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HR-602 Grievance Procedure for Administrative, Service and Support Staff

Note: HR-602 Grievance Procedure for Administrative, Service and Support Staff has an effective date of June 1, 2021. For policy effective prior to June 1, 2021, please see HR-602 Grievance Administration.

Summary

This policy address grievance policy and procedures for eligible administrative, service and support employees.


Policy

Per Collected Rules and Regulations (CRR) 380.010: Grievance Procedure for Administrative, Service and Support Staff (Bd. Min. 4-22-2021):

  1. Policy Statement & Purpose
    1. The University of Missouri strives to provide and maintain a safe and respectful work environment for all employees. The University recognizes that employees may encounter disputes or other complaints that impact their work.
    2. Generally, problems should be resolved informally through direct discussions between employees and supervisors. This Grievance Procedure provides a means to resolve issues where informal resolution is not successful.
  2. At-Will Employment Status - Nothing contained in this policy is intended and no language contained herein shall be construed as establishing a “just cause” standard for imposing discipline, including but not limited to, termination of employment. Further, nothing contained in this policy is intended and no language contained herein shall be construed to alter in any manner whatsoever the at-will employment status of any at-will University employee.
  3. Definitions
    1. Advisor - Individuals selected to provide support and guidance during the Grievance Procedure. 
    2. Business Days - Regular workdays (Monday through Friday), exclusive of official University holidays (as defined in the Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 340.040), and Winter Break Reduced Operations (as defined in the Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 340.045).
    3. Campus Grievance Officer - The Campus Grievance Officer is a Human Resources Administrator responsible for investigations and resolutions of grievances. The Chancellor (or designee) is responsible for designating a Campus Grievance Officer for campus and MU Health Care; The President is responsible for assigning a Grievance Officer for UM System.
    4. Eligible Employee - This Grievance Procedure applies to Regular Administrative, Service, and Support Staff as defined in the Collected Rules and Regulations Section 320.050(B).  Terminated employees may use the Grievance Procedure only in connection with their involuntary termination.
    5. Grievance - A written complaint filed by an Eligible Employee alleging a Grievable Issue. 
    6. Grievant - The Eligible Employee who files a Grievance.
    7. Supervisor - The individual who has the authority to take actions that directly affect their terms and conditions of employment, such as hiring, firing, demoting, promoting, or disciplining.
    8. UM System Grievance Officer - The UM System Grievance Officer is a senior-level human resources administrator designated by the President (or designee) to hear all appeals.
  4. Grievable Issues
    1. Grievable Issues - An Eligible Employee may submit a grievance if the employee alleges:
      1. they have been personally, materially, and adversely impacted by a violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of law;
      2. they have been personally, materially, and adversely impacted by a violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of a written University policy; or
      3. they received disciplinary action or involuntary termination, which resulted from a violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of law or written University policy.
    2. Non-Grievable Issues - The following are not eligible grievable issues under the grievance policy:
      1. Hiring decisions;
      2. Job classification;
      3. Compensation;
      4. Performance appraisals;
      5. Performance improvement plans, expectation letters, or other written instruments intended to monitor or improve performance;
      6. Terminations or disciplinary actions during an employee’s probationary period, as defined in the Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 320.060;
      7. Layoffs subject to Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 350.051, unless the grievance alleges a violation of this policy;
      8. Resignations;
      9. Complaints of discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, which should be addressed following the applicable Equity Resolution Processes found in the Collected Rules and Regulations, Chapter 600;
      10. Alleged violation, misapplication, or misinterpretation of University policies with separately identified University processes for review and resolution including but not limited to University of Missouri Healthcare procedures governed by state and federal regulations; or  
      11. Additional issues that may be identified by the University’s Chief Human Resources Officer as being inconsistent with the purpose and efficient functioning of this Grievance Procedure.
  5. Informal Resolution - Before initiating a Grievance, employees are expected to attempt to resolve the issue through informal discussion with their Supervisors.  If an employee feels that the issue cannot be discussed with their supervisor, the employee may contact their campus, hospital, or UM System human resources office for assistance.
  6. Procedures for Grievance Submission, Investigation and Review
    1. Initiating a Grievance - An Eligible Employee may file a Grievance within ten (10) Business Days after the Eligible Employee knew or reasonably should have known about the action or omission on which the grievance is based.  The University may designate specific forms on which Grievances are submitted, and establish particular platforms that must be utilized to initiate Grievances. If an employee requires assistance in preparing and submitting a Grievance, they may reach out to their campus human resources office, or other designated offices. The grievance must contain the following information:
      1. A description of the action(s) or omission(s) that gave rise to the grievance, including the person(s) responsible and the date(s) on which they occurred;
      2. Identification of the specific written University policy that is alleged to have been violated;
      3. A description of the attempts to resolve the grievance informally; and
      4. The remedy being requested.
    2. Eligibility Determination
      1. The UM System Grievance Officer will designate an individual to review the grievance to determine whether:

        1.) The Grievant is an Eligible Employee;

        2.) The grievance is timely;

        3.) The grievance relates to a Grievable Issue;

        4.) The Grievant demonstrated an attempt at Informal Resolution or provided adequate justification for why they did not make an attempt; and

        5.) When viewed in the light most favorable to the Grievant, the grievance alleges facts which could warrant a remedy.

      2. The grievance will be rejected if any of the above requirements are not met. A written decision will be rendered whether the grievance is accepted or rejected within ten (10) Business Days after receiving the grievance. 
      3. The Grievant may request a reconsideration of the Eligibility Determination by filing a written request with the University’s Chief Human Resources Officer or designee (“CHRO”) within three (3) business days of notice of the rejection. If the CHRO determines that the matter is grievable under this policy, the CHRO will reverse the eligibility determination ending the process and direct the process to continue.
    3. Grievance Investigation - If the Grievance is accepted, the Campus Grievance Officer will provide the Grievant with written notice identifying the nature of the grievable allegation(s) and that an investigation has commenced.  The investigation should offer the Grievant the opportunity to submit additional documents, identify witnesses and evidence, and include additional reasonable efforts to obtain relevant information, including interviews with the Grievant and any relevant witnesses.  The investigation may solicit whatever other information is deemed appropriate to resolve the grievable allegations. The Grievance investigation should typically be completed within thirty (30) Business Days after the grievance is accepted, but may take longer based on the nature or circumstances of the grievance.  The Campus Grievance Officer may designate an investigator to investigate the grievance.  The assigned investigator may recommend findings and remedies, but only the Campus Grievance Officer may determine results and remedies. The designated investigator may be from campus or UM System.
    4. Grievance Resolution - The Campus Grievance Officer will review the Grievance investigation results and any recommendations and will resolve the grievance in accordance with the following additional principles:
      1. The Grievant will have the burden of proof to demonstrate that there was a violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of law or University policy and that the remedy requested is appropriate.
      2. The Campus Grievance Officer has the discretion to determine the relevance of any witness or evidence and may exclude irrelevant, immaterial, cumulative, or more prejudicial than informative information.
      3. Grievance Resolution will typically be completed within 60 (sixty) Business Days after the decision to accept the grievance.  Deviations from this timeframe will be communicated to the Grievant and others as appropriate.
      4. The Campus Grievance Officer will notify the Grievant and others as appropriate of the decision in writing.  If the Campus Grievance Officer finds in favor of the Grievant, the Campus Grievance Officer will determine an appropriate remedy.
      5. The Campus Grievance Officer’s decision will be final unless the Grievant timely appeals.
  7. Appeals to the UM System Grievance Officer
    1. Requests for Appeal - The Grievant may submit a written request for appeal to the UM System Grievance Officer within five (5) business days after delivery of Campus Grievance Officer’s written decision.  The University may designate specific forms on which a request for appeal must be submitted as well as the platform that must be used to submit requests for appeal.   
    2. Review of Appeal - If the request for appeal is timely, the UM System Grievance Officer will accept the request and render a decision on the appeal applying the following principles:
      1. The Grievant’s Appeal must demonstrate that the Campus Grievance Officer’s decision is based on an error or omission that had a material effect on the outcome of the Grievance.
      2. The UM System Grievance Officer will independently review whether the Campus Grievance Officer mis-stated, misinterpreted, or mis-applied applicable law or University policy.
      3. Appeals are not intended to be full re-hearings of the grievance, and therefore the UM System Grievance Officer will be deferential to the Campus Grievance Officer’s findings of fact.
      4. In most cases, appeals will be confined to a review of the written documentation, Grievance Investigation, and relevant documentation regarding the grounds for appeal. The UM System Grievance Officer may solicit additional information if deemed appropriate, including interviews with the Grievant, the Campus Grievance Officer, and others. 
      5. The UM System Grievance Officer may grant an appeal based on new information that was not reasonably available at the time of the Campus Grievance Officer’s decision and which materially affects the outcome of the Grievance.  The UM System Grievance Officer may make a new decision based on such information or remand the Grievance to the Campus Grievance Officer for reconsideration.
      6. The UM System Grievance Officer will typically render a decision on the appeal to the Grievant and Campus Grievance Officer within fifteen (15) Business Days after accepting the request for appeal.  The UM System Grievance Officer may extend the deadline for issuing a written decision with written notice to the Grievant and Campus Grievance Officer. 
      7. The UM System Grievance Officer’s decision is final, and further appeals and grievances are not permitted.
  8. Advisors - Grievant’s are allowed to have one Advisor of their choice present with them for all Grievance proceedings.  The Grievant may select whomever they wish to serve as their Advisor, including an attorney.  An Advisor is not required, and a Grievant may elect to proceed without an Advisor.  The University is not required to provide a Grievant with an Advisor, and an Advisor’s attendance is the Grievant's responsibility.  The Advisor may not make a presentation or represent the Grievant in Grievance proceedings.  The Grievant is expected to ask and respond to questions on their own.  The Advisor may provide the Grievant consultation quietly, in writing, or during a break in the proceedings; however, the Advisor may not speak on behalf of the Grievant.  Advisors who do not follow these guidelines will be cautioned or dismissed from the proceeding.
  9. Extensions of Time - For good cause, the Campus Grievance Officer or UM System Grievance Officer may grant reasonable extensions of time for any of the time deadlines in this Grievance Procedure.
  10. Notice - Notice required by this Grievance Procedure may be via the Grievant's university-issued email account or first-class mail to the Grievant’s mailing address indicated in University records. If necessary, notice may be via the Grievant's personal email account.
  11. Status During Grievance - The initiation of the Grievance Procedure does not delay the effectiveness of any disciplinary action or termination. This policy should not be interpreted as preventing, limiting, or delaying the University from taking appropriate corrective action.
  12. Retaliation - The University supports employees’ right to address work-related disagreements through this Grievance Procedure and will not tolerate retaliation against any person for filing a good-faith Grievance or participating in the Grievance Procedure in good faith.
  13. Additional Policies - The University's Chief Human Resources Officer shall have authority to adopt additional policies that are necessary or appropriate for the effective and efficient operation of this Grievance Procedure.

