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SECTION 800 - PERSONNEL

805.1 EMPLOYEE DISCRIMINATION GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

  1. In General

The purpose of this procedure is to promote prompt and efficient resolution of grievances

that arise between employees, both faculty and staff, subject to the limitations set forth in

Section V, subsection B, "Jurisdiction of the Board of Review." It is intended that all problems be resolved, whenever possible, before the filing of a written grievance. To this end, open communication between employees is encouraged.

It is contemplated that the entire procedure, from the filing of a written grievance to the President’s decision, if there is one, will be completed within sixty (days). All reference to days are to working days. In exceptional circumstances, the parties to the proceeding may mutually agree to extend the prescribed time frames within Section VI, "Proceedings: Board of Review," to ensure a fair and comprehensive hearing of the matter.

All proceedings will be conducted in a confidential manner, to the fullest extent possible. No employee who uses this procedure will be subject to retaliation. An employee may withdraw (in writing) the complaint at any point in this process.

  1. PROCEEDINGS: ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES/

OMBUDSPERSON

Step 1: Meeting of Employee with Assistant Director of Human Resources/ Ombudsperson

An employee with a complaint (hereinafter, "the Employee") shall meet with the Assistant Director of Human Resources/Ombudsperson (hereinafter "the Ombudsperson") within fifteen (15) days after the most recent incident which is the subject of the complaint. During this meeting, the Employee shall explain all relevant facts and circumstances surrounding the incident or condition which is the subject of the complaint. The Ombudsperson will work with the Employee and the individual who is the subject of the complaint (hereinafter, "the Respondent") to resolve the issue through the use of one or more alternative dispute resolution (ADR) systems. Employees shall engage in a good faith effort to resolve their differences. The Ombudsperson will ensure that all appropriate informal resolution processes have been exhausted before proceeding to Step 2.

Step 2: Filing of Written Grievance with the Assistant Director of Human

Resources/Ombudsperson

Any written grievance shall be filed with the Ombudsperson on an Employee Grievance Form. The Employee must sign this form and submit it to the Ombudsperson within five (5) days of the last meeting in Step 1.

The Ombudsperson shall send a copy of the Employee Grievance Form and a Response Statement to the Respondent for a written response to the grievance within two (2) days of receipt. The Respondent shall complete the Response Statement and return it to the Ombudsperson within five (5) days of receipt.

III. APPOINTMENT OF THE CHAIR OF THE BOARD OF REVIEW BY THE

PRESIDENT

At the beginning of each academic year, the President shall appoint a Campus provost to serve as Chair of the Board of Review. This position will rotate among the four positions from year to year.

IV. APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF REVIEW

At the beginning of each academic year, the Campus Deans and Directors will recommend to the Campus Provosts of each of the campuses, except the home campus of the Chair of the Board of Review, one faculty member, one professional and administrative (P & A) employee and one staff member from different departments within each respective campus to serve on the Board of Review. The Assistant Provost for the Rockdale Center shall recommend one employee for appointment by the Decatur Campus Provost. The Executive Vice President for Financial and Administrative Affairs, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Student Affairs will each appoint one District P&A employee and one District staff member from different departments to serve on the Board of Review. All members of the Board shall be regular full-time employees. These sixteen employees may be designated by the Chair of the Board of Review to hear grievances that are filed during the academic year.

  1. JURISDICTION OF THE BOARD OF REVIEW
  1. The Board of Review shall have jurisdiction to consider grievances of any full-time

employee of the College that are filed in a proper and timely fashion within the scope

of this policy and in accordance with the proceedings set forth in Section II,

Proceedings: Assistant Director, Human Resources/Ombudsperson."

B. The Board of Review’s jurisdiction is subject to the following limitations:

    1. Faculty grievances related to tenure or promotion shall be handled through the

procedures set forth in the Georgia Perimeter College Faculty Evaluation Promotion and Tenure Handbook.

    1. Under Board of Regents policy, dismissals of tenured and non-tenured faculty,

during their contract terms shall be preceded by certain preliminary procedures and heard by a specially selected Hearing Committee, as set forth in "Article VI, section B, paragraph 8.d" of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents.

  1. PROCEEDINGS: BOARD OF REVIEW
  1. Notification of the Chair of the Board of Review to Convene a Hearing
  2. Panel

    The Ombudsperson shall notify the Chair of the Board of Review within two (2) days after completion of Step 2 of the need to convene a Board of Review panel.

