Skip to Content

John D. Simon

John D. Simon
Executive Vice President & Provost

Contact Us

P.O. Box 400226
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4226

Phone:
434-982-2362
Fax:
434-924-1497
Email:
jwt5z@virginia.edu

 

 

Grievance Procedure for Administrative General Faculty

  1. Introduction
  2. This procedure is intended to provide certain employees and the University with a fair and efficient means of resolving certain complaints by the employees.

    1. Persons Covered
    2. The employees covered are the members of the Administrative General Faculty as defined by the University's policies on the General Faculty (copies of which are maintained in the Office of the Vice President and Provost). This procedure replaces the procedure of the Senate Committee on Faculty Relations as it applies to Administrative General Faculty.

    3. Definitions
      1. "employee" -- the person who initiates a complaint under this procedure, and who was an employee covered by this procedure at the time of the event complained of;
      2. "day" -- a calendar day;
      3. "to provide" -- (concerning transmitting a document) to place in the mail or to deliver;
      4. "workday" -- a workday of the person required to take some action, excluding days the person works out of town for most of the day.

    4. Phases and Covered Complaints
    5. This procedure has three general phases. The first, referred to as the Initial Phase, consists of two levels of management review. Complaints qualifying for the Initial Phase may or may not qualify for any further review. Those which do qualify for further review will be heard either through the Further Investigation Phase or the Hearing Phase, but not both.

      1. Initial Phase
      2. The following complaints qualify for the Initial Phase:

        1. Complaint of Illegal Discrimination -- a complaint that the employee has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, political affiliation, age, handicap, national origin or veteran's status in the course of employment by the University;
        2. Complaint of Disciplinary Action -- a complaint that the employee has been subjected to disciplinary action in his or her employment;
        3. Complaint of Employment Contract Breach -- a complaint that the University has breached the employee's employment contract;
        4. Complaint of Reprisal -- a complaint that the employee has been subjected to acts of reprisal in his or her employment as a result of using this procedure or being a witness for another employee using this procedure.

      3. Further Investigation Phase
      4. The complaints qualifying for the Further Investigation Phase are those which the President decides, as described in Section III.B.s below, should be investigated further.

      5. Hearing Phase
      6. The complaints qualifying for the Hearing Phase are those which the President decides, as described in Section III.B.4 below, should be reviewed through a hearing procedure.

    6. Extensions of Time Periods
      1. Initial Phase and Qualification Proceedings
      2. The time periods applicable in the Initial Phase and the qualification proceedings under Section III may be extended by written agreement of the employee and the relevant University official involved in a particular step, or by the President upon a written determination that just cause exists for the extension.

      3. Further Investigation Phase
      4. The time periods applicable in the Further Investigation Phase may be extended by written agreement of the employee, the appropriate management representative and the investigator, or by the President upon a written determination that just cause exists for the extension.

      5. Hearing Phase
      6. The time periods applicable in the Hearing Phase may be extended by written agreement of the parties and the panel, or by the President upon a written determination that just cause exists for the extension.

    7. Noncompliance Issues
    8. Any issues relating to noncompliance with this procedure shall be promptly presented to the President for resolution.

    9. Delegation by the President
    10. If the President deems it necessary or appropriate in a particular case, he or she may delegate to a University employee reporting to the President some or all of the President's duties under this procedure.

    11. Alternates
    12. In the following cases the President may designate, at the employee's request, an alternate to perform the role of one or more persons under this procedure:
      1. A complaint of illegal discrimination (including sexual harassment) committed by a person outside the employee's chain of command;
      2. A complaint of sexual harassment committed by a person who would be a reviewer under this procedure;
      3. A complaint against the President.

    13. Attorneys
      1. Other than for the Panel
      2. No attorneys, representatives or advisers of the employee, management representatives or investigator shall be present during any of the meetings or hearing under this procedure. An exception is that if the employee has pending or threatened criminal charges against him or her arising from the events to be considered by a hearing panel, the panel may at the employee's request allow the employee to have an attorney present for the purpose of advising the employee without participating in or disrupting the hearing.

