Policy 3.3.8 - Grievance

In order to maintain a harmonious and cooperative relationship between the College and its employees, the College provides for the settlement of problems and differences through an orderly grievance procedure. Every employee shall have the right to present his/her problem or grievance free from coercion, restraint, discrimination or reprisal. The Policy provides for prompt and orderly consideration and determination of employee problems or grievances by supervisors and the President.

A grievance is any matter of employee concern or dissatisfaction within the College’s control except: (a) employee disciplinary matters pursuant to Policy 3.3.4; (b) Non-renewal based on Impermissible Grounds pursuant to Policy 3.3.5; (c) discrimination and harassment pursuant to Policy 3.3.7; (d) reduction in force and/or involuntary leave without pay pursuant to Policy 3.3.9; or (e) any other matter that has a specific grievance process outlined in College policy.

A. Informal Grievance Process

If an employee has a grievance, it should first be discussed with his/her immediate supervisor within five (5) business days from the date of the situation which is grieved. The supervisor may call higher level supervisors into the discussion if the employee agrees or the supervisor may consult with higher level supervisors to seek any needed advice or counsel from his/her administrative superiors before giving an answer. The employee shall receive an answer within ten (10) business days. The circumstances should be documented by both the supervisor and the grievant. Should the complaint involve the immediate supervisor in such a way that the employee feels he/she cannot take the complaint to the supervisor, then the initial written complaint may be made directly to the Director of  Human Resources.

B. Formal Grievance Process

If the decision reached by the Informal Grievance Process is not satisfactory to the grievant, s/he may file a written grievance with the Director of Human Resources (“Director”) within five (5) business days after receipt of the Informal Grievance Process decision. The written grievance must contain specific facts supporting the grievance. Depending on the nature of the appeal, the Director will determine to what extent additional facts will be required. The supervisor and employee shall provide all pertinent information to the Director. The Director shall provide his/her written decision to the proper administrators or superiors and grievant within ten (10) business days of receipt of the grievance. In the absence of an appeal, the Director’s decision will be carried out within a reasonable period of time and the grievance considered resolved.

C. Appeal to the President

If the decision reached by the Formal Grievance Process is not satisfactory to the grievant, the grievant may, within five (5) business days receipt of the Director’s decision, appeal the Director’s decision to the President. The appeal must be in writing and provided to the President. The President will conduct an “on the record review” of the documents and supporting materials presented during the Formal Grievance Process and, if needed, conduct any further investigation. The President can accept, reject or modify the Director’s determination and will make a decision within ten (10) business days and the decision will be communicated in writing to all appropriate persons. The President’s decision shall be final.

D. Grievances Involving the President

In the event that a grievance is being filed against the President, the grievant shall first follow the Informal Grievance Process outlined above and meet with the President. If the grievant is not satisfied with the resolution at the Informal Grievance Process, s/he may continue with the Formal Grievance Process but file the written grievance with the Board Chair. The Board Chair shall delegate the matter to the College’s legal counsel to conduct an investigation. The Board Attorney will have the authority to conduct the investigation and will file a written report to the Board Chair within twenty (20) business days.

At the next regularly scheduled Board meeting, the Board members shall review the College legal counsel’s report and recommendation. The Board of Trustees will discuss the recommendation in closed session, then in open session, vote to uphold, reverse or modify the President’s decision. The Board of Trustees decision is final.

In the event that more time is necessary for the College’s legal counsel to conduct his/her investigation and/or the Board to review the matter, the Board Chair may extend all deadlines as necessary.

Adopted: June 12, 2019