Grievance-Procedure for Filing
PROCEDURE FOR FILING A GRIEVANCE
This is the implementation document for the Sinclair Community College Grievance policy, ID: V.1.5. Questions should be directed to the Office of Human Resources
In cases of alleged discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964); sex (Title IX of the Education amendments of 1972); or non-disqualifying mental or physical disability (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; ADA, 1993), a grievant may appeal in writing directly to the office of Civil Rights (U.S. Department of Education, Region V, Office of Civil Rights, Plaza Nine Building/Room 222, 55 Erieview Plaza, Cleveland, Ohio 44114) or if they choose to work with Sinclair Community College's procedure for filing a grievance.
Below are the steps for the grievance procedure.
Procedure for Filing a Grievance
The grievance process is a series of steps by which an employee may pursue desired remedy for a perceived grievance. The process is designed to endeavor to resolve issues at the earliest possible time and at the lowest supervisory level possible. The Grievance Committee is convened only if all earlier steps do not end in resolution.
1. Preliminary Process
The purpose of the preliminary process is to require the parties involved in an incident to attempt to resolve the problem themselves. No official records of the preliminary process are required to be kept, but it is strongly recommended that all parties involved in the presentation and/or discussion of an incident keep a log (i.e., diary) of events. Issues which reach resolution through the preliminary process should be recorded by the employee and the respondent. No informal documents/logs shall be placed in any personnel files.
Incidents must be presented for resolution within (5) days after the occurrence of the circumstances giving rise to such disputes. Incidents not presented within five (5) days will be waived. The employee must attempt to discuss the complaint with the person who appears to be the source of the problem, hereafter called the respondent. In a case involving a College policy the respondent is the person who has the designated responsibility for the interpretation of the policy.
2. Formal Process - Step 1
If the problem has not been resolved as part of the preliminary process, the grievant may then file an incident report in writing. The incident report must be filed within two (2) days of the conclusion of the meeting(s) between the grievant and the respondent involved.
The grievant has the option of discussing the nature of the grievance with the Staff Advisory Committee prior to the formal recording of the grievance. The Staff Advisory Committee may provide guidance and assistance to the grievant in determining the basis for the grievance and an explanation of the formal grievance process.
If the grievant desires to pursue the formal grievance process, a formal grievance must be recorded within five (5) days of the filing of the incident report. The written notification of a complaint by the grievant, must include a listing of the grievance item(s) and the desired resolution. The respondent shall meet with the grievant involved within three (3) days of such notification and attempt to resolve the problem. Within three (3) days of the conclusion of the meeting or meetings between the respondent and the grievant, the respondent must provide to the grievant a listing and proposed resolution of the grievance items and a statement indicating that the formal process Step 1 has been completed.
3. Formal Process - Step 2
If the problem is not resolved to the satisfaction of the grievant through the formal process - Step 1, the grievant may continue the formal grievance resolution process. However, no new allegations will be considered following the conclusion of the first step of the formal process.
The grievant must file a written appeal to the respondent's supervisor and request a meeting within three (3) days after receipt of the Step 1 response. The respondent's supervisor shall schedule a grievance meeting with the grievant within three (3) days after receipt of the appeal and shall issue a written decision to the grievant within three (3) days of the conclusion of the meeting(s).
4. Formal Process - Step 3
If the problem is not resolved to the satisfaction of the grievant through the formal process - Step 2, the grievant may continue the formal grievance resolution process.
The grievant must file a written appeal to the appropriate Vice President and request a meeting within three (3) days after receipt of the Step 2 response. The Vice President shall schedule a grievance meeting with the grievant within three (3) days after receipt of the appeal and shall issue a written decision to the grievant within three (3) days of the conclusion of the meeting(s).
5. Formal Process - Step 4
If the grievance is not satisfactorily settled in Step 3, the grievant must file an appeal with the President of the College within five (5) days after the receipt of the Step 3 decision. Such appeal shall be in writing. The President shall refer the written grievance to the Chairperson of the College Grievance Committee. The Grievance Committee will conduct a formal hearing at the earliest time that all parties can be convened.
Guidelines and Procedural Steps for the College Grievance Committee
The chairperson of the College Grievance Committee shall be elected from among the permanent employee members. When a committee member is directly involved in the grievance he/she must formally remove himself/herself from the committee. In this event an alternate committee member from the same constituent group will be appointed by the President after consultation with the appropriate constituency group.
If the grievant or respondent has an objection to the appointment of a committee member, the committee in closed session will make a determination as to whether or not the objection has merit. A secret ballot may be taken by other members to determine whether such objected member remains on the committee for this case.
The committee has the authority to conduct hearings and gather other evidence beyond the completed grievance materials.
All committee members are required to be present at any grievance hearing. Hearings may proceed if both the respondent and the grievant agree to go ahead with less than a full committee.
(a) The College Grievance Committee shall review each grievance promptly upon receiving the completed grievance form. The formal hearing on the grievance shall begin at the earliest time that all parties can be convened after the committee receives the completed grievance form, subject to the College calendar and conditions of employment of the parties involved in the grievance. The grievant and respondent will be notified of the hearing date in writing, and all concerned parties will be entitled to appear and participate in the hearing.
If the grievant fails to appear at a formally scheduled hearing and the committee chairperson is not notified of a legitimate reason for the absence within five (5) days after the scheduled hearing, the grievance will be dismissed.
If the chairperson is notified within five (5) days of a legitimate reason which prevented the grievant from appearing, the chairperson will reschedule the hearing for a date no later than ten (10) days after the date of the scheduled hearing at which the grievant failed to appear. If the grievant fails to appear at the rescheduled hearing, the committee will dismiss the grievance.
As a general rule, the respondent should be present. However, in cases where the respondent cannot appear, the committee will decide whether or not to conduct a hearing without the respondent being present based on the merits of the case.
(b) Written recommendations by the College Grievance Committee shall be forwarded within five (5) days of the conclusion of the hearing to the President, with copies to the grievant and the respondent.
The President shall convey a decision in writing by certified mail to the grievant and respondent within five (5) days after receiving recommendations of the College Grievance Committee. Within this time period the President shall have the discretionary authority to conduct a full review of the case, gathering any evidence deemed appropriate and the right to consult with the College Grievance Committee. If personal interviews are deemed necessary by the President in gathering additional evidence, both parties have the right to be present or represented. The decision of the President shall be considered final.
- Last Revised: 08/04/2023