      3. For the Panel
      4. A hearing panel may have present at any or all times, including deliberations, counsel with whom the panel may confer. The panel's counsel shall not question witnesses or otherwise participate in the hearing, his or her only role being to advise the panel privately. If the University's Legal Adviser's Office has advised the University's management concerning the grievance or the matter on which it is based, the Office shall not serve as counsel to the hearing panel.

  3. Initial Phase
    1. First Step Review
      1. General Procedure
        1. Employees are encouraged to discuss their grievances in person with those able to resolve them before this procedure is initiated. This procedure is not intended as a substitute for such discussions, but rather as an additional means of resolving certain disputes.
        2. Except as stated in Section II.A.2 below, an employee who wishes to use this procedure must initiate it by providing to the employee's immediate supervisor within thirty days after the event which is the basis for the complaint a written statement describing the complaint and the relief requested. The employee and the supervisor shall attempt to resolve the complaint informally and in person during the following five of the supervisor's workdays. (Refer to Section I.G above for exceptions to the immediate supervisor being the first step reviewer.)
        3. Within ten workdays after receipt of the employee's written statement, the employee's immediate supervisor shall provide to the employee a written response to the statement. The response shall state the supervisor's decision and the supporting reasons.

      2. Optional Anonymous Procedure for Sexual Harassment Complaints
        1. For complaints of sexual harassment, instead of proceeding as stated in Section II.A.1.b above, the employee may initiate this procedure within sixty days after the event which is the basis for the complaint by discussing the complaint in person with a person designated by the President (who shall not be a person claimed to be involved in the claimed harassment). The designate shall not reveal, except as later may be required by law, the employee's identity or the fact or nature of the complaint, unless the employee consents.
        2. The designate shall take such steps as the designate and the employee deem appropriate to attempt to resolve the complaint without the need for disciplinary action or further use of this procedure. For example, they may decide the designate should discuss with the person alleged to have committed harassment the wisdom of avoiding if possible conduct which may be interpreted as sexual harassment.
        3. The employee may terminate the anonymous procedure at any time by initiating a complaint as stated in Section II.A.1.b above. The designate may terminate the anonymous procedure at any time by so informing the employee in writing. If the employee then wishes to proceed as stated in Section II.A.1.b above, the employee must do so within five days after receiving the written notice from the designate.

    2. Second Step Review
      1. Advance to Second Step
      2. If the immediate supervisor's response does not resolve the complaint to the employee's satisfaction, the employee may advance the complaint by providing to the second step reviewer within five days after receipt of the immediate supervisor's response a written statement describing the complaint and the relief requested.

      3. Second Step Reviewer
      4. The second step reviewer shall be the head of the employee's department or, if the head was the first step reviewer, the appropriate vice president or other person reporting to the President or, if such person was the first step reviewer, the President.

      5. Review
      6. The second step reviewer shall schedule a meeting with the employee to be held within five of the second step reviewer's workdays after receipt of the employee's statement. The second step reviewer shall also gather such additional information concerning the complaint as he or she deems appropriate.

      7. Response
      8. Within ten workdays after meeting with the employee, the second step reviewer shall provide to the employee a written response to the complaint, with a copy to the President. The response shall state the reviewer's decision and the supporting reasons.

  4. Qualification for Hearing of Further Investigation Phase
    1. Request for Hearing or Further Investigation
    2. If the second step reviewer's response does not resolve the complaint to the employee's satisfaction, the employee may request the President to qualify the complaint either for further investigation or a hearing. Any such request must be made by providing to the President (with copies to the first and second step reviewers), within ten days after the employee's receipt of the second step reviewer's response, the employee's statement of the complaint, the relief requested, the facts the employee claims support the complaint, and an explanation of why the employee believes the complaint should be reviewed by further investigation or a hearing.