Further Policy Provisions

Additional HR-602 policy provisions below in accordance with CRR 380.010:

  1. Timeline
    While each grievance is unique and may require additional time per policy, the following graph is an estimated timeline for grievance administration: Grievance timeline graphic; please contact the HR Service Center for assistance (573) 882-2146 or HRServiceCenter@umsystem.edu. File grievance (10 days); Eligibility review (10 days);[Request a reconsideration within 3 days of notice of rejection]; Grievance investigation (estimate 30 days); Grievance resolution (estimate 60 days) Request appeal(5 days); Review of request (15 days); Review of appeal (15 days). All days are in business days.
  2. Other Information
    1. Eligible employees may file a grievance by completing the required confidential online form via askHR/Employee & Labor Relations at www.askHR.umsystem.edu.
    2. Campus Grievance Officers who are responsible for the campus investigation and resolution include:
      Campus Grievance Officer Contact
      MU Patty Haberberger HaberbergerP@missouri.edu
      MU Health Care Lacy Lugo, J.D. LugoL@health.missouri.edu
      UMKC Sybil Wyatt, J.D. WyattSb@umkc.edu
      S&T Cuba Plain PlainC@mst.edu
      UMSL Jim Hertel HertelJ@umsl.edu
      UMSYS Veronica Schultz SchultzV@umsystem.edu

       

    3. UM System Grievance Officers who are responsible for reviewing appeals include:
      Campus Grievance Officer Contact
      All campuses Veronica Schultz SchultzV@umsystem.edu
      UMSYS Marsha Fischer FischerMb@umsystem.edu

       

  3. Effective Date
    The provisions of this rule apply with respect to grievances submitted on June 1, 2021, or later.

See Also

HR-602 Grievance Policy Q&A
Staff Grievance Portal
Collection of Policies for Service and Maintenance Employees
Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 365.010: Faculty and Staff Mediation Service
Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 370.010: Academic Grievance
Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 380.010: Staff Grievance
Collected Rules and Regulations, Chapter 600: Equity Resolution Processes

Date Created: 09/26/1997
Last Updated: 03/15/2018; 06/01/2021

Reviewed 2021-04-28