Problem Resolution Procedure for Non-faculty Employees - HR Policy 608

Problem Resolution Procedure for Non-faculty Employees - HR Policy 608

Abstract:
This policy details the internal process used to address with Non-faculty employee complaints.
Effective Date:
7/1/2006
Responsible Party:
Contacts:
None Assigned
Administrative Category:
Applies To:
Staff
Material Original Source:

Policy 608 - Problem Resolution Procedure for Non-faculty Employees

Date Issued: 11/80
Date Revised: 07/06

University of Alabama at Birmingham

PROBLEM RESOLUTION PROCEDURE FOR NONFACULTY EMPLOYEES

Revision Date September 1, 2006

(Replaces version dated August 6, 2004)

NOTE: This policy is not a separate policy but instead is a revision to the following documents:

Section 7.11 of the You & UAB Handbook for Administrative, Professional, and Support Personnel

Policy Number 608 of the Human Resource Management Policy and Procedures Manual

Problem Resolution Procedure for Nonfaculty Employees

(HRM Policy Number 608)

All employees who have a concern or complaint that arises within the course of their employment are first encouraged to seek resolution of the matter through an informal process regardless of whether the employee or work-related issue qualifies for the formal Problem Resolution Procedure. Resolving problems at the department level helps build trust and better working relationships. The appropriate actions to take to resolve the issue or complaint through the informal process are as follows:

  • One-on-one Meetings – An employee is encouraged to meet with the person against whom he/she has a complaint to discuss the situation and to seek resolution of the complaint.
  • Intervention by Supervisor, Manager, or Department/Unit Head – An employee is encouraged to contact his/her supervisor to request assistance with resolving the complaint.
  • Facilitated Conversations – If one-on-one meetings or intervention by departmental officials as indicated above do not resolve the complaint or are not appropriate, the employee may contact the HRM Relations Office or the assigned department Consultant/Advisor to request the assistance of a “facilitator.” In some cases, HRM may take the initiative to recommend this action. Facilitated conversations allow the employee and the individual against whom the employee has a complaint to discuss the relevant issue in order to seek a mutually agreeable solution to the complaint.

If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, the formal Problem Resolution Procedure is available to employees who meet the following criteria:

  • Employees must have completed the initial six months probationary period and must be employed in one of the following assignment categories:
    • Full-time Regular Employees (01)
    • Part-time Regular Employees (03)
    • Three Twelve-hour-shift (3/12 Hour) Employees (12)
    • Weekend Staff Employees (17)
  • Employees in their initial six months probationary period may use this formal procedure only if the problem resolution request is based on an allegation of discrimination.
  • All employees, even those not eligible to use the Problem Resolution Procedure, may submit a complaint of alleged discrimination to officials listed in the UAB Equal Opportunity Policy.

The work-related issues that may be challenged using the formal Problem Resolution Procedure are as follows:

  • Discharge from employment
  • Resignation in place of immediate dismissal
  • Written warning
  • Suspension
  • Imposed probation
  • Denied promotion
  • Denied payment of approved benefit time
  • Discrimination as outlined in the UAB Equal Opportunity Policy (For purposes of the Problem Resolution Procedure, employees must state specific acts or circumstances supporting the discrimination allegation and the desired outcome.)

Salary, performance appraisal, verbal counseling, voluntary resignation, position elimination due to restructuring or funding, or discharge as a result of a violation of the “Guidelines for Impaired Employees” (back-to-work agreement) may not be contested unless supported by specific evidence of discrimination.

A member of Human Resource Management Relations first will attempt to resolve the issue through a facilitated conversation. The facilitated conversation affords a representative from HRM Relations the opportunity to meet with the employee and a management representative to seek a mutually agreeable solution to the complaint. If both parties cannot agree on a solution, a Problem Resolution Committee will be established to hear the case.