    3. Qualification Decision
      1. General
      2. Within five workdays after receipt of the employee's statement, the President shall provide to the employee a written decision (with copies to the first and second step reviewers) on whether the complaint qualifies for further investigation or a hearing. If the complaint does not qualify for either further investigation or a hearing, processing of the complaint under this procedure is terminated. The decision shall include a brief statement of the President's reasoning.

      3. Basis for Further Investigation Decision
      4. A further investigation shall be ordered if the President determines the facts appear to warrant such investigation. The facts to be considered may include, for example, the seriousness of the alleged conduct at issue in the complaint, the thoroughness of the first and second step reviews, and the strength of the relevant evidence.

      5. Designation of Investigator
      6. If further investigation is ordered, the President shall include in the decision a designation of the investigator, who shall not be a University employee under the authority of the second step reviewer, and the President shall provide to the investigator a copy of the decision.

      7. Basis for Hearing Decision
      8. A hearing shall be ordered if the President determines after consultation with counsel that a procedural due process hearing is legally required or would be in the University's best interests.

      9. Burden of Proof
      10. If a hearing is ordered, the President shall provide a copy of the decision to the chair of the Senate Committee on Faculty Relations and shall include in the decision a determination of which party shall have the burden of proof on which issues. In the case of disciplinary action against the employee, management shall have the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that its action was a reasonable exercise of discretion, regardless of whether the hearing panel would have taken the identical action if it had been responsible for managing the employee. Examples of issues on which the employee would have the burden of proof would include complaints of illegal discrimination and breach of employment contract.

      11. Appeal of Decision by Delegate
      12. If the qualification decision is made by the President's delegate, the employee or the appropriate management representative may within five days after receipt of the decision provide to the President a written request for review and modification of the decision. The President may in his or her discretion review the matter and take such action as deemed appropriate. Within ten workdays after receipt of the request for review, the President shall provide a written response to the employee and the first and second step reviewers.

  5. Further Investigation Phase
    1. Investigation and Report
      1. Investigation
      2. The investigator shall thoroughly gather the relevant facts by whatever means he or she determines to be most effective and efficient, provided the investigator shall conduct at least one meeting at which the employee and the appropriate management representative shall be present and afforded an opportunity to respond to each other's presentations concerning the complaint.

      3. Report
      4. Within twenty workdays after the investigator's receipt of the President's decision qualifying the complaint for further investigation, the investigator shall provide to the University's Legal Adviser (with a copy to the President) a report in confidence for the purpose of advising the President. The investigator shall divide the report into two sections, the first being the investigator's factual findings, and the second, the investigator's recommendations to the President (with supporting reasons) on how the University should respond to the complaint.

    2. Review of the Report
      1. Factual Findings
      2. The President shall accept as true the investigator's factual findings unless the President has reasonable grounds for reopening the investigation. In the event of such grounds, the President may request the investigator to conduct promptly an additional investigation and in either case the President may conduct an additional investigation and in either case the President shall prepare and provide to the Legal Adviser a revised confidential report of factual findings with ten workdays after receipt of a copy of the investigator's initial report.

      3. Decision
      4. Within ten workdays after receipt of a copy of the investigator's initial report or within ten workdays after completion of any revised report, the President shall provide to the employee a written statement of whether the University will provide the employee with any relief. If the relief to be provided is less than that requested by the employee, the statement shall include the reasons for not providing the additional relief.

    3. Request for Reconsideration
    4. Within ten days after receipt of the President's statement, the employee may provide to the President a written statement requesting the President to reconsider the decision and describing the aspects in which the employee believes the President's statement is incorrect. The President shall provide to the employee a response within ten workdays after receipt of the employee's request. That response shall be the final step under this procedure.

