WPI recognizes that employees may, on occasion, experience a job-related difficulty with an employment condition or University policy.
It is important that a satisfactory solution be worked out.
Employees are encouraged to try to solve difficulties via informal discussions whenever possible. Most problems can be worked out at this level by just getting them “out in the open.” The University makes available an Ombudsperson who may be of assistance during informal discussions.
However, when a complaint cannot be resolved informally with the help of an immediate supervisor, the University provides for a formal review process which will seek a fair and timely resolution. Generally addressed in the procedure are the interpretation and application of the provisions of the handbook, disciplinary actions, terminations, any type of discrimination, and matters related to environmental and work safety conditions at the University. Regular performance reviews are not subject to the grievance procedure. If the grievance involves alleged sexual harassment, the employee should use the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedure.
Only Step I of the Grievance Procedure is available to probationary employees. Procedures for grievances involving termination of employment are explained in Step III. If there is a question as to whether a particular matter is subject to this procedure, the determination will be made by the Vice President for Human Resources. All problems or complaints will be held in strictest confidence, unless employee consent is granted. No employee shall be discriminated against because he/she elects to use the formal procedure described below:
Step I: Department Head
If informal procedures are not effective in resolving an issue with an immediate Supervisor and/or Ombudsperson, the employee must, within ten (10) working days of the event or occurrence which is the subject of the grievance, present the grievance in writing to the Department Head.
Failure to file the grievance within the required time limit shall mean that the employee is barred from proceeding further with the grievance.
The Department Head may (but is not required to) meet with the parties involved, including the grievant and any witnesses, to investigate the complaint. He/she will issue a written response to the grievant within ten (10) working days of the filing of the grievance.
Step II: Vice President for Human Resources
If the employee is not satisfied with the outcome of the grievance at Step I, he/she may appeal in writing to the Vice President for Human Resources within five (5) working days of receipt of the decision by the Department Head. If the Department Head fails to issue a response within ten (10) working days, the grievant may immediately appeal to the Vice President for Human Resources. Failure to file the appeal within the required time limit shall mean that the grievant is barred from proceeding further. The Vice President for Human Resources shall try to resolve the matter through the use of fact finding and information gathering, including interviewing the principal parties involved in the matter and any relevant witnesses. The Vice President for Human Resources shall issue a written decision on the matter within ten (10) working days of receipt of the appeal.
Step III: Senior Administrative Officer
If the employee is not satisfied with the outcome of the grievance at Step II, he/she may file an appeal in writing to the appropriate senior administrative officer of the University within five (5) working days of receipt of the Step II decision. Failure to file the appeal within the required time limit shall mean that the grievant is barred from proceeding further. For purposes of this provision, the senior administrative officers of the University are the Provost, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Life, the Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer, the Vice President of Information Technology, and the Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations. Any appeal at this step should be directed to the officer responsible for the department in which the grievant is employed. When the grievant’s responsibilities cross departmental or divisional lines, the Vice President for Human Resources shall decide to which administrative officer the appeal should be directed.
The senior administrative officer shall review the substance of the grievance, including the information gathered at the Step II appeal, and at his/her discretion may (but is not required to) meet with the principal parties and relevant witnesses. The officer shall issue a written response to the grievant within ten (10) working days of receipt of the appeal. The decision of the senior administrative officer shall be final.
The Vice President for Human Resources (or designee), is available for assistance and consultation at any point in the informal or formal consideration on any complaint or grievance.
Employees are encouraged to adhere to these guidelines so that a prompt satisfactory solution can be reached.Maintained by firstname.lastname@example.org
Last modified: November 13, 2008 13:41:15