Human Resources Manual

Policy No.: 5-12 This policy applies to:
Policy Name: Staff Grievance Procedure Non-exempt staff
Effective Date: 07/16/09  Exempt staff
Revised: 07/16/09    Faculty

Policy

Because Loyola University New Orleans encourages employees to resolve any employment-related problems as soon as possible at the lowest possible administrative level, this procedure is provided as a means for an employee to request that the University formally review a decision of termination. (Other employee grievances are handled by the Dispute Reconciliation Policy.)

Terminations related to reductions in force are not subject to the University’s grievance procedure.

Pre-Hearing Procedures

An employee (complainant) who has been terminated from his/her position at the University may file a formal grievance within five working days beginning the day after the termination occurred against the supervisor who carried out the termination (respondent). The formal grievance should include a letter outlining the request for a grievance review and be delivered to the Director of Human Resources. The written grievance will be forwarded to the respondent, who will have five working days to complete a response and include all pertinent documentation. This response will be sent to the Director of Human Resources and forwarded to the complainant.

The Director of Human Resources will appoint a three-member Review Panel (plus one alternate) with the Director of Human Resources as non-voting Chairperson. Members of the Review Panel may be from any division of the University other than members of the division (or college in the case of Academic Affairs) for which the complainant worked. All Review Panel members must be full-time exempt or non-exempt Loyola employees. Should an employee file grievance against the Director of Human Resources, the Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration will appoint another administrator to serve as non-voting Chairperson. The Review Panel will be appointed within ten working days of receipt of grievance. Both the complainant and respondent will be informed of the Review Panel members. Either party may challenge the appointment of any Review Panel member for cause. No more than two panel members may be challenged by either party. The challenge should be sent to the Director of Human Resources within two working days after notification of the names of panel members. The Director of Human Resources will have five days to select new committee members.

The Human Resources Director will schedule a Review Hearing within ten working days of receipt of supervisor’s response, at a time agreeable to both parties. If for any reason, either party cannot attend at the agreed upon time, the hearing will take place as scheduled. The Human Resources Director will give written notice of the time and place of the hearing to the complainant, respondent, panel members and any approved witnesses or representatives. The respondent’s supervisor may attend the Review Hearing.

The Review Panel will receive copies of the letter of grievance from the complainant, a letter of response from the supervisor and all supporting documentation and correspondence from both parties at least five working days prior to the Review Hearing. The Review Panel will determine the necessity for or appropriateness of a spokesperson and or witnesses, if requested by the complainant or respondent. If allowed, the spokesperson or witness must be a full-time staff employee of Loyola University New Orleans and cannot act as an attorney or legal advocate. If the complainant chooses a spokesperson to speak on his/her behalf, the complainant may not speak during the Hearing.

Review Hearing Procedures

Review Hearings will be scheduled to be at least three hours in duration. Attendance at the hearing will be restricted to the parties outlined above, will be closed to the public, and all matters concerning the hearing will remain confidential.

The Review Panel will meet alone for 30 minutes prior to the hearing to discuss the procedures and review the statements.

The complainant and respondent will each be given a minimum of one hour for the presentation of his/her case. A suggested format is as follows, with time limits for each segment to be determined by the panel Chairperson:

  • Ten minutes: opening statement outlining the party’s case and stressing salient points.
  • 30 minutes: direct examination of witnesses and evidence.
  • Ten minutes: summation and closing statement.
  • Ten minutes: rebuttal, with the last rebuttal going to the complainant.

Witnesses will be called one at a time and may not remain beyond the duration of their testimony and questioning. Witnesses may be questioned by either party or any panel member. Either party may offer a rebuttal to witness testimony.

No disruptions of the proceedings will be tolerated. The Chairperson will rule on all questions of relevancy, redundancy or immateriality of evidence, testimony or questioning.

Post-Hearing Procedures

The Review Panel will review all of the submitted information and reach a consensus by majority on 1, finding of fact, and 2, recommendations. The Chairperson will report the findings to the Vice President for Finance & Administration who will communicate the decision to both parties in writing.

The complainant or respondent may appeal the written finding to the President no later than (5) working days beginning the day after the date of the finding. The President’s decision is final and will be sent to all parties in writing. The appeal is the final grievance step within the University.