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Resolving Problems at Work

How to find the help you need to get your work life back on track


Workplace Problems

Many people will occasionally encounter situations at work that can be difficult or frustrating to resolve. Some of these situations might include:

  • Problems with your supervisor
  • Problems with a co-worker
  • Feeling that you are being harassed or discriminated against
  • Learning that you have a disabling condition
  • Feeling like you are not being treated fairly
  • Coping with illness in the family
  • Wanting to learn how to improve your workplace interactions

Often we try to resolve the problem on our own. When we have success, we feel good about being able to manage our own problems effectively. Sometimes, however, even with our best efforts, we are not successful. At these times, you may want to contact one of these resources.

Talk to Your Supervisor

Talk to your supervisor, especially if you have been trying to work things out on your own. Your supervisor may be able to suggest other alternatives that you haven't considered. Many times supervisors have information that would be helpful to you. You and your supervisor may be able to develop a resolution together.

Contact the Office of Human Resources

River Campus, ESM, MAG
Eastman School of Music
Memorial Art Gallery
273-4320
Medical Center
275-2513

Contact a Human Resources representative for assistance, especially if your supervisor seems to be a part of the problem. Human Resources representatives know how to approach a problem and can help develop strategies for talking to your supervisor or co-worker about a situation.

Call the University's Employee Assistance Program

Strong EAP
475-0432

Make an appointment to speak with a counselor at the University's Employee Assistance Program. Services are confidential. The professional counselors at Strong EAP are good resources for creative problem solving, especially when challenging problems involve family members, significant others, or co-workers. They may also be able to suggest other resources for you to draw upon.

Consult with the University Intercessor

Intercessor's Office
275-9125
Intercessor - Racial Discrimination
275-2867
Workplace Accommodations
275-9125

Ask for guidance from the University Intercessor. The University Intercessor will listen to your description of the situation and will want to learn what strategies you have tried to resolve the situation. You and the Intercessor can then develop a plan of what to do next, whether you decide to proceed on your own or with the assistance of the Intercessor.

University of Rochester/Strong Health Integrity Hotline
Call 756-8888

The University of Rochester/Strong Health Integrity Hotline is designed to promote honesty and high ethical standards throughout the institution. All employees—faculty and staff—should report any concerns about improper or unethical behavior to their supervisors or to the Hotline. Individuals must report any suspicious behavior that may jeopardize the integrity of the institution, such as noncompliance with laws and regulations, violations of professional standards of practice, business ethics, conflicts of interest, research fraud, or a breach of patient confidentiality. All calls are treated confidentially, and individuals who call the Hotline may remain anonymous. Calls to the Hotline (an outside, dedicated line) are not recorded, and the caller's number cannot be identified.

Both federal and University guidelines forbid retaliation toward a person bringing a good faith allegation of noncompliance. Any retaliatory conduct against persons acting in good faith will be subject to disciplinary action. (Employees who intentionally and maliciously make false accusations will be disciplined in accordance with University policy.)

Policies and Procedures Manual

www.rochester.edu/working/hr/policies/

The University's Policies and Procedures Manual is readily available online. Staff and faculty are invited to review the list of policies to determine if there is a University policy that applies to their situation. Paper copies of specific policies are available by contacting your Human Resources representative.

Some relevant policies include:

  • the Grievance Procedure (Policy 160 [.pdf])
  • the Policy against Discrimination and Harrassment (Policy 106 [.pdf])