decision can be expected.
Request for Review or Rehearing
Hearings that involve personnel matters will be closed to those not appearing as participants. Witnesses will be present only while testifying. The hearing officer’s reports and tapes, as well as the vice president’s or president’s decision, are confidential but will be made available to the parties on request. The requesting party must pay reasonable duplication costs.
A grievance will not be accepted and the hearing will not be conducted until the employee has either attempted resolution through normal administrative channels (informal grievance) or through mediation. Within seven days after receipt of the grievance, OHR will return the claim to the employee with a written notice explaining why the claim is premature.
The following actions are not grievable:
If OHR determines the grievance is not grievable, the grievance will be returned to the grievant with a written explanation on the reason(s) why the case is not grievable.
OHR is available for advisement on actions that are nongrievable.
Completion of these steps exhausts the university process for resolving grievances.
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