Employee Grievance Procedures

Classified and Non-Classified (Non-Faculty)

Pre-Grievance Counseling

Representatives within the Department of Human Resources (Human Resources) are available to counsel employees who believe they have a grievance.

The role of Human Resources is to help the employee identify the source of the problem and provide the employee with information concerning university resources and policies, as well as information about protective state and federal laws and regulations.

Informal Resolution

The university will make a good faith effort to seek informal resolution of a problem brought to the attention of the employee relations manager, or designee, through discussions and communications with the employee, the department involved and with appropriate university officials. Employees and supervisory personnel are expected to consult with the appropriate offices and consider the option of mediation or other dispute resolution mechanisms before proceeding with the formal grievance process. Informal avenues for university employees to discuss work-related conflicts and resolve disputes are available from Human Resources.

Grievance Procedure

The Grievance Procedure uses a three step management review process whereby an employee may address matters associated with employment. The process begins generally with a conversation between the employee and the employee’s supervisor (Step 1). If not resolved, the employee submits  concerns in writing to the next level of supervision (Step 2). The final step, if needed, is an appeal to the Grievance Review Board (Step 3).

Time Standards

Time limits set forth for filing and appealing grievances must be strictly followed by the employee. Mutually agreeable adjustments in the time period for holding a review meeting and issuing an answer may be made due to the unavailability of a necessary party. The grievance is considered settled on the basis of the last response if the employee fails to appear at a scheduled review meeting or does not appeal on a timely basis.

When both parties in the formal grievance process request it, the time clock on the grievance procedure may be stopped for a time period satisfactory to both parties to allow for a good faith attempt to resolve the conflict or disagreement through mediation.

Modification

The progression through the grievance process may be modified by the university by reducing the number of steps for grievance resolution where the origin of the grievance, the department involved, or the content and scope of the grievance makes that progression impractical.

Assistance in Review Meetings

An employee may select any individual to attend and provide support during the grievance process (Steps 2 and 3). The employee’s support person may provide counsel to the employee during the meetings but may not actively participate or be disruptive. If the employee chooses to bring a support person, the employee should advise Human Resources prior to the date of the meeting. If the assistant is a UALR employee, the assistant will not lose time or pay for attending meetings held during the assistant’s normal working hours. If the support person is an attorney, Human Resources should be advised prior to the date of the meeting so university counsel may also be present.

No Loss of Time or Pay

An employee’s attendance at a grievance review meeting held during normal working hours shall be with pay. Any other time spent in formulating or preparing a grievance shall be done outside the regular work schedule and shall be without compensation.

University Grievance Review Board

The Grievance Review Board (GRB) consists of three UALR employees: one appointed by the employee; one appointed by the employee’s supervisor; and one appointed by the chancellor or designee. If the GRB convenes a hearing, a member of Human Resources will be present during the hearing to provide clarification to policy or procedure questions should they arise, but will not be present during GRB deliberations.

The GRB will select one member to serve as chairperson. The chairperson is responsible for all matters related to the proceedings.

Both the employee and the employee’s supervisor will have an opportunity to present all relevant information to the GRB during the proceeding. The GRB will review the information collected and presented during the course of the grievance process and use this information to provide a report of its findings and proposed recommendation. Participants should not expect that witnesses will be called or that testimony will be taken; however, the GRB may do so if considered necessary.

Electronic Recording

The university does not allow electronic recording at any step of the grievance proceedings. An exception will be made if the Grievance Review Board feels it is necessary in order to properly review the information discussed and compile the summary. Once notes have been made and the review complete, a copy of the recording will not be retained.

Cooperation/Non-Retaliation

These procedures are designed to provide a fair, internal mechanism for resolving disputes of employees. The success of these procedures depends upon willingness of all members of the university community to participate when asked and to participate truthfully. Retaliation against an employee who participates in the grievance or any informal resolution process is prohibited. An employee who penalizes or retaliates against another employee may be subject to corrective or disciplinary action.

Employee Grievance Process

Responsibility Action
Employee Seek pre-grievance counseling with Human Resources and consider informal resolution options.
Human Resources Advise the employee concerning university policies, practices, options, and resources for dispute resolution as well as protective laws and regulations.Work to informally resolve grievances. In no event shall this effort void the time limits established in the procedure, except when parties mutually agree to resolve the conflict or disagreement through mediation or other resolution processes.
Employee (Step 1) Within seven (7) working days of knowledge of the facts giving rise to the grievance, discuss grievance with immediate supervisor, or other appropriate level. Employee should clearly inform supervisor that the employee considers the discussion to be the first step in the grievance process.
Supervisor At this step, supervisors are strongly encouraged to use an informal dispute resolution method to resolve problems. Reply orally to employee within three (3) working days from date of discussion.
Employee (Step 2) If not satisfied with oral response, or if no response is given within the designated time frame, the employee may appeal to the next level supervisor within five (5) working days following the unsatisfactory response or lack of response from his/her immediate supervisor.
Next Level Supervisor Upon receipt of a written grievance (Employee Grievance Form) schedule a review meeting and hear oral presentation of grievance within five (5) working days of receipt of written grievance. Provide a written response to employee and Human Resources within five (5) working days of the scheduled review meeting.
Employee (Step 3) If not satisfied with the response received in Step 2 or if no response is received within five (5) working days of the review meeting, the employee may appeal to the Grievance Review Board within five (5) working days from the Step 2 response or the required response due date by submitting all supporting documentation to Human Resources. Termination appeals and appeals of disciplinary actions resulting from a discrimination or harassment investigation begin at Step 3.
Human Resources The Employee Relations Manager, or designee, will review the grievance to ensure it is in accordance with UALR policy and if so, forwards the grievance documents to the Grievance Review Board (GRB).
Grievance Review Board Upon notification of the appeal, schedule a board meeting within five (5) working days and select a chairperson. Review the provided documentation and corresponding UALR policies. If needed, conduct an appeal hearing which may include calling witnesses or requesting other pertinent information.The review and hearing process should be completed within fifteen (15) working days from receipt of the appeal.Meet and consult as necessary.
Chairperson, Grievance Review Board Issue a written recommendation to the chancellor no later than seven (7) working days from the completion date of the review or hearing process.
Chancellor Consider the Grievance Review Board’s recommendation and issue final decision to Human Resources.
Human Resources Communicate final decision to all parties.
Head of Department If it is determined that a representative of the university with supervisory responsibility violated university policy, consider corrective or disciplinary action in accordance with Human Resources.

The grievance procedures and processes are issued by Human Resources and Human Resources retains the authority to revise them as necessary.