  6. Hearing Phase

  1. Selection of Hearing Panel
    1. Employee Designation of Panel Member
    2. Within ten days following receipt of the President's decision qualifying the complaint for a hearing, the employee shall provide to the chair of the Senate Committee on Faculty Relations (the "committee chair") (with a copy to the first step reviewer) the employee's written designation of a faculty member who has agreed to serve on the hearing panel, which shall consist of five members.

    3. Designation of Other Panel Members
    4. Within five workdays after receipt of the employee's designation, the committee chair shall provide to the employee and the first step reviewer the names of four additional panel members who have agreed to serve and whom the committee chair has selected by any means, provided that at least three of the five panel members shall be members of the Administrative General Faculty. The committee chair shall designate one of the four additional members as chair of the hearing panel. In selecting panel members, the committee chair shall not discuss the merits of the complaint with prospective panel members, but shall disclose the names of the employee and the first and second step reviewers and the nature of the complaint to aid prospective members in their decisions as to whether they should decline to serve due to potential bias or conflict.

    5. Strikes and Challenges
    6. Within five days after receipt of the committee chair's designation of the panel, the employee and the manager (who shall be the first step reviewer or other manager responsible for presenting management's case to the panel) shall provide the committee chair and each other in writing with any exercise of their right to remove without cause one of the four members selected by the committee chair. The parties may also challenge any of such four members for cause by stating the claimed cause. In the absence of any removals without cause or challenges, the committee chair shall provide to the parties and the panel written notice that the panel has been selected.

    7. Replacement Members
    8. Within five workdays after receipt of any removals without cause or challenges for cause, the committee chair shall provide to the parties a decision on any challenges and a designation of any replacement members. Replacement members may be challenged for cause and replaced in accordance with the same procedure for challenging and replacing members initially selected, and the committee chair shall provide to the parties and the panel written notice that the panel has been selected.

  2. Pre-hearing Proceedings
    1. Scheduling the Hearing
    2. Within five workdays after receipt by the panel chair of notice by the committee chair that the panel has been selected, the panel chair shall, after consultation with the other panel members and the parties, provide to the parties and the other panel members written notice of the time and place of the hearing, which shall be held at least fifteen but not more than thirty days after selection of the full panel unless the panel and parties agree otherwise.

    3. Description of Case
    4. With ten days after receipt by the parties of notice that the panel has been selected, the party with the burden of proof shall provide the other party and the panel with a description of the party's case against the other, including a statement of the charges, a summary description of the evidence supporting the charges and a description of any relief requested.

    5. Response
    6. Within five days after receipt of such description of the case against him or her, the party not having the burden of proof shall provide the other party with a written response stating his or her position on the charges, and the evidence supporting that position.

    7. Witnesses and Document Lists
    8. Each party shall provide to the other at least five days before the hearing a list of witnesses expected to be called and any documents to be introduced, with such information to be updated with any additions occurring within five days of the hearing.

    9. Pre-Hearing Resolution of Issues
    10. Upon request by either party or on its own initiative, the panel may, using such procedure as it deems fair, resolve before the hearing any issues in the interest of fair and expeditious handling of the hearing. All decisions by the panel shall be by majority vote of the full panel.

  3. Hearing Proceedings
  4. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the following rules:

    1. Persons Present
    2. The parties shall be entitled to be present during the entire hearing, excluding deliberations. Witnesses other than the parties may be present only while giving their testimony. Other than the person recording the hearing, no other person shall be present except as the panel and the parties may agree. All panel members shall be present during the entire hearing unless the parties and all the panel members who are present agree otherwise.

    3. Recording
    4. The panel chair shall arrange for the hearing to be tape recorded by a professional court reporter approved by the Office of the Legal Advisor. The panel may arrange for preparation of any transcript of the recording which it wishes for its use. The expense of the recording and any such transcript shall be paid by the Office of the President. Either party wishing a transcript may arrange with the person who recorded the hearing to obtain a transcript.

