Procedure 5.31.01 - Employee Complaint/Grievance and Appellate


The purpose of this procedure is to provide an informal and/or formal outlet to resolve conflicts and disagreements that may arise in the operations and activities of the college. This procedure is intended to be non-adversarial in nature and is designed to protect the rights of the employee without legal representation being introduced into the process by either the college or employee unless the process exceeds level four. At that point, legal representation may be requested. The President will be advised of any alleged grievance which appears to be in violation of state or federal law. Should a grievance be filed against the president, the employee will follow the recommended procedures in levels one and five. A human resources representative is available to provide guidance at any point in the process. Should the grievance be against the Director of Human Resources, the president will appoint a suitable replacement to assist with the process. Level One: Informal Resolution Southeastern Community College encourages direct communication between employees and supervisors to attempt to address complaints in the spirit of cooperation and compromise. Employees should attempt to resolve a complaint first with their immediate supervisor with the assistance of Human Resources (if necessary). In the event the issue is against the supervisor, the employee can go directly to the supervisor’s supervisor. Level Two: Informal Resolution In the event the employee feels the complaint remains unresolved after Level One, the employee will notify the Director of Human Resources and seek assistance in mediating the complaint. Upon reviewing the complaint and meeting with all affected parties, the Director of Human Resources will recommend a resolution to the affected parties and the Division Vice President or President if applicable. Normally, complaints will be resolved at this level. In the event the issue is against the Vice President or President, the Director of Human Resources will recommend the resolution to the affected parties and the appropriate authority. Level Three: Formal Grievance – Review by Vice President An employee who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the informal complaint may file a formal grievance with the Director of Human Resources. The grievance must be submitted to the human resource administrator within 10 working days of the outcome of the informal complaint. Upon receipt, the Director of Human Resources will log the grievance and forward it and all related documents to the appropriate vice president. The Employee Grievance Form is available on-line at www.sccnc.edu under Policies and Procedures. In completing the form, the employee must provide a specific statement of the grievance, indicate what solution or remedy they expect, detail their disagreement with any solution or remedy that has thus far been proposed and provide names and contact information of any witnesses. All parties involved in the grievance will be notified and given an opportunity to submit a written response to Human Resources to be included in the documentation sent to the vice president or appropriate authority in the event the issue is against the vice president. The vice president or appropriate authority has (5) working days from the date of receipt of the written appeal to arrange meetings with the employee(s) and the supervisor. The vice president has (5) working days from the final meeting with the parties involved to render a decision. The vice president’s decision will stand as final and all proceeding(s) will be terminated unless the employee wishes to appeal the vice president’s decision, or unless the vice president fails to deliver a written decision to the employee in a timely manner as stipulated. In the event the grievance is against the vice president, the college president will assume the vice president’s role in the grievance and the process will move to Level Four. Level Four: Formal Grievance – Review by President To initiate Level Four of the grievance procedure, the employee must submit a written statement to Human Resources within (5) working days from the decision of the vice president requesting a formal review by the President, explaining his/her objection to the vice president’s decision. The Director of Human Resources will notify all parties involved and forward the grievance and all related documents to the President as soon as possible after receiving the request. The President will review the submitted grievance and all documentation and conduct an inquiry with involved parties as necessary and will attempt to reach a final decision within (10) working days after receipt of the grievance. The President’s decision remains final and all proceeding(s) will be terminated unless the employee wishes to appeal the president’s decision. Level Five: Formal Grievance – Review by Board of Trustees To initiate Level Five of the grievance procedure the employee must submit a written statement to Human Resources within (5) working days from the decision of the president requesting a formal review by the Board of Trustees, explaining their objection to the president’s decision. The Board or the Executive Committee of the Board may elect to review the information to date and render a decision without the personal appearance before them of the parties of the grievance, hear the case themselves, or take other action at their option within (30) days of receipt of the grievance. The decision of the Board or the Executive Committee of the Board is final.

Hearing Procedures

If a hearing is held by the Board or the Executive Committee of the Board, the individual bringing the appeal is entitled to the following:

  1. As rapid a process as possible
  2. Reasonable notice of hearing dates and rulings
  3. Legal representation, if desired, at the individual’s own expense
  4. Presentation of witnesses in the individual’s behalf
  5. Cross-examination of witnesses
  6. The presentation and receipt of evidence, explanations, or charges relevant to the grievance
  7. A copy of the record of the proceedings at a reasonable charge to the person requesting the record (upon written request)

The Board chair or his/her designee establishes the format for the hearing and presents the format to all parties at least five (5) days before the hearing. All attempts will be made to resolve a formal grievance within the time parameters as outlined above. However, in extenuating circumstances, time frames may be deviated provided all concerned parties mutually agree.

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