The Problem Resolution Committee will consist of three members who will be drawn from a pool of eligible employees. The pool of committee members is chosen at random from all eligible UAB staff and is representative of a diverse group of employees working in various job titles across the campus and Hospital. In some cases, dependent on the issue(s) to be addressed, HRM Relations reserves the right to have the Committee members drawn from a specialty pool. These would be Committee members with the training and/or expertise in a specific job field (for example, scientific research background, nursing/patient care experience) that would allow them a better understanding of the issues to be reviewed by the Committee. The pool of committee members will receive training related to the Problem Resolution Procedure. The training also will stress impartiality and fairness. The committee members will serve for a two-year period. The criteria for serving in the pool of committee members are as follows:

  • Employed in a nonfaculty full-time regular, part-time regular, 3/12 hour-shift, or weekend staff employee assignment category.
  • Employed with UAB for at least one year
  • Must not have received any written corrective actions within the twelve months immediately prior to selection
  • Must not have filed a complaint through the Problem Resolution Procedure (or previously the Grievance Procedure) within the twelve months immediately prior to selection
  • Must not have an active Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charge, no lawsuit pending against the University of Alabama at Birmingham, nor any other complaints against the University filed with external agencies
  • These criteria must be met at the point of initial selection and continuously throughout the term of commitment.

Employees considered senior leadership or those working in the Office of the President, offices of the vice presidents, Office of the Provost, Human Resource Management, Hospital Administration, or Risk Management and Insurance are not eligible to serve on the Problem Resolution Committee.

The employee filing the complaint and the management representative will be informed of the members chosen to serve on the Committee. If either party does not want a particular employee to serve on the Committee because of a conflict of interest or other legitimate concern, he/she may ask that another Committee member be chosen. The HRM Relations Representative ultimately will decide whether someone is removed and a replacement is selected.

In order to use the UAB Problem Resolution Procedure for Nonfaculty Employees, the employee must contact the Office of Human Resource Management Relations or the HRM Consultant/Advisor within five work days following the eligible event/complaint the employee would like to challenge. The steps of the procedure are as follows:

  • The employee or former employee must report in person to the HRM Relations office and must submit the complaint in writing to the HRM Relations Representative.
  • The HRM Relations Representative will contact the employee’s department/unit within 24 hours of receipt of the written complaint to make them aware of the complaint and to advise them of the steps in the process.
  • A representative from Human Resource Management Relations will attempt to resolve the problem by acting as a mediator (through a “facilitated conversation” process) unless the facilitated conversation occurred during the informal process. If that step has not taken place, the Relations Representative will arrange a meeting within five work days with the employee and the designated department representative to discuss the complaint and possible agreeable outcomes.
  • If the problem is not resolved through a facilitated conversation, a three-member Problem Resolution Committee will be established to review the facts of the case.
  • The Problem Resolution Committee will meet within three work days or at the earliest date all members are available. The first meeting will consist of orientation to the Problem Resolution Procedure and a review of the documentation related to the specific complaint. The Committee will elect one of its members as chair. The employee is encouraged to submit any relevant documentation for review prior to the first meeting of the Committee including a list of individuals with firsthand information related to the complaint. The Committee reserves the right to determine which individuals it would like to hear from and what questions to ask of them.
  • The employee who initiates the process will be called to give his/her account of the facts to the Committee and may be present while any other individuals are called in to speak to the Committee or may have the opportunity to review written and oral transcripts. Also, a member of management, either the employee’s immediate supervisor or department/unit head, may be present during the meetings or may have the opportunity to review written and oral transcripts. (Face-to-face situations, at times, may be inappropriate in which case alternatives such as written statements, audio tapes, or “intercom listening may be used.”) Neither individual involved in a Problem Resolution Procedure may be represented by legal counsel.
  • The Committee will accumulate and study the facts about the case and will submit a written report and recommendation to the Chief Human Resources Officer who will render a decision. The Chief Human Resources Officer will send a copy of the written decision to the employee and the supervisor. If the decision of the Chief Human Resources Officer differs from the recommendation of the Committee, the Chief Human Resources Officer may meet with the Committee to review the written rationale for the Committee’s decision.
  • In the event that the decision is unsatisfactory to the employee, he/she may within five work days after receipt of the decision file a written notice of appeal to the President of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. All documentation from the case along with the rationale and recommendation from the Committee and the decision of the Chief Human Resources Officer will be forwarded to the President or to the President’s designated representative for review. The decision of the President will be final.

Employees may use the procedure without penalty or fear of retaliation.

Any questions regarding the Problem Resolution Procedure for Nonfaculty Employees should be directed to the Office of Human Resource Management Relations at extension 4-4458 or 4-4701.