  3. Selection of Board of Review Hearing Panel Members

Within three (3) days of this notification, the Board Chair shall select two members of the Board of Review to serve on the hearing panel, as follows:

For a faculty grievance, one faculty member and one District P&A employee;

For a campus P&A grievance, one District P & A employee and one faculty member;

For a campus staff grievance, one District staff member and one campus P& A employee;

For a District P&A grievance, one District P&A employee and one faculty member; and

For a District staff grievance, one campus staff employee and one District P&A employee.

Hearing panel members may not work in the same Department and may not work on the same Campus as the complainant Employee, unless the panelist is a District office employee who is assigned to the Campus.

  1. Issuance of Notice of Hearing by the Chair of the Board of Review

Within three (3) days of the selection of the Board of Review Hearing Panel members, and no fewer than five (5) days before the hearing is to be held, the Ombudsperson shall issue a written notice of the hearing to the Employee, the Respondent and the members of the Board of Review Hearing Panel. The notice shall set forth the date, time and place of the hearing, the issue(s) asserted on the Employee Grievance Form and the Response Statement, and a statement that the parties are responsible for the attendance of their own witnesses and the presentation of any documentary evidence they wish to make a part of the record, including notarized statements of any witnesses who are unable to attend the scheduled hearing.

  1. Hearing Procedure
  1. The parties will be permitted to confer with an advisor of their choosing during the

course of the hearing. The advisor will not be permitted to address the Board of

Review panel members or the Respondent, nor in any way participate in or interfere

with the hearing proceedings.

  1. The Ombudsperson and the College’s Legal Advisor may attend the hearing, but shall

not act as advisors to either the Employee or the Respondent. They may advise the

Board of Review Panel on procedural issues, but not on issues of fact.

  1. The burden of proof of the allegations raised in the written grievance shall rest with

the Employee.

  1. The Employee shall have the first opportunity to present his or her case to the hearing panel. The Employee shall begin by making a summary statement that:

  1. provides a brief description of the matter that is being grieved;
  2. outlines his or her position in the matter;
  3. outlines what will be presented through documentary evidence; and
  4. lists the names and titles (as applicable) of the individuals who will serve as

witnesses on their behalf.

The Employee shall then proceed to state his or her case by narrative, testimony of witnesses, and/or presentation of documentary evidence. The Respondent shall then have an opportunity to present his or her case in the manner indicated above.

  1. Both parties shall have the right to question witnesses.
  1. The Board of Review Panel shall not be bound by legal rules of evidence and shall

restrict the evidence presented to what is relevant to the issue(s) before the panel.

  1. Both parties shall have the opportunity to make a summary statement to the Board of

Review Panel to conclude the hearing of the matters presented. Both parties shall be

limited to a five (5) minute presentation.

8. The Chair of the Board of Review shall rule on any challenge raised to the admis-

sibility of evidence, as well as any other objections made during the course of

the hearing.

  1. Determination of the Board of Review

Within ten (10) days of the hearing, the Board of Review, through its Chair, shall provide the Ombudsperson with its written determination for disposition of the grievance. The determination shall consist of the specific findings of fact, based on evidence adduced at the hearing, and a recommended course(s) of action. The determination may include a dissenting opinion if the members of the Board of Review are not unanimous in their decision.

Within two (2) days of receipt of the Board of Review’s determination, the Ombudsperson shall inform the Employee and the Respondent in writing of the determination of the Board or Review and of their right to appeal the decision to the President. The communication from the Ombudsperson to the Employee and the Respondent shall be clearly dated.

F. Appeal to the President

If either the Employee or the Respondent wishes further review of the grievance after the determination of the Board of Review, he or she may appeal the decision to the President within ten (10) days of receipt of the Board’s determination. Such appeal must be written, dated, and set forth the specific grounds of the appeal.

G. Decision of the President

The President or his or her designee shall be provided with documentary evidence produced during the hearing and a written transcript of the hearing proceedings within seven (7) days of receipt of the written notice of appeal. The President shall issue a final decision within ten (10) days of the date of a timely appeal. The President’s decision, which shall be based on the evidence of record, may adopt all, part or none of the recommendations of the Board of Review.

The President shall apprise the parties of their right to request further appeal to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia pursuant to paragraph IX of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents.

 

Approved CAB 01/22/98