Handbook of Operating Procedures 5-2430
The University of Texas at Austin
Executive Sponsor: Vice President for University Operations
September 1, 1994
Section I. General Policy Guidelines
- Policy Statement
It is the policy of The University of Texas at Austin ("University") to provide its employees with a fair and efficient process to present and resolve complaints and grievances arising out of the employment relationship. This process is applicable to employees only on an individual basis. The University encourages employees to address with their supervisors workplace concerns as they arise.
These procedures are available to Classified and Administrative and Professional employees, including probationary, temporary, hourly or per diem employees who work on an as needed basis.
- Subject Matter
Employees may present complaints and grievances concerning their conditions of work. Such conditions include wages, hours, or any other matters related to the employer-employee relationship. Complaints and grievances should identify the basis of the dispute, including specific facts, and provide relevant documents or any other information pertinent to the matter. Complaints and grievances should also include the employee's desired result.
Employee complaints regarding suspension without pay, demotion or disciplinary dismissal are processed pursuant to “Policies and Procedures for Discipline and Dismissal and Grievance of Employees”, in the University's Handbook of Operating Procedures: HOP 5-2420. Allegations of illegal discrimination contained in complaints or grievances will be forwarded to the Office for Inclusion and Equity for processing under the University's Handbook of Operating Procedures.
Section II. Alternative Dispute Resolution
The University favors communication between supervisors and employees in order to resolve workplace concerns promptly. In an attempt to resolve employee disputes promptly, alternative dispute resolution efforts are initially required for the processing of employee grievances.
- Dispute Resolution Officer. A Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO), in the Employee Relations Section of Human Resources, will be responsible for providing assistance to employees and management in an effort to promptly resolve disputes arising in the workplace.
- Dispute Resolution Process. An employee must present his or her complaint in writing to the DRO within ten (10) University business days from the date the incident giving rise to the complaint has occurred. The DRO will meet with the employee and other personnel and assess whether there is a need to obtain more information to understand the full extent of the complaint. The DRO may attempt to resolve the complaint by facilitating discussion between the employee and the first and/or second level supervisors. The DRO may determine that formal mediation is an appropriate resolution tool and will recommend mediation between the employee and the supervisor. Participation by the parties in mediation is voluntary. The DRO, within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed thirty (30) calendar days from the date the complaint is filed, shall close the resolution process.
If the employee is not satisfied with the results of the dispute resolution efforts, the employee should contact the DRO to request the dispute resolution process be closed. Once the dispute resolution process is closed, the employee then may pursue the formal grievance procedure.
Section III. Grievance Procedure
- Step One
An employee who decides to initiate the formal Grievance Procedure shall present the grievance in writing within ten (10) University business days from the date that the dispute resolution process has been closed. The grievance shall be filed through the DRO to the appropriate Dean or Director. The DRO will track and maintain records of all grievances filed at the University for the purpose of recommending systemic changes that may provide better communications and working relationships between employees and management.
The Dean or Director may select a Designee to listen to the grievance. The Dean, Director or Designee will be required to meet with the employee to listen to the grievance. The Dean or Director will be required to provide a written response within ten (10) University business days of the meeting.
- Step Two
If the grievance is not resolved at Step 1, the employee shall file within twenty (20) University business days from the date of the Step 1 decision, a written grievance through the DRO, directed to the appropriate Vice President. The Vice President may select a Designee to listen to the grievance. The Vice President or Designee will be required to meet with the employee to listen to the grievance. The Vice President will provide a written response within twenty (20) University business days of the meeting. The decision of the Vice President is final.
Section IV. Miscellaneous
- Retention of Documents. The grievance and all decisions or responses relating to it shall be a part of the employee's departmental personnel file.
- Extension of Time Limits. An extension of time limits provided in this policy may be requested of the Associate Vice President for Human Resources (AVPHR) or Designee. The AVPHR or Designee shall grant such a request after a determination that good cause exists.
- Retaliation Prohibited. A faculty member, staff member, or administrator who retaliates in any way against an employee who has brought a complaint or grievance pursuant to this policy or against an employee who has participated in a review of the complaint or grievance, is subject to disciplinary action.
- Effects on Personnel Actions. The filing of a complaint or grievance will not stop or delay any personnel action which is the subject matter of the complaint or grievance.
For Assistance: Questions regarding this policy should be directed to Human Resources, Employee Relations Section: http://www.utexas.edu/hr.
Source: Texas Government Code 617.005
Editorial change made February 23, 2016
Previous Policy: HOP 9.49(a) and 7.C.1