University of Rochester

Grievance Procedure

If you find that your efforts to use the strategies and resources listed here have not allowed you to achieve a satisfactory outcome, you may want to consider utilizing the University's Grievance Procedure, Policy 160.

Staff represented by a collective bargaining agreement should consult current contract language or the appropriate union representative.

A newly hired employee in the probationary period (for non-exempt staff) or introductory period (for exempt staff) whose employment is terminated may not use the University's grievance procedure to grieve the termination.

The University's Grievance Procedure

The University's Grievance Procedure is designed to supplement the informal department means of resolve a staff member's problems or complaints. It may be used whenever a staff member's efforts to solve the problem through discussion with an immediate supervisor have been unsuccessful. The staff member may invite someone to accompany him or her to the meeting(s) with the department head, dean/director, or review committee.

Throughout the process, the Office of Human Resources is available to assist staff members in both the informal and formal resolution of their grievances. Help may also be obtained from the University Intercessor.

Step One

The staff member shall present a request to grieve the problem or complaint in writing to the department head. This shall be done as promptly as possible, generally no more than one week after the incident or action in question. Upon receipt of the written statement, the department head and/or designee will promptly contact the staff member to set up a meeting to hear the grievance. The department head and/or designee will reply in writing to the staff member with his or her decision and the reason for it within one week or as promptly as possible.

If the department head's and/or designee's decision does not resolve the problem to the staff member's satisfaction, the staff member shall contact the appropriate dean or director within one week of receiving the department head's response under Step 1.

Step Two

The staff member shall send the dean or director a copy of the complaint and the response from Step 1 along with a letter explaining the staff member's reasons for dissatisfaction with the response or outcome.

The dean or director and/or designee will promptly meet with the individual and any others concerned.

The dean or director and/or designee will reply in writing, generally within two weeks of the meeting with the staff member. In cases where the dean or director and/or designee finds the need for a longer inquiry, he or she will inform the individual within two weeks as to approximately when the decision will be rendered.

If the staff member feels that the problem has not been resolved satisfactorily at Step 2 and desires further appeal, he or she may refer the grievance to the Review Committee.

The Review Committee is chaired by a senior administrative official of the University and includes two other persons selected by the president who have not been involved in any earlier review of the problem. The associate vice president of Human Resources and/or designee serves as an ex-officio member of the Committee and assists in procedural and policy matters.

Step Three

Within two weeks of receiving the response from Step 2, the staff member should provide the chair of the Review Committee with copies of the first and second step statements and responses along with an explanation of the reasons for dissatisfaction with the decision received at Step 2.

The Review Committee will schedule a meeting at which the staff member may present his or her case.

A decision will be issued in writing generally within three weeks of the meeting. In cases where the need for a longer inquiry is necessary, the individual will be advised as to approximately when a decision can be expected.

The decision of the Review Committee completes the final appeal step and is binding upon all parties within the University.