    5. Procedural and Evidentiary Questions
    6. Except as provided in this procedure, the panel shall not be bound by the rules of procedure or evidence, applicable to judicial proceedings, and the panel may take into account any evidence to the extent it deems appropriate. The panel shall decide by majority vote of the panel members present all procedural and evidentiary questions raised during the hearing.

    7. Order of Proceeding
    8. Except as the panel may provide otherwise, the order of the hearing shall be as follows. The party with the burden of proof (see Section III.B. above) may make an opening statement, followed by the other party's opening statement. The party with the burden of proof shall then present evidence, followed by the other party's presentation of evidence, followed by rebuttal evidence by the party with the burden of proof. The panel may allow such additional evidence as it deems appropriate. The panel may request the parties to produce evidence on particular issues, and the panel itself may request witnesses to testify or may present other evidence in the interest of a thorough gathering of the relevant facts. Upon completion of the evidence, the party with the burden of proof may make a closing statement, followed by the other party's closing statement, and the party with the burden of proof may then make a rebuttal statement.

    9. Questions of Witnesses
    10. The parties shall have the right to cross-examine witnesses presented and the panel may ask witnesses questions at any time.

    11. Additional Sessions
    12. The panel may adjourn the hearing from time to time and reconvene it for such additional sessions as the panel may determine, provided that the hearing shall be completed within thirty days of its commencement unless the panel and parties agree otherwise.

    13. Written Statements
    14. At the panel's request, the parties shall submit written statements on any matters designated by the panel, including proposed findings of fact and recommendations.

  5. Panel's Report
  6. Within thirty days after conclusion of the hearing or, where applicable, the panel's receipt of the parties written statements or any transcript requested by the panel, the panel shall provide to the President (with copies to the parties) a written report. The report shall be divided into two sections, the first being the panel's factual findings, and the second, the panel's recommendations to the President on how the University should respond to the complaint. The contents of the panel's report shall be determined by majority vote, provided that dissenting or concurring members shall be entitled to submit separate written statements which shall accompany the report.

  7. President's Review of the Report
    1. Factual Findings
    2. The President shall accept as true the panel's factual findings unless the President has reasonable grounds for reopening the hearing. In the event of such grounds, the President may request the panel to conduct promptly additional hearing proceedings, or the President may conduct such proceedings, and a supplemental report on the factual findings shall be provided to the parties within ten days after completion of any such proceedings.

    3. Review
    4. Within ten days after their receipt of the panel's report of any supplemental report, the parties may provide to the President (with a copy to the other party) their written arguments, as opposed to additional evidence, in support of their respective positions. In addition, the parties may request an opportunity to present oral arguments and the President may or may not allow such arguments. The President may also, in the presence of the parties, ask the panel members questions relating to their report. The President may obtain and review any or all of the hearing transcript and exhibits. The President's review of the panel's report shall be based only on the foregoing, except for consultation with legal counsel approved by the Legal Advisor's Office.

    5. Decision
    6. Within fifteen workdays after receipt of the panel's report, any supplemental report or any transcript requested by the President, or completion of oral arguments, whichever last occurs, the President shall provide to the parties (with a copy to the panel) a written decision on the requested relief. Within ten days after receipt of the President's decision, either party may provide to the President (with a copy to the panel) a written request for reconsideration which shall describe the aspects in which the party believes the President's decision is incorrect. The President may conduct such additional proceeding consistent with Section V.E.2 above as the President deems appropriate. Within ten workdays after receipt of the request for reconsideration or conclusion of any such additional proceedings, the President shall provide to the parties (with a copy to the panel) a response to the request. That response shall be the final step under this procedure.

  • Amendments
  • This procedure may be amended at any time by the President who shall determine whether it is appropriate for any particular amendment to apply to pending as well as future complaints.

    Adopted by:
    Robert M. O Neil, President
    Date: August 28, 1987